The list is so short that these days it counts as news when a Republican lawmaker calls Joe Biden, the decisive winner of the 2020 election, President-elect.
So it was Friday night when Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) referred to President-elect Biden in an interview with ABC News.
But Blackburn campaign spokesperson, Abigail Sigler, told the Tennessean that the senator didn’t mean it.
“She simply misspoke — it’s nothing more,” Sigler told the paper.
A Republican senator walking back a statement of simple fact shows President Trump’s enduring dominance over the party as he wages an ineffectual but damaging effort to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
In an interview with ABC News Friday, Blackburn said she hadn’t spoken with Biden since his victory, referring to him as the President-elect.
“We did have the vice president come to the floor, the vice president-elect, come to the floor this week to cast a vote. I was presiding at the time. Didn’t get to speak with her,” Blackburn added, referring to Kamala Harris.
"I have not spoken with the president-elect. We did have… the vice president-elect come to the floor this week to cast a vote."
— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) November 21, 2020
Even as she acknowledged Biden and Harris as the rightful winners, Blackburn repeatedly suggested the results weren’t conclusive.
“We will work through this process. Now is the time for the Trump campaign, if they have their information that they need to present in court, now is the time they need to be taking that evidence to court.”
“Right now it is important that we settle this. I think if every legal vote is counted Donald Trump would get four more years,” Blackburn added, using a loaded term Republicans have latched onto in an attempt to delegitimize votes from predominantly minority communities.
Among Blackburn’s Republican colleagues, only Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Ben Sasse (R-NE) have explicitly called Biden president-elect.