Dear Commons Community,
Trump, who has complained for weeks about mail-in ballots, escalated his allegations last evening, saying at the White House that the ballot-counting process is unfair and corrupt. Trump did not back up his claims with any details or evidence, and state and federal officials have not reported any instances of widespread voter fraud. As reported by the Associated Press.
“Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois, tweeted that the president’s claims of fraud are “getting insane.” If Trump has “legit” concerns about fraud, they need to be based on evidence and taken to court, Kinzinger said, adding, “STOP Spreading debunked misinformation.”
Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan, a potential 2024 presidential hopeful who has often criticized Trump, said unequivocally: “There is no defense for the President’s comments tonight undermining our Democratic process. America is counting the votes, and we must respect the results as we always have before.”
“No election or person is more important than our Democracy,” Hogan said on Twitter.
Other criticism, though less direct, came from members of Congress. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican who spoke at a recent Trump campaign rally, said in a tweet that if any candidate believes “a state is violating election laws they have a right to challenge it in court & produce evidence in support of their claims.”
Rubio said earlier: “Taking days to count legally cast votes is NOT fraud. And court challenges to votes cast after the legal voting deadline is NOT suppression.”
Romney, in a statement posted to Twitter, said the president was “right” to “exhaust legal remedies,” including asking for recounts and that alleged voting irregularities be investigated, but “wrong to say that the election was rigged, corrupt and stolen.”
“Doing so damages the cause of freedom here and around the world, weakens the institutions that lie at the foundation of the Republic and recklessly inflames destructive and dangerous passions,” Romney added
The comments by the Republican lawmakers and other GOP leaders were rare, public rebukes of Trump, who has demanded — and generally received — loyalty from fellow Republicans throughout his four-year term. Most in the GOP take pains to avoid directly criticizing Trump, even when they find his conduct unhelpful or offensive to their values and goals.
Rep. Will Hurd, a Texas Republican who did not seek reelection, called Trump’s comments about corruption “dangerous” and “wrong.” Trump’s remarks undermine the U.S. political process and “the very foundation this nation was built upon,” Hurd said. “Every American should have his or her vote counted.”
Finally, we are beginning to see some cracks in the blind loyalty that elected Republican officials have shown Trump since he was elected president.
Better late than never!