The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy

Photo by Gage Skidmore/ CC BY-SA 2.0

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had to backtrack on Friday after claiming on Fox News the previous night that "President Trump won this election."

As of this writing, only one major election outlet — Decision Desk HQ — had called the election; it projected Joe Biden as the winner, based on his lead in Pennsylvania, which appears to be insurmountable. Other outlets have yet to declare a winner, but vote counts in the remaining key swing states, with the exception of North Carolina, all seemed to be leaning against the incumbent president. Biden has multiple paths to a clear victory, whereas something extraordinary would have to change for Trump to win.

Dave Wasserman, of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, revealed on Friday afternoon that McCarthy had clarified to him that he did not intend to declare Trump the victor in the presidential election.

Instead, Wasserman said, McCarthy meant that the president "gets the credit for helping us win House seats." This explanation was particularly odd, though, because McCarthy had posted the video of him incorrectly declaring victory for Trump on Twitter Thursday night.

Despite this correction, McCarthy still seems intent on feeding into Trump's disinformation campaign about the election results. In the video, he urged viewers: "Everyone who's listening: Do not be quiet. Do not be silent about this. We cannot allow this to happen before our very eyes. We need to unite together. You don't need to be a Republican. You believe every legal vote needs to count. You believe in the American process. Join together and and let's stop this."

This was nonsensical and almost certainly intentionally misleading. There's nothing to "stop" — the vote counting is ongoing. The suggestion that "every legal vote needs to count" was meant to imply that a significant number of illegal votes are being counted — a conspiracy theory Trump is trying to use to his advantage. The truth is Trump and the GOP fear that the continued counting of legitimate votes will make him a loser, so they're desperately trying to find a way to stop that result.

But based on McCarthy's comments to Wasserman, he may also be hedging his bets, not wanting to stick too closely to Trump if he goes down.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Youtube Screenshot

Seven or eight months ago, many Democratic strategists feared that the 2022 midterms would bring a massive red wave like the red waves that plagued President Bill Clinton in 1994 and President Barack Obama in 2010. But that was before the U.S. Supreme Court’s radical-right majority handed down its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and overturned Roe v. Wade after 49 years. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell still believes that Republicans are likely to “flip” the U.S. House of Representatives, but he considers the U.S. Senate a toss-up.

Keep reading... Show less

President Joe Biden, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, and Vice President Kamala Karris

Youtube Screenshot

Newly-minted Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson will join the court — the first Black woman to do so — today when the new court term begins. And to say it plainly: I’m ecstatic about it.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}