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"Speakeasy with John Harwood " is now available as a podcast. Subscribe on iTunes and listen to Harwood's extended conversations with political decision-makers.
Sen. Lamar Alexander sat down with CNBC to discuss a range of topics, including what he sees as the GOP's biggest problem. What follows is an edited, condensed excerpt of the conversation.
CNBC's John Harwood: Roy Moore, the Republican nominee. You've doubtless seen that in conservative media, and some Republican politicians in Alabama, have said, "Well, it's he said/she said, not that big a deal, it was consensual." What does that tell you about the state of partisanship in the country that you have that kind of a reaction?
Alexander: It tells me we've got an internet democracy where anybody can say anything, and usually get heard today. So, my view on it is the charges, as detailed, seemed well-documented and serious.
Harwood: If he doesn't step aside, based on what you know, if this happened in your state, would you urge voters to vote for the Democratic candidate?
Alexander: That's much too hypothetical. I don't urge voters in Tennessee to vote for anybody. They didn't elect me to tell them how to vote.
Harwood: But you personally wouldn't rather have Doug Jones as your colleague in the Senate than Roy Moore?
Alexander: I'm not going to start getting in — the people of Alabama are going to elect their United States senator. Obviously, I like having a Republican majority, but in this case, you've got a problem that needs to be resolved.
Read more excerpts of Lamar Alexander's Speakeasy here.