By Tom Perkins
While some GOP figures parrot the president’s cries of foul, several current and former elected officials are speaking out
In his Wednesday evening address, an increasingly desperate Donald Trump continued his assault on the democratic process by lying about widespread voter fraud.
“If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us,” he told the nation.
But it’s now clear that some in his party aren’t buying it. Almost immediately, current and former GOP elected officials blasted the president for sowing discord and lying about the ballot counting process.
The Illinois congressman Adam Kinzinger tweeted that the president’s lying “is getting insane” and pleaded with his party to “STOP Spreading debunked misinformation”.
Meanwhile, the Texas congressman Will Hurd tweeted: “Every American should have his or her vote counted.”
“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,” he wrote.
A clear division line is emerging in the GOP – while sycophants like the South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham, and the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, have continued to parrot the president’s false claims, many are breaking with Trump.
That includes the revered GOP strategist Karl Rove, who on Wednesday morning said the mass fraud that Trump is alleging “isn’t going to happen” in America.
“Some hanky-panky always goes on, and there are already reports of poll watchers in Philadelphia not being allowed to do their jobs,” Rove said. “But stealing hundreds of thousands of votes would require a conspiracy on the scale of a James Bond movie. That isn’t going to happen. Let’s repeat that: that isn’t going to happen.”
While Republican rebukes of the president are refreshing for many Democrats, it only comes as Trump’s re-election campaign appears doomed. Biden took the lead in Georgia hours after the Wednesday address, and the Democratic challenger is on pace to flip Pennsylvania.
As the president concluded his speech, former representative Carlos Curbelo called for “Republicans to stand up for our democracy at this hour”.
Still, in Michigan, Trump supporters alleging fraud on Thursday marched outside Detroit’s TCF Center where ballots were counted the day before. Meanwhile, the Trump acolyte and Senate candidate John James is refusing to concede in his apparent loss to Senator Gary Peters, and is demanding an investigation.
Foster can be heard making the comments in a recording of the training session leaked to the Guardian.
“I’ll get myself into trouble here. I basically made the comment like, so if fraud was so prevalent, then did the Democrats forget to do it in 2016? They just forgot to do it?” he said. “I mean, Trump … barely won. And it’s not because he didn’t win. [Democrats] just didn’t show up. Did they just forget? Fraud was so prevalent, but they just forgot to do it?”
Other Republicans in the state are now publicly breaking with the administration. Congressman Paul Mitchell insisted that every vote should be counted.
“Anything less harms the integrity of our elections and is dangerous for our democracy,” he said.
But as Republicans baselessly claim fraud publicly, at least one GOP official involved in the ballot counting process has said behind closed doors that voter fraud isn’t an issue. Stuart Foster, a top state Republican official who trained ballot challengers in Michigan, told trainees just days ahead of the election that he was “confident with our election system”.
Courtesy of “The Guardian” Newspaper