Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) on Tuesday predicted that there will be a domino effect of more Republicans finally publicly acknowledging President-elect Joe Biden’s victory after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) arrived on Planet Earth to congratulate Biden during a floor speech, a day after the Electoral College sealed Biden’s victory.
When asked whether Republicans will follow suit in recognizing Biden’s victory now that McConnell has done so — which follows the Senate majority leader’s monthlong stint of being a quiet foot soldier in President Trump’s delusional efforts to undermine democracy — Romney told CNN that he predicts “more and more people indicate” that Biden is the president-elect.
Romney argued that a “different” and “important question” is how many Republicans will call out Trump for his “simply wrong and dangerous” election fraud falsehoods.
“The continued attack on our elections system and the calls that suggest that it’s been fraudulent or stolen — that these things are not accurate, they’re not true, there’s been no evidence of substantial fraud of the nature that would be necessary to overturn an election,” Romney said, while describing the dangers of egging on Trump’s baseless fraud claims.
Romney added that even Attorney General Bill Barr — who Trump announced will resign next week — couldn’t find evidence supporting Trump’s unsubstantiated claims.
Romney implored “strong Trump supporters” to “come out” by standing up to the sitting president’s bogus claims.
“Or you’re going to continue to have this country divided, which is pretty dangerous,” Romney said.
The senator reiterated that the focus should turn to those who consider themselves “strong Trump supporters” to speak out against the sitting president’s refusal to concede and vows to continue waging long-shot legal battles to overturn election results.
“But some of those that are really identified as being strong Trump supporters, they’d make a real difference if they came out and spoke and said, ‘You know what, we got to get behind this new President-elect. He was legitimately elected. Let’s move on,’” Romney said.
Romney’s remarks came a day after some of Trump’s staunch allies, which include Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), could no longer deny the reality that Biden will return to the White House.
“Yeah,” Graham said when asked on Monday if the Electoral College votes meant that Biden is the President-elect.
Graham, who had vehemently egged on Trump’s fruitless legal battles, added that Trump now has a “very, very narrow path” for a second term.
Hours after McConnell outright acknowledged Biden as President-elect, the Senate majority leader and his leadership team reportedly urged fellow Republicans on a conference call against participating in any efforts to object to certifying Biden’s presidential victory in the Jan. 6 joint session, according to Politico and Axios.
But it could be less about accepting reality and more about saving their own reelection prospects.
Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and John Thune (R-SD) reportedly joined McConnell in issuing a stern warning that “there’s zero sentiment” for an objection because the GOP would have to vote it down — a move that could potentially damage incumbents who are up for re-election in 2022.
“It would be great if there were no members that took up that issue,” Thune said, according to Axios.
Watch Romney’s remarks below:
Sen. Mitt Romney: “Some of those that are really identified as being strong Trump supporters, they’d make a real difference if they came out and spoke and said, ‘You know what, we got to get behind this new President-elect. He was legitimately elected. Let's move on’” pic.twitter.com/Fa7WFgopL7
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) December 15, 2020