Donald Trump warned that Republican voters will stay home in the 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential election unless the GOP fully embraces the lie that Trump defeated President Joe Biden in 2020.
“If we don’t fix the 2020 presidential election fraud… Republicans won’t vote in ’22 or ’24,” Trump said in a statement on Wednesday. “It’s the single most important thing for Republicans to do.”
The twice-indicted former president has routinely made debunked allegations of voter fraud in the months since he left office, even after the violent Jan. 6 riots in the United States Capitol. Most elected Republicans have simply chosen to ignore him and dodge questions about the chaos Trump has caused on Capitol Hill.
But Trump’s attempts to get the entire party apparatus to question the integrity of US electoral systems could cost Republicans at the polls. In Georgia, for example, Trump’s lies about fraud have suppressed turnout among Republican voters and cost his party Georga’s two US Senate seats, as well as Senate GOP control. according to to the Republican Secretary of State for Georgia.
Trump has already made significant strides in approving candidates across the country who are willing to embrace his rhetoric about voter fraud. A Trump-imposed litmus test of the validity of the 2020 election would tighten his grip on the party as he plays with the idea of running for president again. It would also cause headaches for Republicans who want to keep the media attention on the Biden administration.
Already, some top Republican lawmakers are bending the knee. For example, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House GOP leader, declined over the weekend to say the 2020 election result was legit.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who helps lead the Jan. 6 House selection committee investigating the Capitol insurgency, then criticized Scalise. The Wyoming legislature is one of the last remaining elected Republicans willing to speak out against Trump.
“Millions of Americans have been sold as fraudsters that the election has been stolen. Republicans have a duty to tell the American people that this is not true,” Cheney said. tweeted. “The perpetuation of the Big Lie is an attack on the very core of our constitutional republic.”
The Democratic National Committee similarly called on GOP leaders in the House and Senate, including House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to tell the lies. of Trump on the election.
“[T]that’s what happens when Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy bend over to his dangerous lies, failed leadership and complete incompetence,” DNC spokesman Ammar Moussa said in a statement. “Republicans can’t go either way — they can’t kiss Donald Trump’s ring and then refuse to answer to his most blatant lies that led to the violent attack on the Capitol on January 6 and continue to undermine our democracy.”