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CNN TONIGHT

President Trump Drinks 12 Diet Cokes Every Day; Trump Favors; Barkley Campaigns For Doug Jones; Alabama Voters Head To Polls In Hours. Aired 11-12mn ET

Aired December 11, 2017 - 23:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:00:24] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: This is "CNN tonight." I'm Don Lemon. It is 11:00 p.m. here on the east coast. We're live with new developments tonight. Voters in Alabama set to go to the polls in a matter of hours in an election like no other in our history. The Republican candidate Roy Moore an accused child molester. The Democratic Doug Jones running in a state where under other circumstances he wouldn't even have a chance. Both candidates making their final appeals to voters tonight. But if President Trump's support for Moore puts him over the top, will the leaders of the Republican Party be forced to accept him whether they like him or not? We will discuss all of that. I want to bring in now CNN Senior Political Analyst Mr. Mark Preston. Mark good evening to you, thanks for joining us. Polls open just hours from now. Either Alabama will elect an accused child molester or Senate's first Democratic to the senate since 1992. This is historic and unprecedented and unpredictable race, no matter what the outcome is.

MARK PRESTON, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN: Yes, Don. It just kind of fits into the whole narrative of what we've seen over the past 12 months or so basically since Donald Trump decided to run for President and quite frankly when he was sworn in January. Everything is very unpredictable. But these are the odds right now against Doug Jones, the Democrat. As you said you're talking about a state according to gallop 15 percent of the people describe themselves at Republican. Out that 43 percent are conservative, on the flipside 33 percent describe themselves as Democrats, and another 16 percent describe themselves as liberals. So it is quite an uphill battle right now for Doug Jones to try to take on Roy Moore heading into tomorrow's election.

LEMON: What happens, Mark, if Roy Moore wins? Is it really a win for the Republicans or the Democrats? How is each side going to view this?

PRESTON: Well, if you're Mitch McConnell, it's going to be a loss. Because you're going to have someone needling you at your side day in and day out. If you're a Democratic and Roy Moore wins, it's going to be a victory in the sense that everything that Roy Moore says or does will then be affixed to whatever Republican candidate is running in 2018. In the end, though, Don, let's just say from a moral perspective you could say the nation would lose if Roy Moore wins tomorrow just based upon all the information we know about him. LEMON: Yes I want you to just take a look at this. This is Roy

Moore's wife Kaila at the rally tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAYLA MOORE, WIFE OF ROY MOORE: Fake news would also have you think that my husband doesn't support the black community. Yet my husband appointed the very first black marshal to the Alabama Supreme Court. We have many friends that are black, and we also fellowship with them in church and in our home. Fake news would tell you we don't care for Jews. I tell you all this because I've seen it, so I just want to set the record straight while they're here. One of our attorneys is a Jew.

(APPLAUSE)

(CHEERS)

One of our attorneys is a Jew.

(APPLAUSE)

We have very close friends that are Jewish and are rabbis.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PRESTON: Don, do you consider me a friend by any chance?

LEMON: Yes, I do.

PRESTON: I can say I have a black friend now. I'm very excited.

LEMON: Listen, what of our attorney is a Jew. How can --

PRESTON: It's unexplainable. I mean for you and I actually sits here on television and try to explain what is happening right now is ruthless, because there is no explanation. I mean that is just -- it's beyond outrageous what she just did on stage. But even more so who allowed her to do that? I don't say that in a gender way, but campaigns are structured in a certain way where political strategists basically tell you what to say. The candidate's wife, children, the candidate's surrogates. For her to go up and do that, wow.

LEMON: Thank you Mark, friend.

PRESTON: Thanks Don.

LEMON: See you tomorrow in D.C. now I want to bring in Mark Mckinnon, he is a former adviser to George W. Bush and John McCain. Mr. McKinnon always a pleasure, sir. CNN has reported Republican leaders won't commit to giving Roy Moore a seat on any committee even if he wins the race. Majority leader Mitch McConnell won't say if Moore will even be welcomed in weekly policy lunches. Here's what Steve Bannon had to say about the Republican establishment tonight. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[23:05:05] STEVE BANNON, CHIEF STRATEGIST TO THE WHITE HOUSE: All that establishment up there every day that doesn't have Trump's backing, doesn't have his back at all, what they want him for is that corporate tax cut. That is all they wanted. As soon as they get that tax cut you watch what happens. There's a special place in hell for Republicans who should know better. You know what they're doing and they're trying to shut up President Trump and Judge Moore? They're trying to shut you up. Why do you think the whole world's here? It's about raw power.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: A special place in hell that is the same phrase remember that Ivanka Trump used when asked about allegations against Roy Moore. Do you think that wording was intentional?

MARK MCKINNON, THE CIRCUS ON SHOWTIME CO HOST: Absolutely. Steve Bannon doesn't say things by mistake. That is a clear shot across the bow at the Trump family. If Roy Moore's is elected the worst thing that could happen to the Republican Party in a long time. It's a character test. And the Republican Party is going to stand for family values, it can't sell its soul for a vote. You had an administration spokesperson come out and say that the senate sit is not worth a child. And then someone come out and say actually we need Moore's vote for the tax bill. So I want to point out Republicans who have stood firm with a moral backbone through this fight. Senator Cory Gardener from my home state of Colorado here on Denver tonight. Who's head of the senate committee if he is elected, he should be expelled. Speaker Ryan said he should step aside. Senator Shelby in just the last couple of days was very significant I think when he said Alabama deserves better. Nikki Haley commended the courage of the women who came forward. And then Ivanka Trump that we just talk about who said there's a special place in hell for people like Roy Moore. And then on this one. Don I am with her.

LEMON: Yes. But I got to ask you Mark, because not all of us people and some of them have stood firm as you said, well, but some of them also said, the people of Alabama, the voters of Alabama should make the final decision here. Some have said flat out step aside.

MCKINNON: Well, that is the convenient shift to not take a firm position. It's local control. Let the local people speak. But that is just a fade. That is why I commend the people who stood firm and not taken that easy position as others have, because I really think if he is elected -- I think if he is elected, he is not going to get expelled. He is going to at least be a problem for at least six years.

LEMON: At the end of the day does Mitch McConnell need Roy Moore more than Roy Moore needs Mitch McConnell?

MCKINNON: That is a great question. The sorry and sad fact is that I think that McConnell's shift in his position, as you recall he was with Speaker Ryan on this and they were in lock step in Republican leadership, and then he shifted to that convenient position saying let the people of Alabama decide. So I think that the end the day McConnell is looking at votes. Which is hell of a message to send the American people that the vote is worth more than the character of the people in the senate.

LEMON: The President fully supports Roy Moore. The RNC followed him. This is Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, what he said earlier today about a Moore victory.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: Roy Moore will be the gift that keeps on giving for Democrats. It will define the 2018 election, at least 2018. And to think you can elect Roy Moore without getting the back age of Roy Moore is pretty naive, there is no winning with Roy Moore.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, Mark, Democrats are positioning themselves as a party of zero tolerance n sexual misconduct at least since last week, right now they're 2starting to take a stand against lawmakers who have accused of them. They successfully pressured Al Franken, John Conyers. Are you concerned that your party is now becoming the Party of sexual misconduct?

MCKINNON: Absolutely. Senator Graham is nothing if not candid, don't always agree with him. But he always speaks from the heart. And he says the tough things. And he is right about that. If Roy Moore gets elected tomorrow, he is going to get wrapped around the axle of every Republican running next year. He is going to be the face of the Republican Party, he and Donald Trump. But I guarantee you it will just help the Republican Party claw its way to the bottom in 2018.

LEMON: What do you think that is going to do a possible Roy Moore victory? What would that do to women around the country, listen we've heard the folks in Alabama, and this is religious thing and, you know, I don't want a Democrat in there. But for the bulk of the voting Americans in 2018, how will women feel about this, do you on 2018?

[23:10:10] MCKINNON: I think it'll break the dam, Don. I really do. I think it'll be hard to find any woman anywhere, any Republican primary or general election, any Republican women who will stand up and defend a vote for Roy Moore. You know, I think it was tough enough for them given President Trump's difficulty on this issue during the campaign. But Roy Moore is going to be a red letter on the forehead. And I don't think that women are going to want to defend that vote.

LEMON: President Trump, I mean he is clearly worried about a majority senate, a senate majority. If Doug Jones somehow pulls out a victory tomorrow night, what kind of effect do you think that is going to have on the President's agenda beginning with let's say tax reform?

MCKINNON: Well, it's going to send a message that -- first of all, they're trying to say this election in Alabama is about the Trump agenda. So if that goes down, then all of this Republican message about how it's really a referendum on the Trump agenda is in big trouble. So I think the Republicans probably still have the votes for the tax plan, but it's not a slam dunk anymore. And it's certainly from a messaging point of view spells trouble.

LEMON: Listen, I've been asking just about all my guests if people think -- because what the folks in Alabama will say, the Roy Moore supporters and then some of the Trump supporters of course this is liberal media, this is liberals and Mark all of a sudden you're probably now liberal. And it's the elites in Washington and probably now Denver. But this is not about politics, this about decency, right?

MCKINNON: It's about decency. And part of the message that the Republican Party put out that attracted me the Republican Party is compassionate conservatives. So what I see lacking in this race in Alabama is any element of compassion. And that is what we've got to get back, if we are going to maintain the majority of the Republican Party.

LEMON: Thank you Mark, always a pleasure.

MCKINNON: Thanks Don.

LEMON: You can check out a show, called circus on show time. Make sure you check that out.

When we come back, are Democrats pinning their hopes of victory in Alabama on African-American voters? And will those voters turn out? I'm going to ask members of the congressional black caucus.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:16:31] LEMON: Alabama has been one of the reddest of red states for years, but with Republicans fielding a polarizing candidate like Roy Moore the Democrats think they have a shot. And for Doug Jones it could all come down to the African-American turn out. Congressional Black caucus putting its muscle behind that efforts. So let us talk about it. Joining me now is Congressman Gregory Meeks a Democratic and member of the congressional black caucus. Good evening, Congressman. Thank you for joining us. Why this final push by the Congressional Black Caucus with Cory Booker, Jamal Patrick, John Lewis just to name a few. Why rally votes for Democratic Doug Jones?

GREGORY MEEKS, HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Well you know, all you've got to look at their rackets and what they stand for. You've got one person Moore, who is obviously a sexist, who's a pedophile, and who is racist if you go by his statements. And you've got another who has worked diligently to make sure that voting rights and civil rights were still at the top of the agenda. So to me you are talking about two candidates that are almost 180 degrees apart. And I think we've come a long way from going back to the days of the boll weevils in the south. And you look at Jones compared to Moore, there's no comparison. It's imperative that the CBC gets involved.

LEMON: Do you think with names that big, like Cory Booker, do you think it'll work? Do you actually think it's going to help? MEEKS: well I think it will. I think especially with John Lewis, and

there's another big name you did not mention, and that is the local congresswoman, Terry Sue, who has been working very diligently to make sure that we get a high turnout. It's still about local folks. And Terry is from there working with John during the civil rights movement all through Alabama, he was there. And then of course Cory Booker is big in what he does in the senate. And Devall Patrick. So I think that works. I'm chair of the Congressional Black Caucus's political action committee. And as we as a pact not only endorsed but donated some dollars, because that is what it takes. And we need a tremendously high turnout. Turnout matters.

LEMON: Let me ask you this because I want to know about the outsiders. And that is really the crux of my question. I wonder if the people of Alabama are going to think these outsiders are coming in and telling us what to do. Because the former President Barack Obama recorded a robo call for Jones, telling voters this one is a serious, they can't sit it out. Tonight we had learned the former Vice President Joe Biden also recording a call. Listen, its high risk, high rewards for Jones possibly. But do you think it'll backfire if Alabamians think outsiders are trying to tell them what to do?

MEEKS: The message is for all Alabamians. It just happens to be particularly African-Americans. But their all Alabamians. That is why Terry Sue is the first that come off on my mind, because she is an Alabamian. And Terry has invited the individuals that she knows, that the people in Alabama, especially in the African-American community who resonate and who they admire. Clearly most of the congressional black caucus have stayed out of Alabama in that district, because we didn't want to look like someone from the outside coming in. But at this stage in the campaign it is important that individuals in the African-American community know where their leadership stands. And I appreciate Terry Sue's leadership in Alabama.

[23:2012] LEMON: I want to ask you this question first and I'll give that one to you, later. CNN's (inaudible) department found out in 2011 that Moore appeared on a conspiracy driven radio show twice. And on one appearance he said getting rid of it would eliminate many problems of the way the U.S. Government is structured. One of those amendments would be the 13th amendment which abolished slavery, the 19th amendment which gave women the right to vote. What does it say to you his mindset and that the people of Alabama could possibly elect someone like that? And may possibly, the polls are really close. What does that say to you?

MEEKS: Well, it's very concerning to me. We would hope that in the year 2017 that we have progressed as a nation and not going back to sexism and racism, not going back and utilizing the language that some in some of the southern states utilized when there was slavery and when women did not have the right to vote. And it seems to me that Mr. Moore believes that we were better off with that type of country. It seems to me that the President of the United States when he says let's make America great again, you know I see two birds of a feather flocking together there. That is where he is also. And if you look at their policies and I understand the President has made a statement, a robo call-out for Mr. Moore. There both seems to be anti-women, anti-African-American. I'm hoping that when Alabamians go to the polls tomorrow or especially women and African-Americans come out, they really know who's in their best interest and that would be Mr. Jones.

LEMON: If he wins, quick question for you, and quick answers here. If he wins is isn't expelled, what do you think his believes will be to policy in Washington?

MEEKS: Well, I think that we really need to focus on elections in 2018 and let all Americans, and everybody's voting, to determine whether they want the Republican Party to lead the congress or whether they want a change in the power structure there and who has the best moral values moving forward.

LEMON: I talked to the people of Alabama. What does it say to you about the country that we are grappling with in 2017 that someone has been accused by a number of women, at least one 14-year-old, that someone says America was great during slavery, wants to get rid of the amendments of the 10th amendment, that we're actually considering in America having this person serve as a United States Senator?

MEEKS: The world is shocked. I'm shocked. And maybe we shouldn't be because we elected Donald Trump President after the statements he is made both about women, African-Americans, Muslims. We as America need to reexamine ourselves and look at the people who have elected particularly for the senate, the presidency, congress. I would hope that we have a different result, and 2018 becomes tremendously important.

LEMON: Representative Meeks, always a pleasure. Thank you.

MEEKS: Good to be with you, Don.

LEMON: When we come back, new reports about the President's lifestyle, binge watching cable news, a love of fast food, and a case of diet cokes daily. What this could mean for his health. Dr. Sanjay Gupta will joins me next to discuss.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:28:02] LEMON: "The New York Times" out with a report this weekend with some fascinating details about the life behind closed doors at the White House and reporting that President Trump may be a major fan of diet coke. I want to talk about this now with our chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. It's good to have you on. We always talk about President's health, and it's important to assess the President's health after all he is the leader of the free world. Can we talk about - this according "The New York Times" he drinks up to a dozen diet cokes throughout the day. What does this do to someone?

SANJAY GUPTA, CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: That is about 46 milligrams of caffeine for coke. But over the day you're getting close to 500 milligrams. We don't know if he takes other sources of caffeine. If he is not a coffee drinker, this may be his source of caffeine. The thing is it causes a lot of things you'd expect caffeine to cause. Irritability, insomnia. Sometimes you become more unfocused if you drink too much caffeine, that is really sort of the issue with something like this, but President Clinton was someone famous for drinking diet cokes. They'd appear when he hit the button. That is a sort of a thing as well.

LEMON: I keep them in my office. Not 12 a day, though.

GUPTA: But I think the big question is he getting other sources of caffeine? Because this is more than you should be getting, but also a lot more than coffee as well.

LEMON: Here is also a concern. A study found that people who drank more than one diet coke a day were three times more likely to be diagnosed with Dementia or suffer from a stroke. What does that mean to someone who reportedly to drink a lot.

GUPTA: This was really an interesting a study, we cover this a lot, it was 1500 person study, and it was out of Massachusetts. You triple the risk of dementia and stroke linked to diet soda consumption. And we compared diet soda drinkers and regular soda drinker, so you still had people drinking regular soda but did not seem to have that risk and what people are really starting to look at is there something about the diet drink, the aspartame or something that is causing this problem. They don't know still. This is what you called an association meaning, we're seeing this but haven't been able to draw a cause and effect. Could it be people are more at risk for stroke and dementia also drink diet soda, we don't know which came first here.

DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: OK. More about the president's health. Let's talk about dinner. Again according to New York Times consisted well-done steaks, salads with dressing and bacon crumbles, gravy and massive slices of dessert with extra ice cream a former Trump campaign manager Cory Lewandowsky by the way just came out with a book, he was on a campaign trail and he dine with the president, he said he dined on two big macs, two fillet o fish and a chocolate malted?

GUPTA: I don't think the chocolate malted is a soda?

LEMON: It's a shake, right?

GUPTA: Look, these are the ultra-processed foods in our diet, in a standard American diet, this is what we are talking about. We talk about real food, which are processed food, ultra-processed foods. Some of these sandwiches that McDonald's sell have 121 ingredients. They're all chemicals. So there's no question everyone knows these foods aren't necessarily good foods for you. They're high in process, high in saturated fats, high in sodium. He is getting all these bad things in a very concentrated form. Again, a lot of people eat like this as you know, Don, but that is a big concern.

LEMON: There's nothing wrong with having a big mac every once in a while. But you do it every day, though.

GUPTA: And he is someone who takes a stat for high cholesterol or some concern about heart disease. No doctor no matter who it is, is going to recommend this as diet. LEMON: I want to get this, I think this is probably one of most

important things and I think you'll agree, "The New York Times" also said he doesn't get by on much sleep. Maybe five or six hours of sleep. We need our sleep that impacts our lives, especially as President.

GUPTA: Every aspect of our lives. Talk about cardio-vascular disease, diabetes, increasing your risk for dementia. But also on a more acute basis, if you will, irritability. Obviously worsening insomnia, poor judgment. All these sorts of things are linked to poor sleep. And Presidents have bragged about how little sleep they get. President Clinton said I get by on four to five hours. Whether that is actually true or not, we don't know. Whether it's caffeine consumption, this sort of lack of sleep, we don't know. That is why they keep enforcing each other.

LEMON: To the healthiest president we had in recent history is President Obama and President Bush.

GUPTA: Exactly.

LEMON: Thank you. It's important to talk about the President's health. To discuss it. We wanted him to be healthy. Thank you, always a pleasure, and good to see you.

GUPTA: Thanks. Stay healthy.

LEMON: We will try. When we come back, my interview with Charles Barkley. He is talking to Roy Moore, Steve Bannon and why he thinks his home state of Alabama needs Doug Jones in the senate.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:37:28] LEMON: All eyes are on Alabama tonight with voters are set to go to the polls in a matter of hours in an election like none we have seen before. The Republican candidate Roy Moore an accused child molester. Earlier I had talked to the always outspoken Charles Barkley who is campaigning for Moore's opponent, Democrat Doug Jones.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: How you doing, Charles?

CHARLES BARKLEY, FORMER NBA PLAYER: Nervous. Nervous. I got to say I can't believe we're in this situation where the people of Alabama are going to turn a blind eye to all the accusations, all the rhetoric, all the racist BST. Steve Bannon's down here again today who's a white nationalist - who is a white separatist. He is campaigning for the third time for Roy Moore. And I can't believe the people of Alabama will let them get away with that, Don.

LEMON: I want our viewers to hear some of what you're saying because you have been campaigning there I know at least all weekend. You were on stage today. Let's listen to some of it and then we'll talk.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARKLEY: At some point we've got to stop look like idiots to the

nation.

(APPLAUSE)

(CHEERS)

At some point, I mean, listen, I love Alabama but at some point we've got to draw a line in the sand. We're not a bunch of damn idiots. And people are looking at us like they're actually thinking about voting for this guy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: It wasn't an easy decision, I would imagine for you or maybe it was to go down there and take away for from your personal life, your business, your family and start campaigning for Doug Jones.

BARKLEY: Well, I wanted to look my family and my friends in the eye and tell them they got to get out and vote. I think sometimes a lot of people are disillusioned with the American dream. They just become nonchalant. But this is about the big picture for Alabama. Listen, Alabama's a wonderful place. We've got some great people here. But these people have been held down for so long. They hide under the umbrella of religion. When I got here, I'm looking at Roy Moore ads. And they're the same ads that I saw 30 years ago against gay marriage, against abortion, against any form of illegal immigration. And talking about if you believe in God, the Washington insiders don't like you. It's the same religious facts that they've been using to win elections.

[23:40:02] And I wish sometimes people would look past quote-unquote their religious believes and just try to do the right thing. You can't just win elections talking about I'm against gay marriage, I'm against the abortion, I'm against illegal immigrants. That is not a way to win an election. This is 2017. We're already behind the times here in Alabama. And it's just sad more than anything. We need to get everybody out and vote for Doug Jones. It's a really big deal.

LEMON: Do you think people, though, the people who need to hear you, Charles. Do you think they're hearing you? Or do you think they're tuned 2into conservative radio or media that is going to say to them what they want to confirm or reconfirm their own believes about Roy Moore? As I listen to the sound bites, I'm a son of the south, I can't believe the way some people are twisting themselves into pretzels trying to figure out a way they can vote for Roy Moore. Why do you think people are so willing to dismiss credible allegations and crazy things that he has said on the record? BARKLEY: Well, because in the south -- one of the reason the south is

always behind the times they use -- like I say, I look at his commercials. All he talked about is I'm a Christian, and Washington they don't want my Christian values in Washington. He is against abortion. He is calling Mr. Jones because he is pro-choice, he is calling him a baby killer. And he just shows all these pictures talking about -- Trump says the same thing. Listen, I think these Hispanic people are amazing. I think they do work the whites and blacks don't want to do. And to act like illegal immigration is the biggest problem in our state is disingenuous. But there's a faction of people in the south who got all the money and all the control. They just want to keep us dumbed down and keep all the money and the power. That is always been the case in the south, and it's really unfortunate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Let's discuss all of this now CNN political commentator Bakari Sellers, Alice Stewart and Mike Shields. Tonight he is down there and he is stomping for Doug Jones. Roy Moore, both of them held their final rallies. Alice, I want to play some -- this is very powerful sound from a local peanut farmer. And he talks about losing his gay daughter to suicide at the age of 23. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was anti-gay myself. I said bad things to my daughter myself which I regret. But I can't take back what happened to my daughter. But stuff like saying my daughter's a pervert, I'm sure that bothered her. Judge Moore, he didn't call my daughter by name. He said all gay people are perverts, abominations. That is not true. We don't need a person like that representing us in Washington.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Brave man. He is out there for her daughter. What's your response?

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I lived in Dothan for a few years, I met a lot of peanut farmers just like him. I can feel his pain and I understand his frustration. The reality is a lot of people in Alabama their core issue that their making their decision on is the life issue. And Roy Moore supports life. And that is going to be a big factor in this race. But at the end of the day I think Charles Barkley was very compelling in his closing argument for Doug Jones. I think he should have been out there a long time ago. We also heard tonight from Steve Bannon once again out there campaigning for Roy Moore.

Basically counteracting what Ivanka Trump says. He says there's a special place in hell for people who prey on children. But tonight Steve Bannon says there's a special place in hell for Republicans who just don't get it with regard to Roy Moore. I think that is very troubling. I think in my view the accusations against Roy Moore is very troubling. I believe these women, I believe what they said. His denials do not stand up to their allegations. And I think in my view as a Republican, long-term for this Party, it would be much better off if we had a write in candidate. And I think it's better for us to look at the long-term gain than the short term issue.

LEMON: That is going to be the issue when come 2018 and 2020. Bakari, I don't know if you want to respond to Charles, but to Alice's point, Steve Bannon is out there, that sheriff with the cowboy hat joined him at a rally this evening.

[23:45:00] Is this what, the Republican Party, do they want the mainstream GOP, is that what they want?

BAKARI SELLERS, FORMER HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: I don't know. Sheriff Clark is my favorite white supremacists, but I digress. Listen, I like the fact that what Doug Jones had tonight with Charles Barkley and with the peanut farmer that we heard, it contrasted with Roy Moore had with Steve Bannon and Sherriff Clark. The reason being is because it was so genuine. You could hear Charles' voice, you could hear the pain in the peanut farmer's choice. They are Alabama. And they're not Cory Booker, not Steve Bannon, not anyone coming in from the outside to tell us how to vote. But what they are saying we're from Alabama and we need to reflect the values that we hold true.

I don't know if that is going to win the day, because there are issues that Alice pointed out, which I heard and I was there every single day with Doug Jones. And every time I was trying to talk to a voter whether they were going to come out to vote for Doug Jones or Roy Moore, there was always the issue for abortion. My response is the irony in this situation is that Roy Moore may care about a child in the womb, but then he preys on them when they become teenagers. What about that hypocrisy? When are people going to vote for just good people? My last point, the closing argument Doug Jones has been making for the past week that this peanut farmer echoed, that Charles Barkley has echoed, it's been about him. It hasn't necessarily been about Roy Moore but the good things and good virtues that Alabama represents.

LEMON: Michael I want to get you in. Moore supporters that Moore is receiving a hi-tech lynching, that was Clarence Thomas' phrase back in the day for those who might not remember. What do you think of him invoking the image of lynching and applying it to Roy Moore?

MIKE SHIELDS, FORMER RNC CHIEF OF STAFF: Look I mean, first of all, Charles Barkley, I love him as a basketball player. But Roy Moore would actually want to take your interview with Charles Barkley and send it out to the voters of Alabama. He doesn't want to talk about the allegations against him. He is going to win if he wins, because of the things Charles was talking about like the life issue. So what I look at when I see Alabama is the Democratic Party after losing the 2016 election said you know what, we've got to talk to those voters. We're not able to talk to working class voters across the country. And if they can't win in Alabama when allegations have been raised against Roy Moore, whatever project they have to reach voters is failing. What Charles Barkley said right back there is not the way the Democratic Party starts to make inroads with the voters that are causing him to lose elections across the country. They are still heading to a completely wrong direction. And what does it say about the Alabama party that the wrong issues on guns and abortion and parts of the country that had them keep losing. So that is what I see in Alabama.

LEMON: We're going to come back. We'll go to break. And I also want to ask the question, do all working class voters hold those extreme views? I don't think so. We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [23:52:40] LEMON: All right everyone. I'm back with everyone and

quick because I don't have much that time. But I will -- I want to say that people probably think when you say working class voters, right, that means working class white voters, like a white guy going to the mill or whatever. But there are working class black voters, working class women, working class gays, and working class whatever. So those people are being reached by Democrats. So do you mean working class white voters with extreme views?

SHIELDS: No. What I mean is that --

SELLERS: Can we back up one second?

SHIELDS: Democrats have admitted. Listen to what Tom Perez and Keith Ellison have been saying. We have to create a project to talk to voters -- it's why Joe Biden is talking about running for President.

LEMON: I don't think the voters in Alabama are representative of working class voters all over the country. I just think that that is sort of -- that is the Bible belt.

SELLERS: If Roy Moore wins --

LEMON: Go ahead, Bakari.

SELLERS: No, no, no, we're missing the entire boat here. Because we can talk about these issues of taxation, we can talk about these bread and butter issues and, yes, Democrats have to do a better job to make sure they're talking about these kitchen table issues, but we can have all of these indictments of the Democratic Party, but the fact of the matter is that Roy Moore has serious allegations of dating teenagers and preying on young women. Now mind you, if you take away those allegations, then Roy Moore still has hints of homophobia, anti- Semitism.

SHIELDS: Hints?

SELLERS: And racism.

SHIELDS: Hints?

SELLERS: If you can't beat him in Alabama --

SHIELDS: I'm being polite.

LEMON: Just say what it is, he is homophobic and racist.

SELLERS: This is my only point, if we can't beat him that is not the question. The question is, is he the new Republican Party? Ok, so what, we lose an election, we lose an election on our values. We still represent what the country should look like. You have Roy Moore. So clap if that is what you want. I don't want to win with Roy Moore ever.

LEMON: Alice? STEWART: I hope that is not the future of the Republican Party.

Alabama is the fifth most conservative state in the country so the demographics and the geography and the political persuasion is a lot different than the rest of the country. Look, the fact that the Democrats really failed to connect with the voters here on the economic message possibly is going to be one factor, but the Moore campaign managed to make this about anti-Washington, anti-fake news, anti-GOP establishment and not these allegations and that is what has helped him --

[23:55:10] LEMON: Can you do it in first seconds, Mike Shields?

SHIELDS: You know, I think it's an indictment of the Democratic Party that they can't put this away after this guy's been accused of these things. It speaks to a larger problem the whole Party has.

LEMON: Thank you all. See you next time. That is it for us tonight. Thanks for watching. I'll see you right back here tomorrow. Our special coverage of the results in the Alabama special senate election. I will be there, I will see you on Washington tomorrow night.

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