Republican senate candidate Joe Miller’s campaign has released the audio of a voicemail left on campaign spokesman Randy DeSoto’s phone that reveals local reporters were discussing how they hoped to find a child molester at the rally or the kind of violence that had occurred before Kentucky senate candidate Rand Paul’s debate last week.
Here’s the transcript provided by the Miller campaign:
FEMALE REPORTER: That’s up to you because you’re the expert, but that’s what I would do…I’d wait until you see who showed up because that indicates we already know something…
FEMALE REPORTER: Child molesters…
MALE REPORTER: Oh yeah… can you repeat Joe Miller’s…uh… list of people, campaign workers, which one’s the molester?
FEMALE VOICE: We know that out of all the people that will show up tonight, at least one of them will be a registered sex offender.
MALE REPORTER: You have to find that one person…
FEMALE REPORTER: And the one thing we can do is ….we won’t know….we won’t know but if there is any sort of chaos whatsoever we can put out a twitter/facebook alert: saying what the… ‘Hey Joe Miller punched at rally.’
FEMALE REPORTER: Kinda like Rand Paul…I like that.
FEMALE REPORTER: That’s a good one.
The reporters are with the CBS Anchorage-based TV station KTVA. The Miller campaign believes the male reporter is Nick McDermott, an assignment editor at the station. The call was placed from McDermott’s phone, and later in the day, DeSoto received a text from McDermott’s phone saying, “Damn iPhone . . . I left you a long message. I thought I hung up. Sorry.”
“Frankly, when I first heard this I was shocked,” said DeSoto in a statement. “Though a bit garbled at times, there are disturbing comments in this conservation that never should have occurred.”
KTVA did not immediately return a request for comment.
UPDATE: The National Republican Senatorial Committee has spoken out on the incident. “If this voicemail is authentic, which i[t] appears to be, it is deeply disturbing,” said NRSC communications director Brian Walsh in a statement. “It should trouble all Americans that any member of the media would attempt to purposefully smear a nominee for the U.S. Senate. CBS owes an immediate explanation to Joe Miller and his campaign.”