Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who publicly backed Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) pressure campaign to delegitimize President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory, somehow couldn’t get behind President Trump’s attempt at bullying Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger into overturning election results, during an appearance on “Fox and Friends” Monday morning.
Trump’s hourlong phone call with Raffensperger, which was first reported by the Washington Post on Sunday, featured the President berating the battleground state’s top elections officials just days before the Georgia runoff elections that will determine the balance of the Senate. Trump demanded that Raffensperger “find” enough votes to overturn Biden’s legitimate victory in Georgia.
Overturning the results of Georgia, of course, would have no impact on Biden’s Electoral College victory.
When asked about what she gleaned from Trump’s unhinged phone call on “Fox and Friends” on Monday morning, Blackburn admitted that Trump’s attempt to strongarm Raffensperger into overturning the results was “not a helpful call.”
Blackburn, however, went on to defend the GOP effort led by Cruz to reject electoral votes from so-called “disputed states.” Cruz also demanded the appointment of a commission to conduct a 10-day emergency audit, and to give individual states the chance to hold a special legislative session to certify or change its electoral votes.
“Now, one of the things you have seen us talk about with our coalition that is looking at election integrity is sending this issue back to the states. The states are the ones that are going to resolve this issue,” Blackburn said. “We do not have federalized elections in this country. We do not want federalized elections in this country.”
Blackburn insisted that putting the onus on state legislatures and elected officials, as opposed to “non-elected or appointed officials,” is the rationale behind the Cruz-led GOP effort to challenge Biden’s electoral votes.
Blackburn’s remarks came hours after Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) sternly spoke out against GOP efforts to delegitimize the election results on Sunday night. In a statement, Cotton argued that objecting to certified electoral votes would be an unsuccessful effort for Trump to win a second term.
“Under the Constitution and federal law, Congress’s power is limited to counting electoral votes submitted by the states,” Cotton said. “If Congress purported to overturn the results of the Electoral College, it would not only exceed that power, but also establish unwise precedents.”
The Republican senator warned that his colleagues’ scheme would “essentially end presidential elections,” “imperil” the Electoral College, and “take another big step toward federalizing election law.”
Watch Blackburn’s remarks:
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) says Trump pressuring GA secretary of state "was not a helpful call" pic.twitter.com/jDee9ShHc5
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) January 4, 2021