Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered a speech publicly rebuking efforts by Republican senators to object to the certification of electoral votes.
Fox News reported that a source has revealed McConnell “plans to be one of the first speakers to object to initial challenges by colleagues in his own party,” in a speech designed to “driv(e) home the importance of certifying the votes.”
He has done so:
I will vote to respect the American people’s decision and defend our system of government. My full remarks: pic.twitter.com/RSTjyjZmJq
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) January 6, 2021
McConnell has said his vote certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory would be “the most consequential I have ever cast.”
The Kentucky Republican “fears the vote will put Republicans up for re-election in 2022 in a horrible position,” according to Axios.
It would force them “to choose between defying the most popular politician in the party, Donald Trump, and fueling Democratic charges they are undermining democracy.”
President Trump tweeted Tuesday night that McConnell is part of “the weak and ineffective RINO section of the Republican Party.”
I hope the Democrats, and even more importantly, the weak and ineffective RINO section of the Republican Party, are looking at the thousands of people pouring into D.C. They won’t stand for a landslide election victory to be stolen. @senatemajldr @JohnCornyn @SenJohnThune
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2021
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Mitch McConnell Against Objections
Mitch McConnell had been warning Republicans not to engage in objections to the certification of the Electoral College votes for some time.
McConnell argued in December that the result of a vote count challenge would be “terrible” for Republicans, as they would “have to vote it down” which would make them appear to oppose the President.
MCCONNEL: it’s a “terrible vote” for the GOP. They’d have to vote it down, which makes it seem like they are anti Trump, he said
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) December 15, 2020
“There was encouragement on the phone for us to accept the result — as much as it’s not what we … would have envisioned for the next four years,” Senator Shelley Moore Capito told reporters, “and to try to do what’s best for American people, which is to look forward.”
President Trump at the time blasted McConnell for declaring that “the Electoral College has spoken.”
“Too soon to give up. Republican Party must finally learn to fight,” Trump tweeted. “People are angry!”
Trump’s allies slam Mitch McConnell for congratulating Biden https://t.co/ak9nu6420L via @MailOnline. Mitch, 75,000,000 VOTES, a record for a sitting President (by a lot). Too soon to give up. Republican Party must finally learn to fight. People are angry!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2020
Some Republicans Still Fighting
Over the weekend, a dozen senators led by Ted Cruz (R-TX) issued a joint statement saying they would join the objection.
An additional 100-plus Republican members of the House are also expected to object to the certification of the electoral votes during Wednesday’s joint session.
Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) got the ball rolling in a statement saying, “At the very least, Congress should investigate allegations of voter fraud and adopt measures to secure the integrity of our elections.”
Millions of voters concerned about election integrity deserve to be heard. I will object on January 6 on their behalf pic.twitter.com/kTaaPPJGHE
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) December 30, 2020
Senator Ted Cruz recently explained, “We have an obligation to the voters and we have an obligation to the Constitution to ensure that this election was lawful.”
Mitch McConnell clearly has no desire to ensure the integrity of the election.