Sen.-elect Tuberville suggests he’ll back effort on challenge Electoral College vote
Sen.-elect Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) indicated in a video that surfaced Thursday that that he thinks the Senate should support a challenge to the results of the Electoral College, which certified President-elect Joe Biden’s victory this week.
Tuberville suggested he would back a challenge Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) has vowed to bring against the vote. If a senator joins Brooks, it would require the House and Senate to debate and then vote on the issue.
“You see what’s coming. You’ve been reading about it in the House. We’re going to have to do it in the Senate,” Tuberville said in the video taken by liberal activist Lauren Windsor at a rally for Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) in Georgia.
It appeared that Tuberville believed he was speaking with another rallygoer rather than a liberal activist, and Windsor asked the senator-elect what he could do to “fight to make this election right.” The video was taken Wednesday night.
BREAKING: Defying McConnell, Sen-elect Tuberville suggests he will challenge Electoral College, while stumping in Georgia pic.twitter.com/1z5wJ2ajVP
— Lauren Windsor (@lawindsor) December 17, 2020
Tuberville’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request from comment from The Hill, but earlier this week Tuberville’s campaign chairman had said that the senator-elect might back the Brooks effort.
“I think that he [Tuberville] and Ted Cruz are the two best candidates to do this,” said Stan McDonald, Tuberville’s campaign chairman, during an interview on WVNN-radio in Huntsville on Tuesday. “I don’t know yet if or when he will do this. He’s very seriously considering it.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pleaded with Republican senators this week to dismiss the drive to challenge the results, which has been spearheaded by Brooks. McConnell indicated that forcing a debate would ultimately lead to a contentious vote to swat away the challenge, which would divide Republicans from President Trump, who remains wildly popular with the GOP base despite his loss.
“I think that there was encouragement on the phone for us to accept the result, as much as it’s not what we, you know, would have envisioned for the next four years, and to try to do what’s best for American people, which is to look forward,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said after a conference call with McConnell.
If the vote took place, it would not change the outcome of the election as there is not enough support in the House or Senate for it to be successful.
Trump and his allies have launched a sprawling legal campaign to overturn the election results on claims that widespread voter fraud cost him reelection. But virtually all of the lawsuits have been thrown out, at times by Trump-appointed judges, for lack of evidence or standing.
“We got to grab a hold and hold on. We have no choice. Listen to me now, we have no choice but to win this election. They’re going to try to steal it, they’re going to try to buy it, they’re going to do everything they can, lie, cheat, steal to win this election, like they did in the presidential election,” Tuberville told the rally crowd in Georgia.
Sen. John Thune (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, told reporters Thursday he hopes Tuberville does not vote to have a debate on the Electoral College, saying, “it’s time … to move on.”
“The fact of the matter is that’s been litigated over and over… it’s time to be done with this,” Thune said. “I would hope that we wouldn’t have members of the Senate who would decide that that makes sense. I don’t think it’s a good decision right now and I don’t think it’s good for the country.”
Jordain Carney contributed to this report.
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