July 12, 2024

State Republicans continue to split from Trump, while lawmakers remain mum

State Republicans continue to split from Trump, while lawmakers remain mum

Said Lieutenant Geoff Duncan, the young ambitious Republican CNN Jake Taber Sunday The “mountains of disinformation” from allies of President Donald Trump who allege widespread fraud in the presidential election were hurting the Republican Party’s efforts in the US Senate run-off. Hours later, one of the Republican senators, Kelly Loeffler, continued to rant about Trump’s baseless claims.

The contrast illustrates the growing rift within the Republican Party, between those who are willing to plead with Trump about his unfounded attempts to overturn the election results, and those who are not. State officials – governors, their deputies, and foreign ministers – have been the most vocal, not only in acknowledging Biden’s victory, but also in pointing out the damage caused by Trump’s bogus narrative.

Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress, usually campaigners of the party banner, have been largely silent, with a few exceptions. It is unclear whether those on Capitol Hill are marching with Trump for short-term political reasons or because they actually agree with him.

Regardless, Republicans in Congress had the luxury of ignoring many facts on the ground, while their state party mates had no choice but to join the rules and laws governing elections in their states.

“It’s different if you’re doing sideline maths versus having actual power to determine or at least confirm the outcome,” said Liam Donovan, the Republican strategist.

The rift provides a window into the cracks and rifts that could occur within the Republican Party after Trump. Nationwide leaders are increasingly voicing their voice in defense of results – in part because the responsibility for conducting the elections rests with them. For conservatives and their fellow state officials, reasserting election integrity is a matter of maintaining law and order but also of their long-term political legitimacy.

But Republicans ’political considerations in Congress differ differently, given that the most urgent goal is to defend the party’s majority in the Senate. Holding two seats in Georgia’s Senate means increasing Republican turnout to the maximum on January 5, which requires keeping the party’s most reliable proponent, Trump, happy. And right now, there are very few members of Congress who can actually influence the outcome of the race – save for a long-running, successful attempt in the House to cancel the presidential election – except for agitation.

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All legal votes counted

The majority of Hill’s Republicans have maintained a vague openness to Trump’s legal strategy by adopting the message to “count all legal votes.” The phrase is open to interpretation: it cannot be contested by any citizen on the face of it, but it is a sign of confirmation for Trump and his supporters.

Rick Scott, a Florida senator and the incoming chair of the Republican Senate Campaign Committee, gave a voice to this in an interview with CNN last month.

“My goal is: to count all legal votes [and] “Get through the legal process as quickly as possible,” Scott said. Let’s get a result. Then we have to accept the results. “

Scott was among the Republican senators who proposed December 14 as an endpoint to their tolerance of Trump’s hoaxes. In his Sunday appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Senator Mike Brown of Indiana refused to acknowledge Biden’s victory but indicated the end could be near.

“I think we have a threshold coming on December 14th when the Electoral College meets,” Brown said while warning against rejecting allegations of fraud, despite the lack of evidence of widespread fraud in this election.

“As long as they’re onlookers, they keep their heads down,” said Donovan. “It is probably the best political move.”

But l The most extreme wing Asked whether Trump should compromise after the Electoral College vote, Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio said bluntly: “No, impossible, impossible, impossible.”

“We’re still trying to figure out exactly what happened here. And as I said, that includes discussions in the House of Representatives – maybe January 6,” Jordan, a confidant of Trump, told CNN.

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“This is far fetched,” said Republican Representative Matt Getz, a Florida Republican and another close ally of Trump, when asked whether Trump should concede after next week. “There are members who believe there can be value in having a substantive debate about what happened in states with major violations. I don’t think 10 hours of discussion on this topic will weaken the union.”

Reality recognition

The accent in Republican state capitals was markedly different. As recounts and legal wrangling confirmed Biden’s victory in the major swing states, governors and other state officials stepped up defense of the election. This, despite the fact that Trump trained his rhetorical fires on them rather than Republicans in Washington

While some of these Republican politicians, such as Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, were already opposed to Trump, many of the other Republicans opposed to Trump are vocal supporters of the president.

For example, Jeff Duncan told Jake Tapper on Sunday that he supported Trump and campaigned. So did Brad Ravensberger, Georgia’s Republican foreign minister I faced the brunt From the president’s anger on Twitter. In an editorial For the Wall Street Journal on Monday, which had largely accused the media of encouraging distrust in the upcoming elections, Ravensburger reiterated his defense of the Georgia election as the “safest” and “there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud and no significant vote problems.” Absentees. “

“Confidence has been undermined by politicians and analysts who refuse, implicitly or explicitly, to acknowledge their losses and to receive a megaphone from the sympathetic media,” wrote Ravensburger.

The Republican governors of Biden also hold fast to the official results of their election. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey responded to Trump’s attacks last week with Thread On his own to defend the state election certification process.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who owes much of his political success to aligning with Trump, has resisted direct pressure from the president. As recently as this weekend To review the results there.

Even the state’s Republican lawmakers have stood up to pressure from the president’s allies to intervene. A group of Republican lawmakers from Michigan were brought to the White House to meet with Trump last month, amid calls that the state’s Republican-controlled legislature overturns the popular vote and instead presents a pro-Trump list. These lawmakers did not express any interest in the dangerous scheme after their conversation with the president.

“We have yet to be informed of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan and as legislative leaders, we will follow the law and follow the normal process regarding voters in Michigan, just as we have said throughout this election,” said Senate Majority Leader Mike Sherky and House Speaker at Michigan Lee Chatfield in a joint statement After their meeting on November 20 With the president.
To be sure, some Republican officials in the states he won have remained loyal to the president in his “election fraud.” I mentioned Politico Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis continued to encourage Trump to “fight” even as he acknowledged that the legal campaign effort was unlikely to succeed.

But on the other hand, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a state that Trump won easily and where he is still a celebrity with Republicans there, insisted early on that the president needed to accept defeat.

“I think we need to consider the former vice president the president-elect. Joe Biden is the president-elect,” Dwayne told CNN’s John Berman On November 12th.

CNN’s Alex Rogers, Manu Raju, and Jeremy Herb contributed to writing this article.