Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) on Sunday jabbed former President Trump for continuing to push the big lie of a stolen election rather than focus on helping Republicans win more elections in the midterms, a day after Trump espoused more election fraud falsehoods during a North Carolina GOP convention.
Appearing on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press,” Blunt was pressed on whether he and other Republicans who have decried Trump’s false claims of widespread election fraud, but have not pushed back at the former president, believe that they are doing enough to combat baseless conspiracies that Republicans are embracing.
Blunt replied that he is “concerned” about efforts to delegitimize the election process, before praising Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) opposition to the For the People Act, which jeopardizes the bill’s survival in the 50-50 Senate.
Asked whether Trump believes that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” or if the former president is exploiting Republicans into convincing them to believe it, Blunt deflected.
“You know, I really can’t analyze whether he believes it or not. I’m sure he believes that in a fair election he couldn’t have possibly lost,” Blunt said. “And of course, he had the ability to go to court and prove whether that election was fair or not.”
After Blunt acknowledged that Trump is “an incredibly popular figure” in the GOP and that he would like to see the former president turn his focus to the midterm elections, “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd asked whether he is “surrendering” to Trump’s peddling of bogus claims of election fraud.
Blunt insisted that’s not the case, before pointing out that he will not run for re-election next year.
Blunt argued that it would be “incredibly helpful” if Trump focused on helping Republicans going into the midterm elections instead of remaining hung up on losing 2020 presidential election.
“My point is he’s popular and could be incredibly helpful in 2022 if he gets focused on 2022 and the differences in the two political parties,” Blunt said. “The Biden agenda is an agenda that Republicans are going to be talking about, defining themselves based on our differences on things like what is infrastructure. There are a lot of things to talk about.”
Blunt’s remarks were issued a day after Trump espoused more election fraud falsehoods during a 90-minute speech at the North Carolina GOP convention aimed at helping Republicans gain more seats in next year’s midterm elections.
Instead of adhering to suggestions from fellow Republicans to focus on policy in the weeks leading up to his first public appearance in months, Trump falsely claimed that his loss against President Biden was “the crime of the century,” according to CNN.
Blunt was among the Senate Republicans who tanked the House-passed Jan. 6 commission bill that would have formed a bipartisan panel to investigate the Capitol insurrection that Trump helped incite. Prior to the bill’s failure to pass through the Senate due to the filibuster, Blunt quipped that it’s “too early” to create an independent commission investigating the Capitol attack, after GOP leadership expressed their opposition to the bill.
Watch Blunt’s remarks below:
EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said Trump should be less focused on relitigating 2020 and should instead look ahead to 2022. #MTP@RoyBlunt: "He could be incredibly helpful in 2022 if he gets focused on 2022 and the differences in the two political parties." pic.twitter.com/5P05njnSBp
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) June 6, 2021