One week after the presidential election, GOPers are still holding out hope that President Donald Trump will litigate his way to victory, but political strategist Karl Rove has warned people not to get their hopes up.
In an op-ed published for The Wall Street Journal, Rove said that even though the president was “100% within his rights” to challenge the fairness of the election, the possibility of overturning the results is incredibly slim.
“The president’s efforts are unlikely to move a single state from Mr. Biden’s column, and certainly they’re not enough to change the final outcome,” Rove wrote. “To win, Mr. Trump must prove systemic fraud, with illegal votes in the tens of thousands. There is no evidence of that so far.”
Rove did have some advice for Trump: let the legal battles play out and then peacefully concede the election so that the country can unite.
“Closing out this election will be a hard but necessary step toward restoring some unity and political equilibrium,” he wrote. “Once his days in court are over, the President should do his part to unite the country by leading a peaceful transition and letting grievances go.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has largely maintained neutrality as Trump challenges the election, though he did criticize Democrats for pushing Russian collusion nearly every day of Trump’s presidency.
“More broadly, let’s have no lectures about how the President should immediately, cheerfully accept preliminary election results from the same characters who just spent four years refusing to accept the validity of the last election,” McConnell later said on the Senate floor. “And who insinuated this one would be illegitimate, too, if they lost again. Let’s have no lectures on this subject from that contingent.”
“In late August, Secretary Hillary Clinton said, quote, ‘Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances… I think this is going to drag out, and… he will win if we don’t give an inch,’” McConnell continued. “That same month, Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic Leader both stated, quote, ‘[President Trump] needs to cheat to win.’ In October, when Speaker Pelosi was shopping some conspiracy theory about the Postal Service, she recklessly said, quote, ‘I have no doubt that the president… will lie, cheat, and steal, to win this election.’”
Former Trump confidante Chris Christie has cautioned Republicans against “blindly” following Trump without serious evidence of widespread voter fraud.
“I think it was so important early on to say to the president: If your base is for not conceding [because] there was voter fraud, then show us,” Christie said on ABC News’ “This Week.” “Because if you don’t show us, we can’t do this. We can’t back you blindly without evidence.”
“Friendship means that you will listen to somebody, give them their opportunity, and if they don’t come forward with the proof, then it’s time to move on,” he added.