On Tuesday, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) offered his typically partisan perspective, this time urging Florida election officials to disregard deadlines for submitting vote tallies in the Senate race in which Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott holds a narrow lead over incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Nelson in Washington, D.C., Schumer boasted, “The more time that passes since election day, the better things keep looking for Democrats. Supervisors of the elections should have all the time they need to count Floridians’ ballots to make sure that the candidate with the most votes is actually seated in January. Even if the vote count has to go beyond Sunday.”
Schumer sounded ebullient about Nelson’s chances, saying, “Republicans know that if this recount is conducted fairly and thoroughly that Sen. Nelson has an excellent chance of being reelected. If this is done fair and square, we believe Sen. Nelson has an excellent chance, a much greater than half chance of being reelected.”
Camille Gallo, a spokeswoman for the Senate GOP campaign, countered, “Despite Schumer’s nonsensical claim that victory is right around the corner, it’s well past time for Nelson to hang it up and let Floridians move on from his failed reelection campaign.”
Schumer attacked President Trump, blasting, “President Trump and Gov. Scott seem dead set against counting every vote. Why? Because they’re worried if every vote is counted, Bill Nelson will be reelected as senator from the great state of Florida,” adding that Trump and Scott were “attempting to bully the election officials in Florida out of doing their jobs in an attempt to win this election.”
On Monday, Trump had tweeted, “The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis in that large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged. An honest vote count is no longer possible-ballots massively infected. Must go with Election Night!”
Nelson charged Scott with “using his power as governor to try to undermine the voting process. He’s thrown around words like voter fraud, with no proof.” Schumer added, “Gov. Scott needs to recuse himself from any involvement in the recount and do it now. He’s a contestant in this election and can’t possibly be trusted to be a neutral and fair arbiter as the votes are tallied.”
Comparing the Florida race to the 2000 presidential election, when Florida was the key to the race between George W. Bush and Al Gore, prompting a recount of the state’s vote, Schumer said his reasoning for a delay in reporting the vote tallies was that the November election did not affect the electoral vote. He said, “We will not have a rerun of 2000, when bullying and intimidation ruled and created a rush to judgement that, to this day, many Americans believe that election was unfairly decided. That cannot happen again.”
The results of the current machine recount of the Scott-Nelson battle are due on Thursday; the results of a manual recount would have to be delivered by Sunday.