GOP Senators Timidly Respond To Trump’s Refusal To Commit To Peaceful Transition Of Power
A handful of prominent Republican senators subtlely hit back at President Donald Trump‘s refusal to ensure the peaceful transition of power after the election.
“We’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump said Wednesday when asked by a reporter if he would commit to ensuring a peaceful transition regardless of the presidential outcome. “We want to get rid of the ballots, and we’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation.”
Although the answer was also in response to electoral outcomes in cities and states, the comments sparked immediate backlash and concern that Trump is preparing to refuse to concede, likely due to the unsupported claims of mail-in voting fraud he has pushed.
Besides Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), a vocal Trump critic, none of the other Republicans mentioned the president explicitly in tweets reassuring that ballots would be counted and the election would be calculated as usual.
“Fundamental to democracy is the peaceful transition of power; without that, there is Belarus,” Romney tweeted. “Any suggestion that a president might not respect this Constitutional guarantee is both unthinkable and unacceptable.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) wrote that “the winner of the November 3rd election will be inaugurated on January 20th.”
“There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792,” he added.
The winner of the November 3rd election will be inaugurated on January 20th. There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) September 24, 2020
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) noted the possibility of it taking “longer than usual to know the outcome,” but assured his Twitter followers that “it will be a valid one.”
“As we have done for over two centuries we will have a legitimate & fair election,” Rubio wrote. “It may take longer than usual to know the outcome, but it will be a valid one. And at noon on Jan 20, 2021 we will peacefully swear in the President.”
As we have done for over two centuries we will have a legitimate & fair election
It may take longer than usual to know the outcome,but it will be a valid one
And at noon on Jan 20,2021 we will peacefully swear in the President
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) September 24, 2020
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) echoed his Republican colleagues, telling Fox News: “People wonder about the peaceful transfer of power. I can assure you, it will be peaceful.”
“I promise you as a Republican, if the Supreme Court rules that Joe Biden wins I will accept that result,” he said, adding that he hopes Republicans win “so overwhelmingly” that the courts will not need to be involved.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said that “both candidates must commit to abiding by the results,” without condemning Trump’s remarks.
Throughout America’s history, the peaceful transition of power has been a hallmark of our democracy. This year, both candidates must commit to abiding by the results, no matter the outcome.
— Rob Portman (@senrobportman) September 24, 2020
Portman added: “Under our system, the American people decide through their votes and the political leaders follow the will of the people. The peaceful transfer of power is essential to this constitutional guarantee and must be protected.”
Others were more dismissive of Trump’s statement.
“The President says crazy stuff. We’ve always had a peaceful transition of power. It’s not going to change,” Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) told CNN.