- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 12, 2017

While Alabama native and basketball legend Charles Barkley was elated at Republican Roy Moore’s defeat in the state’s special election — calling it “a great night for Alabama” — he also warned Democrats.

When CNN host Jake Tapper asked him whether he had a message for President Trump, who backed Mr. Moore despite charges of child sex abuse, Mr. Barkley did not take the bait, even though he had called Mr. Moore “an embarrassment” earlier in the interview.

“This a wake-up call for Democrats,” he said, adding that the party “takes the black vote for granted and poor folk for granted.”

The Democrats need to “get off their asses” and “do better for black people and for poor white people.”

He noted that Mr. Moore’s ads were about abortion, God and gay marriage.

“Those are not three good enough reasons to be in the Senate,” Mr. Barkley said, rather than such matters as education and healthcare.

CNN’s panelists immediately agreed and noted that Mr. Barkley — known for his near-Trumpian bluntness and outspoken manner — actually ducked Mr. Tapper’s question as asked.

“He did not get caught up in the Trump trap,” said CNN commentator Amanda Carpenter, a former staffer for Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. That was “very smart” and “very effective,” she added.

Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, said her party “cannot just be anti-Trump” and noted that Mr. Barkley wasn’t alone in his refusal to attack the president Tuesday evening.

Democratic victor Doug Jones “did not mention Trump; he didn’t even mention Moore,” Ms. Granholm said, noting that Mr. Jones instead did call on Congress to promptly pass a child’s health-insurance bill.

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