Trump slams Sen. Cotton for saying he won’t object to electoral vote certification
A day after Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said that he would not object to the upcoming certification of the states’ electoral college votes, President Donald Trump on Monday set his sights on the potential 2024 presidential candidate for refusing to join 11 current and incoming senators in challenging President-elect Joe Biden‘s 2020 election win.
“How can you certify an election when the numbers being certified are verifiably WRONG,” the president tweeted Monday morning. “You will see the real numbers tonight during my speech, but especially on JANUARY 6th. @SenTomCotton Republicans have pluses & minuses, but one thing is sure, THEY NEVER FORGET!”
On Sunday night, Cotton said he would not join the nearly a dozen current and incoming senators led by Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) in challenging the electoral votes from certain swing states on Wednesday in a joint session of Congress, stating that such an effort could “establish unwise precedents.”
Also argued in his statement published Sunday evening is that challenging the electoral votes would go against the founding fathers’ intentions.
“The Founders entrusted our elections chiefly to the states — not Congress. They entrusted the election of our president to the people, acting through the Electoral College — not Congress. And they entrusted the adjudication of election disputes to the courts — not Congress,” Cotton’s statement reads.
“Under the Constitution and federal law, Congress’s power is limited to counting electoral votes submitted by the state,” he said.
Additionally, the 2024 hopeful warned that if Congress tossed out the votes of swing states like Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, where Trump and his allies claim widespread election fraud occurred, it would “take away the power to choose the president from the people.”
On top of that, he argued that such an effort would throw the Electoral College and the megaphone it gives to tinier states like his home state of Arkansas into jeopardy and help Democrats “achieve their longstanding goal of eliminating the Electoral College.”
Furthermore, he said if Congress overturns the Electoral College’s vote, it would “take another big step toward federalizing election law.”
Other current GOP senators who have pledged to object to certification include Sens. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), James Lankford (Okla.), Steve Daines (Mont.), John Kennedy (La.), and Mike Braun (Ind.). Senators-elect who have promised to also object are Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Roger Marshall (Kan.), Bill Hagerty (Tenn.), Tommy Tuberville (Ala.).
Cotton is far from the only Republican refusing to object to certification. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other GOP leaders have already congratulated Biden on his victory and have been urging their colleagues to not object to Wednesday’s certification.
On Sunday in a Twitter thread, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), another typically reliable Trump ally, also cast doubt on the objection effort, calling it a “political dodge.”
Overwhelmingly, experts have stated that the effort to object to electoral vote certification is a longshot and will most certainly fail.
According to a Sunday explainer piece from The Wall Street Journal, it takes one House representative and one senator to issue an objection to a state’s electoral votes. For each objection to a given state’s electoral votes, lawmakers from each chamber break for two hours at most to debate the objection. When debate ends, a simple majority vote is held on the objection, and both the House and Senate must agree for the objection to be successful.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.