MSNBC's Wallace Fears GOP 'Extinction' Over Roy Moore, 'Too Offensive' for TV

On Thursday's Deadline: White House, Republican-leaning MSNBC most Nicolle Wallace was still fretting over Roy Moore's GOP primary victory in Alabama as she repeated her claims from yesterday that some of his past comments are "too offensive" to be shown on television. She also worried that his candidacy for Senate signals that the Republican party is "on a path to extinction."

Frequent MSNBC guest Bill Kristol lamented that almost all Republican Senators will support Moore, and pined for the day when President George H.W. Bush supported Democrat Edwin Edwards over David Duke in 1991 for Louisiana governor, with Kristol adding, "I don't think Roy Moore is quite David Duke, to be fair."

After playing a clip of Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake criticizing some of Moore's views, Wallace repeated her claim of the GOP nominee's views being "too offensive" for television as she bemoaned:

That was Republican Senator Jeff Flake criticizing Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore over some of his most inflammatory positions, including his support for the conspiracy theory that former President Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States, among others too offensive to play for you on TV.

After recalling that many Republicans are not familiar with Justice Moore, she turned to guest Kristol and posed:

I want to read a tweet from you because -- well, I read all your tweets, and I retweet them all -- but you tweeted a few hours ago: "It's increasingly clear that Trump and rationalizing Trump corrupts. It's also clear conservatism was ready and willing to be corrupted." I think that describes the dynamic here and what's, I think, put our party on a path to extinction.

Kristol began by lamenting that most Republicans will support Moore's run for Senate instead of condemning him:

I mean, Jeff Flake said quite movingly I thought there -- what did he say? "That's not right -- that's not our party -- that's not us." But, the sad thing is, it is our party to a large degree, isn't it? I mean, 90 percent of those people -- the Senators are going to support Roy Moore. They're not going to draw a sharp line and say, "No, he's beyond the pale."

After predicting that there will be other Republicans similar to Moore who will win primaries against more establishment Republicans, he further worried:

So I think, I mean, it began with Trump, I mean, but I do think that Trump -- look, Trump ran -- Trump's doing what he wants to do. He wanted to change the Republican party. What's depressing -- what's depressing --

Wallace again repeated claims that some of Moore's views could not even be shown on television as she injected:

To turn it into racists and, I mean, the reason we can't run any -- Stuart Stevens, the reason we can't run any Roy Moore's comments is because when he talks about homosexuality, he uses words that are outside the bounds even in the time of Trump of civilized and acceptable public discourse even on cable news.

The MSNBC host then misleadingly claimed that Moore had promoted "conspiracy theories" regarding the 9/11 attacks and the Sandyhook school shootings:

When he talks about 9/11 and Newtown, he advances conspiracy theories. Do you really think that Republicans can't say, "I urge you to vote for the Democrat in this race"? I mean, have I watched too many Aaron Sorkin movies to hope that someone in our party can say, "People of Alabama, don't send this guy to the Senate"?

Her words make it sound like Moore has been some sort of 9/11 truther or Sandy Hook truther when what she seems to be referring to is that he has expressed religious views about these catastrophes rather than "conspiracy theories" about what actually happened.

Yesterday, Wallace's MSNBC colleague Chuck Todd was not afraid to run clips of Moore's political views on his MTP Daily show, and on CNN, Brooke Baldwin also showed relevant clips of Moore as she visibly seemed to fret over his religious views.

Returning to Thursday's show, Kristol made his David Duke reference as he concluded:

When I was in the first Bush White House, George H.W. Bush supported Edwin Edwards, a corrupt Democrat, for governor of Louisiana because the runoff was between him and David Duke. I don't think Roy Moore is quite David Duke, to be fair, but it's not out of the question for leaders of the party to say occasionally, "I'm sorry, that's a bridge too far."

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Thursday, September 28, Deadline: White House on MSNBC:

4:53 p.m. ET

NICOLLE WALLACE: That was Republican Senator Jeff Flake criticizing Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore over some of his most inflammatory positions, including his support for the conspiracy theory that former President Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States, among others too offensive to play for you on TV. 

Today, on Capitol Hill, some Republicans are claiming they've never heard of him or the controversy that's surrounded him for decades. But chances are Moore will win the Alabama general election in December and join the ranks as in the Senate. 

I want to read a tweet from you because -- well, I read all your tweets, and I retweet them all -- but you tweeted a few hours ago: "It's increasingly clear that Trump and rationalizing Trump corrupts. It's also clear conservatism was ready and willing to be corrupted."

I think that describes the dynamic here and what's, I think, put our party on a path to extinction.

BILL KRISTOL, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: I mean, Jeff Flake said quite movingly I thought there -- what did he say? "That's not right -- that's not our party -- that's not us." But, the sad thing is, it is our party to a large degree, isn't it? I mean, 90 percent of those people -- the Senators are going to support Roy Moore. They're not going to draw a sharp line and say, "No, he's beyond the pale." 

And when other people like Moore challenge other in primaries, and if they win those primaries, they're not going to try to do much to stop them, I'm afraid. So I think, I mean, it began with Trump, I mean, but I do think that Trump -- look, Trump ran -- Trump's doing what he wants to do. He wanted to change the Republican party. What's depressing -- what's depressing --

WALLACE: To turn it into racists and, I mean, the reason we can't run any -- Stuart Stevens, the reason we can't run any Roy Moore's comments is because when he talks about homosexuality, he uses words that are outside the bounds even in the time of Trump of civilized and acceptable public discourse even on cable news. 

When he talks about 9/11 and Newtown, he advances conspiracy theories. Do you really think that Republicans can't say, "I urge you to vote for the Democrat in this race"? I mean, have I watched too many Aaron Sorkin movies to hope that someone in our party can say, "People of Alabama, don't send this guy to the Senate"?

(...)

KRISTOL: If Moore wins, it's a different problem. I just think every Republican Senator and every challenger gets asked, "Well, are you comfortable with Roy Moore?" when I was in the first Bush White House, George H.W. Bush supported Edwin Edwards, a corrupt Democrat, for governor of Louisiana because the runoff was between him and David Duke. I don't think Roy Moore is quite David Duke, to be fair, but it's not out of the question for leaders of the party to say occasionally, "I'm sorry, that's a bridge too far."


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