Donald Trump once again claimed this morning that mail-in voting leads to massive voter fraud. It’s a patently untrue statement but one which he and other Republicans often spew because they know that lower voter turnout is good for the GOP.
As if that weren’t enough anti-democracy for one tweet, the president also suggested that he may want to delay the 2020 election in order to ensure people can vote “properly, securely and safely.” How pushing back election day could possibly help achieve those goals was a detail he conveniently failed to include.
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. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2020
Later in the day, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was asked about the tweet. Rather than stating as he should have that the White House cannot move the date of the election because the Constitution bestows that power on Congress alone, he said that “the Department of Justice and others will make that legal determination.”
Trump and Pompeo are incorrect if they think they have any legal means of moving the date. This administration might be terrified that Trump is doomed to lose to Joe Biden but they have no choice but to march towards the election and take their lumps. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reinforced that reality when he said today that the election will absolutely be happening on November 3rd.
During a White House Press conference, President Trump was asked directly about his proposed postponement. He started his response by going on an extended rant about the dangers of mail-in voting, citing a series of debunked right-wing conspiratorial talking points. Once his mouth starting going he bounced between a number of unrelated points, including bad faith attacks on Joe Biden.
Eventually, a reporter pressed him on the issue and asked if Trump agrees that delaying the election is essentially a “non-starter.”
“I just feel… I don’t want to delay,” said Trump. “I want to have the election but I also don’t want to have to wait for three months and then find out that the ballots are all missing and the election doesn’t mean anything. That’s what’s going to happen Steve. That’s common sense and everyone knows it. Smart people know it. Stupid people may not know it and some people don’t want to talk about it. But they know it,” he went on before reeling off even more inaccuracies about mail-in voting.
“No, do I want to see a date change? No. But I don’t want to see a crooked election. This election will be the most rigged election in history if that happens,” he concluded.
While he didn’t say that he would definitely try to postpone the election, he certainly didn’t close the door completely on the topic. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess whether or not he will pursue this boneheaded strategy but his muddying of the waters on the issue is just one more reason in a million to vote him out come November.
President Trump on delaying election: "Do I want to see a date change? No. But I don't want to see a crooked election. This election will be the most rigged election in history if that happens."
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 30, 2020
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