Monday, January 17, 2022

Republican Senator Urges GOP To Speak Up About Trump’s False Claims

PIERRE, SD (AP) – US Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota has been telling people over the past year that the 2020 election was fair, but this week he did what few other Republicans dared to tell a national audience.

Now he wants more Republicans to join him.

Rounds, who is in his second Senate term, told local newspapers, radio broadcasts, and Rotary clubs in South Dakota that he had verified electoral fraud allegations made by former President Donald Trump, and while there were some “irregularities,” they all turned out to be empty. nothing to refute the truth that Trump has lost. So when ABC News ‘This Week’ asked the Senator to appear on his Sunday show to discuss the January 6, 2020 attack on the Capitol, Rounds said his decision was simple: “Well, of course I will.”

But the feedback from the conversation was quick. Round said he had no intention of starting a fight with Trump, but that is exactly what happened. In a statement, the former president called Round a “jerk.” The rounds supported what he said and argued that there are many more Republicans like him and they need to speak out.

“If we want to maintain trust and gain the trust of more people who are wondering, we probably need to say it a little louder and in more places that many of us usually either do not invite to speak or choose not to speak. join the fray, ”Rounds told The Associated Press this week.

The rounds gained support following Trump’s attack from several senior Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and South Dakota Senator John Thune, who has had his own skirmishes with Trump. But with the GOP still largely dominated by the former president, it’s unclear if Rounds’ defiance represents a lapse in that grip or if he is the lone voice in the party.

Republicans have largely avoided talking publicly about the deadliest attack on Congress in the country’s history, calling memorials and investigations into the uprising “politicized.” And Trump clings to the notion that the election was stolen from him. In an interview on National Public Radio on Tuesday, the former president said it was “an advantage” for Republicans to keep reporting fraud, and that Rounds was “completely wrong.”

Some Republicans are concerned that Trump’s attacks will harm the party, reduce the turnout of Conservatives, and harm them in future elections.

This is the point that Round took. He wants to get away from Trump’s baseless claims of falsification of election results, but not before making it clear that Trump has lost – honestly and fairly. He said the party risks losing credibility and voters if Trump is allowed to undermine the credibility of the democratic process.

“We need to be more aggressive, convincing conservatives that their voice matters,” Rounds said, adding “to give them confidence that they can trust us and that we will speak the truth.” And even if this is a harsh truth that is difficult to swallow, we are not going to lie to them. “

In South Dakota, Trump’s response to Rounds’ attacks has so far been muted compared to the backlash Thun faced last year when Trump lashed out at him for saying that trying to cancel the election would “fail as dog “to the Senate.

Gov. Christy Noem, who is closest to Trump than any other South Dakota politician, said Tuesday that she was unaware of the Round-Trump exchange. And Jeff Holbrook, chairman of the Pennington County GOP, one of the state’s largest county parties to hold Stop Theft rallies in support of Trump after the 2020 election, said he hadn’t seen much of a reaction to Trump’s attacks on Rounds.

Rounds said he had heard a lot about the exchange, admitting that some of the backlash was negative, but he said the “vast majority” were from people who thanked him for speaking out.

Trump rebuked Round, saying that he had the courage to make those remarks only because he was not in danger of being re-elected until 2026, and promised that he would never support Round again.

Rounds acknowledged that some Republicans facing earlier primaries would not “disappoint the part of the base that is truly loyal to the former president.”

But he argued it could be done, pointing to Thune, who had recently contemplated retirement before announcing last week that he would be running for a new term. While Thune has a large campaign fund and a seemingly clear path to re-election, he faces several major challenges from a conservative rebel group seeking to oust anyone who hasn’t bought into Trump’s political stamp.

“He’s not looking for a fight,” Rounds said of Tuna. “He just wants to be honest with people.”

One of Thune’s rivals, Bruce Whalen, had some warning words for the Round.

“He has to remember that South Dakota is dominated by MAGA and there are so many angry people there right now,” Whalen said.

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