Stretch, grab a late afternoon cup of caffeine and get caught up on the most important news of the day with our Coffee Break newsletter. These are the stories that will fill you in on the world that's spinning outside of your office window - at the moment that you get a chance to take a breath.
Sign up now to save time and stay informed!

Moore Fumbles Defense on Appearance with Hannity

Sean Hannity was the friendliest possible interviewer that Roy Moore could have chosen to defend himself from accusations that he fondled a 14-year-old girl. Despite the host teeing up softballs for him, Moore flubbed his chance to put the controversy to rest, failing to completely deny dating teenage girls when in his 30s and claiming forgetfulness when trying to deny specific allegations.

The money quote:

"Let me ask you this, you do remember these girls? Would it be unusual for you as a 32-year-old guy to have dated a woman as young as 17? That would be a 15-year difference... or a girl 18. Do you remember dating girls that young at that time?" Hannity asked.

"Not generally, no," Moore answered. "If did, you know, I'm not going to dispute anything but I don't remember anything like that."

Moore claimed to remember one of his accusers, but couldn't make up his mind whether he had dated her or not:

I dated a lot of young ladies. I do recognize, however, the names of two of these young ladies, Debbie Wesson and Gloria Thacker, which they have a maiden...that's their maiden name. And they...

HANNITY: Well, let me give the details. Debbie Wesson Gibson says she was 17 when you spoke to her high school civics class and asked her out on several dates and it did not progress, her words, beyond kissing according to the Washington Post. Let's stay on her. Did that happen?

MOORE: I do not remember speaking to a civics class. I don't remember that. I do not remember when we... I seem to know or remember knowing her parents... that they were friends. I can't recall the specific dates because that's been 40 years, but I remember her as a good girl. But neither of them have ever stated any inappropriate behavior. She didn't say anything.

HANNITY: But do you remember ever going on a date with her? She said that you asked her out on the first of several dates but nothing progressed beyond kissing.

MOORE: I don't remember specific dates. I do not. And I do not remember if it was that time or later. But I do not remember that.

HANNITY: But you know her but you never dated her ever? Is that what you're saying?

MOORE: No, but I don't remember going out on dates. I knew her as a friend. If we did go on dates, then we did. But I do not remember that.

It has been reported in local Alabama media that Gibson started a sign language interpreting company used by many Democratic politicians, including Hillary Clinton. Does this automatically make her story less believable or part of a conspiracy to destroy Moore? To many Moore defenders, of course it does.

Some Moore defenders aren't bothered much by the prospect of a 32-year-old man taking a high school girl out on dates. Perhaps we should ask the girls' fathers what they might have thought if they had been aware their daughter went out with a guy in his 30s.

What really has the GOP spooked is the question of whether Moore had any other liaisons with young girls -- legal or illegal. The ground has been well prepared for a campaign-killing allegation of sex with a minor or a barely legal teen. Rather than wait for the other shoe to drop, the national party is running for the hills, as far away from Moore as they can get.

I hearken back to Nicolle Wallace's question on "Morning Joe" yesterday: "Is electing a Democrat worse than electing a deviant?"

For Moore partisans and many so-called conservatives, the answer is self-evident.

Watch the video below: