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On Thursday, Roy Moore, the controversial Senate candidate accused of sexual misconduct with minors, challenged Jimmy Kimmel to go “man to man” on his home turf in Alabama. That same day, Kimmel accepted.
“What I’m gonna do is — and I think you’re actually gonna like this, Roy — I’m gonna come down to Gadsden, Alabama with a team of professional cheerleaders,” Kimmel said during an incendiary takedown on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
“We’ll meet you at the mall. Don’t worry, I can get you in,” he added in reference to rumors that Moore was banned from a shopping mall for bothering underage girls. “And if, when the girls and I show up, if you can control yourself and behave, if you can somehow manage to keep little Roy in your little cowboy pants when they those nubile cheerleaders come bounding in, you and I, we’ll sit down at the food court, we’ll have a little Panda Express, and we’ll talk about Christian values.”
Their public sparring stems from Tony Barbieri, a Jimmy Kimmel Live comedian who suited up as his comedic persona, Jake Byrd, to disrupt a church service where Moore was speaking. Barbieri shouted statements like, “Does that look like the face of someone who hits on teenage girls?” and, “Does that look like the face of a molester?”
Moore has been accused by multiple women of engaging in sexual misconduct with teenagers when he was in his 30s, while others claimed Moore sexually assaulted them. Calling these allegations “false and misleading,” Moore said he “dated a lot of young ladies” but doesn’t “remember ever dating any girl without the permission of her mother.”
“If you want to mock our Christian values, come down here to Alabama and do it man to man,” Moore tweeted at Kimmel, who responded, “Sounds great Roy – let me know when you get some Christian values and I’ll be there!”
Moore continued his social media jabs by writing, “Despite D.C. and Hollywood Elites’ bigotry towards southerners, Jimmy, we’ll save you a seat on the front pew.”
“OK Roy,” Kimmel tweeted, “but I’m leaving my daughters at home! P.S. – wear that cute little leather vest.”
On his show Thursday, Kimmel explained that, despite what Moore might think of him, he is a Christian. “I made my first Holy Communion, I was confirmed, I pray, I support my church, one of my closest friends is a priest, I baptized my children,” he said. “Christian is actually my middle name. I know that’s shocking, but it’s true.”
Kimmel hopes to sit down with Moore and share what he learned from church, specifically that “forcing yourself on underaged girls is a no-no.”
“Some even consider it to be a sin,” Kimmel added. “Not that you did that, of course — allegedly. But when you commit a sin at our church, at our church we’re encouraged to confess and ask for forgiveness for the sin. Not to call the women you allegedly victimized liars and damage them even more. To confess.
“But maybe your church is different,” he continued. “I don’t know. Let’s figure it out together. I’ll be happy to talk it through. I would gladly sit down to interview you about it. Or maybe when you say, ‘Come down to Alabama and we’ll do it man to man,’ maybe that means you’re challenging me to a fight, which is kind of what it sounds like. And if you are, I accept, by the way. I accept that invitation. There is no one I would love to fight more than you. I will put my Christian values aside just for you and for that fight.”
Kimmel offered to “wear a Girl Scout uniform” so Moore has “something to get excited about.”
“The winner, whoever wins the fight, will give all the money we charge for the tickets to charity,” he said. “My charity will be the women who came forward to say you molested them, okay? All right, tough guy, with your little pistol? Roy Moore is never — he’s too scared to even debate the guy he’s running against, Doug Jones. With me he wants to go man to man. Maybe if he went man to man instead of man to little girl, you wouldn’t be in this situation — allegedly, allegedly!”
Watch Kimmel in the clip above.