Twelve conservative voters gathered inside a Birmingham coffee house Thursday for a candid discussion about the Alabama senate race.
During the frank discussion, some said they were voting for him primarily because he is not Doug Jones. But other participants dismissed the allegations against Moore and excusing others by reasoning that behavior now seen as unacceptable wasn’t a problem in Alabama decades ago.
The panel was compiled and moderated by Frank Luntz, a Republican pollster well known for arranging focus groups with GOP voters.
“Forty years ago in Alabama, there’s a lotta mamas and daddies that would be thrilled that their 14-year-old was getting hit on by a district attorney,” one voter said. “The women’s reputations were questionable at the time,” another voter said.
“There was still clothes on,” she added, dismissing allegations made by a woman who said Moore molested her when she was 14 years old. “As soon as the girl said she wasn’t comfortable, he took her home.”
This segment originally aired Dec. 8, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.
UPDATE, June 1, 2021: VICE News produced a series of seven panels moderated by Frank Luntz from December 2017 to January 2019. Recently, it was reported that Luntz was on Ted Cruz’s reelection campaign payroll in 2018. VICE News was unaware of this affiliation, and Luntz did not disclose this information at the time of these productions.