Note to embattled politicians: Watch out if you throw down on social media with a guy who has 10.5 million followers, a national TV show and a sense of humor. Like, say, Jimmy Kimmel.
Because someone like Kimmel can say things like, "Maybe if you went man to man instead of man to little girl, you wouldn't be in this situation. Allegedly."
Kimmel went off Thursday night on former Alabama state judge Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate who has a decent chance of winning an election Dec. 12 despite allegations of multiple incidents of sexual misconduct, including molestation of a 14-year-old girl and assault of a 16-year-old when he was an assistant district attorney in his 30s.
It all started when comedian Tony Barbieri, in character as Jake Byrd, got kicked out of an Alabama church where Moore was holding a campaign rally Wednesday night. In a segment for Kimmel's show, Barbieri was posing as a Moore supporter but was subsequently booted.
On Thursday, Moore threw down the gauntlet, tweeting at the "Jimmy Kimmel Live" host, "If you want to mock our Christian values, come down here to Alabama and do it man to man."
Kimmel responded, "Sounds great, Roy -- let me know when you get some Christian values and I'll be there!"
After calling D.C. and Hollywood elites "bigots," Moore said he'd save Kimmel a seat in the front pew.
"OK, Roy," Kimmel replied, "but I'm leaving my daughters at home! P.S. -- wear that cute little leather vest."
Talk about monologue fodder. So Thursday night, Kimmel made the first seven minutes of his show a scathing address to the candidate in which he talked about being Christian himself -- a practicing Catholic, he noted. "Christian is actually my middle name. I know that's shocking, but it's true."
Kimmel accepted Moore's invitation and said he'd come down to Alabama with a team of high school cheerleaders to meet at the Gadsden Mall. If the candidate could control himself in that situation, Kimmel said, they could discuss Christian values. But, he noted, it sounded like Moore was actually challenging him to a fight, not a chat.
"There is no one I would love to fight more than you. I would put my Christian values aside just for you and for that fight," Kimmel said.
"Maybe if you went man to man instead of man to little girl," he added, "you wouldn't be in this situation. Allegedly."
As of Friday morning, Moore had nothing new to say to Kimmel.
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