Charles Barkley took aim at Roy Moore on Monday night, urging Alabama residents to “at some point, stop looking like idiots to the nation” and “draw a line in the sand” by refusing to send him to the Senate in Tuesday’s special election.
The Hall of Fame basketball player, who grew up outside Birmingham and attended Auburn, spoke at a final campaign rally for Moore’s Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, in Birmingham. It’s about for the next few years, not just Tuesday, Barkley said.
“At some point, we’ve got to stop looking like idiots to the nation,” Barkley said. “I love Alabama, but we’ve got to draw a line in the sand. We’re not a bunch of damn idiots.”
Moore, who has drawn support from President Trump, Steve Bannon and the Republican party, should not be a candidate, Barkley told the crowd.
“There’s no way possible this guy should, No. 1, be in an election — there’s no way,” Barkley, now a TNT analyst who is not registered to vote in Alabama, said. “I mean, it’s unbelievable that this guy is still in the race when people in your own party say they won’t vote for you or support you. That’s a dead giveaway. It’s amazing.”
Barkley, who has not shied away from social and political commentary, ripped Bannon, calling him a “white separatist nationalist” who wants voters to hold Alabama back. At a rally for Moore on Monday night, Bannon, a former White House adviser, said the special election to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions is “an up-or-down vote between the Trump miracle and the nullification project.” He added that “this is greater than Judge Moore and even greater than the people of Alabama.”
Barkley also reacted to a comment by Moore’s wife, Kayla. Responding to accusations of anti-Semitism, she said, “Fake news would tell you that we don’t care for Jews. I tell you all this because I’ve seen it all so I just want to set the record straight while they’re [reporters] here,” she said at Moore’s rally. “One of our attorneys is a Jew. We have very close friends that are Jewish and rabbis and we also fellowship with them.”
Barkley fired back on CNN, “I’ve got plenty of white friends, but racism still exists. Just because I’ve got white friends, Hispanic friends, Jewish friends, that does not mean I’m stupid enough to think racism doesn’t exist. This guy talks about slavery was a good time . . . I just feel bad for the people of Alabama because they’ve got some amazing people. We’ve got all these news organizations down here [covering the election] laughing at us like we’re a bunch of backwoods idiots and I just feel sad because you’ve got a few people who muddy the water for the people of Alabama.”
Moore has come under criticism after The Washington Post reported that he had pursued several high-school-age women while he was in his 30s and serving in the county district attorney’s office in the late 1970s. One told of being approached by Moore when she was only 14 and described him sexually touching her. After that report, several other women came forward with stories about Moore approaching them as teenagers or, in one case, attempting a sexual assault. Moore has said the women are lying and has repeatedly denied the allegations.
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