Want a look at the campaign that the RNC will once again fund? Roy Moore’s Senate campaign sent Janet Porter to speak with CNN’s Poppy Harlow this morning about the campaign on New Day, and started off the interview with a heartfelt congratulation on Harlow’s pregnancy. Roy Moore stands for unborn children, Porter noted, while she warned Harlow to steer well clear of his opponent Doug Jones, who “will support killing them up to the moment of birth.”
And a fine hello to you too! It didn’t get much better from there, although it certainly lasted a lot longer than you’d imagine:
Porter returns to Harlow’s unborn son at the 12-minute mark, when Harlow tries to pin down whether Moore will agree to testify under oath that he never molested 14-year-old Leigh Corfman or any other teenagers. Harlow looked like she’d had enough of Porter’s ‘congratulations’ by this point in the conversation:
PORTER: Here’s the question that should be asked. If you care about child abuse, you should be talking about that Judge Roy Moore stands for protection, not only for our Second Amendment rights to protect ourselves against predators, for the rights of babies like your eight-month baby that you’re carrying now. Doug Jones says you can take the life of that baby, and we should pay for it — [crosstalk]
HARLOW: Keep my baby out of it. Let’s leave my child out of this.
Porter takes a page out of the Arnold Reed playbook and goes full-tilt on the attack against Moore’s accusers, using the rather questionable rebuttals that have emerged over the last couple of weeks. Porter tells Harlow that Corfman’s mother doesn’t believe her story, which isn’t true; Corfman’s mother did say that Leigh didn’t have a phone in her bedroom, but that another phone could reach into it. Porter claims that “everyone knows” that another accuser’s yearbook with Moore’s signature is a forgery, then backtracks to a claim that it’s questionable because Corfman attorney Gloria Allred won’t allow it to be examined outside of a Senate investigation.
And you know who’s on the Senate panel that would probe it, right?
PORTER: She says when he goes forward in front of a Judiciary Committee in the Senate, and guess who sits on that committee? Al Franken, a guy by the name of Al Franken. A guy who’s guilty of sexual assault is supposed to oversee, according to abortion activist Gloria Allred, whether or not this innocent man should serve in the Senate. It’s ridiculous. By the way, let’s look at Beverly Nelson for a moment —
HARLOW: Just to be clear, just to be clear, you believe the women who are accusing — you believe the women who have accused Al Franken of these actions, correct?
PORTER: No, I believe Al Franken. He admitted guilt himself.
Actually, no, Franken hasn’t admitted to anything outside of the photograph published by Leann Tweeden. He has been very careful to offer passive denials to avoid what Porter is doing here — flat-out attacking the accusers as liars and political operatives. Franken has blazed a path for accused sexual harassers of manipulating the media through sorrowful-sounding platitudes that still do not acknowledge any actual guilt, and push back against the accusations by claiming that “my memory of [that event] is different from hers.”
Porter instead goes for the all-out attack and manages to look pretty creepy while conducting it, with her seeming obsession over Harlow’s pregnancy. A more adept public relations expert could probably have pulled off the overall argument, but Porter’s pop-eyed and eye-popping fury isn’t likely to help make Moore’s case among the undecided.
But fear not! The RNC has returned to officially hitch the GOP to Moore’s wagon:
President Trump led an aggressive charge Monday on behalf of embattled Senate nominee Roy Moore, with the Republican National Committee rejoining Moore’s side in Alabama weeks after cutting ties with him following allegations of sexual misconduct.
Before dawn, Trump took to Twitter to declare his strongest support yet for Moore. By day’s end, the RNC was back in his corner and America First Action, a pro-Trump group, said it would spend $1.1 million to try to push Moore across the finish line. …
Trump’s message came on the same day that the RNC reversed itself and returned to Alabama to support Moore, less than three weeks after pulling out of a joint fundraising agreement with his campaign. An RNC official with knowledge of the plans, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed the re-engagement. The committee did not immediately issue any public statements announcing the move.
Why bother to do this now? Whether Moore wins or not really rests on his credibility in ever-changing denials over these charges. He’s been going back and forth between acknowledging acquaintance with some of his accusers and denying all knowledge of them, while some keep coming up with evidence to the contrary. The RNC could have steered well clear of this and given the national party and all its state constituencies distance from this debacle, but now have put an end to that argument with a re-embrace that will likely have very little impact on the outcome anyway. Republicans will end up paying for this in 2018 no matter who wins this seat next week.
Addendum: The NRSC has more wisdom, choosing instead to keep out of the fight:
— Ali Rogin (@AliRogin) December 5, 2017