The president’s claims of a conspiracy to steal his second term has cracked the solid wall of his Republican base.
Trump’s litany of unproven accusations of widespread voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election has managed to shake up and divide the solid wall of his Republican base.
Granted, some Trump loyalists such as Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, and Kevin McCarthy have backed up the unsubstantiated claims of large-scale fraud that, according to Trump, robbed him of his second term in office. But after the president’s Nov. 6 declarations, many leading Republicans have come out to denounce Trump’s accusations.
Republicans Want Proof
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was among the first to lash out at the president’s conspiracy theory of voter fraud, publicly saying during an appearance on ABC News’ “This Week” that if the president’s basis for not conceding is that there was voter fraud “show us, because if you can’t show us, we can’t do this. We can’t back you… without evidence,” signaling that blind support for the president is waning.
Former Homeland Security Secretary to George W. Bush and ex-Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge had stronger words for Trump.
“With his remarks from the White House tonight, the President disrespected every single American who figured out a way to safely vote amid a pandemic that has taken 235,000 lives,” said Ridge, who went on to call the president’s behavior “absolutely shameful. Yet so predictable.”
For his part, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, tweeted an exasperated plea to the president, asking him to “stop spreading debunked misinformation… This is getting insane,” as he congratulated Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their win.
“A sitting president undermining our political process & questioning the legality of the voices of countless Americans without evidence is not only dangerous & wrong, it undermines the very foundation this nation was built upon,” tweeted Rep. Will Hurd, a Texas Republican who chose not to seek re-election this week.
GOP Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania told “CBS This Morning” that “the president’s speech last night was very disturbing to me because he made very, very serious allegations without any evidence to support it.”
Even Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a staunch Trump supporter who is considering a 2024 bid for his party’s presidential nomination, sent a carefully non-confrontational, but clear message where he didn’t call out Trump by name: “If a candidate believes a state is violating election laws they have a right to challenge it in court & produce evidence in support of their claims.”
Other Trump critics also took their disapproval to Twitter, where Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah wrote, in a strongly worded statement, that Trump’s claim “damages the cause of freedom here and around the world … and recklessly inflames destructive and dangerous passions.” Romney then went on to tweet his congratulations to the newly elected president and vice president.
No Evidence of Fraud
On Saturday, a Federal Election Commission (FEC) official told CNN that there is no credible evidence of foul play during the presidential election.
“There is no evidence of any kind of voter fraud. There is no evidence of illegal votes being cast,” said Ellen Weintraub, a Democrat and FEC commissioner.