McConnell rebuffs Trump suggestion, says election will be held ‘on time’
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday said the Nov. 3 general election will not be postponed, shooting down President Trump’s suggestion on Twitter that the election could be postponed to safeguard against mail-in ballot fraud.
“Never in the history of the Congress, through wars, depressions and the Civil War have we ever not had a federally scheduled election on time, and we’ll find a way to do that again this Nov. 3,” McConnell told Max Winitz, the lead evening anchor at WNKY 40.
When Winitz asked whether the Nov. 3 election date is “set in stone,” McConnell responded, “That’s right.”
“We’ll cope with whatever the situation is and have the election on Nov. 3 as already scheduled,” the GOP leader said.
— Max Winitz (@MaxWinitz) July 30, 2020
McConnell made his comments in the taped interview shortly after other prominent Senate Republicans weighed in to slap down Trump’s proposed delay.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of Trump’s close allies, said that while election fraud is a concern, it does not warrant postponing the elections.
“I have concerns about mail-in ballots being the exclusive way to cast votes, but I don’t believe we should delay the elections. I want to reopen the economy in a sound way. I want people to go back to school safely,” Graham, who is up for reelection in November, told reporters Thursday morning.
“In South Carolina, we had a very large primary in June and were able to do it in person. I think we can be able to able to safely vote in person in November,” he said.
“I think delaying the election probably wouldn’t be a good idea,” he added.
Trump sparked an uproar by tweeting the election should be delayed to possibly allow more people to vote in person once the coronavirus pandemic subsides.
“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA,” he wrote. “Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”
Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) accused Trump of trying to create a distraction to divert attention from spiking infection rates around the country and reports that the economy contracted 9.5 percent in the second quarter and 1.43 million workers filed unemployment claims last week.
“Once again, all he wants to do is divert from his abject failure in the coronavirus crisis. He says, ‘Oh, well maybe we won’t have an election.’ That’s up to the Senate and the House,” he said.
“President Trump, the election will be in November, on Nov. 3, and you will not change it,” he said.