WASHINGTON – When Donald J. Trump lost the 2016 Iowa caucuses to Senator Ted Cruz, during a campaign in which he insulted Cruise’s wife and father, the future president did What he usually does after a lossTrump falsely claimed he won and accused his opponent of rigging the elections.
“What Donald does, when he loses, blames everybody,” Mr. Cruz, Republican from Texas, He responded at that time. “It’s never Donald’s fault.”
Four years later, Mr. Trump suffers yet another defeat – this time a loss of more than seven million votes for President-elect Joseph R Biden Jr. – and once again, making groundless allegations of fraud. But this time, Mr. Cruz sings a different tune.
Rather than resisting Mr. Trump’s imagination as he did in 2016 when he claimed he would not become a “servile dog,” Mr. Cruz leads the effort to perpetuate Mr. Trump’s fantasy that the election has been stolen from him.
“In the past two months we have seen unprecedented allegations of voter fraud,” said Mr. Cruz on Sunday in an interview with Fox News. This has resulted in a deep and profound mistrust in our democratic process across the country. I think we in Congress have an obligation to do something about it. “
Mr. Cruz and 10 other Republican senators have proposed creating an election commission to investigate allegations of voter fraud in certain states within 10 days, and said they would vote to reject Biden voters on Wednesday until one is formed. (There is little chance of that.)
Every state in the country has validated election results after checking for accuracy, and judges across the country have validated them Approximately 60 attempts were rejected By Mr. Trump and his allies to challenge the results. Former Attorney General William B. Barr said that the Ministry of Justice did not reveal any fraud in the vote that would change the election results.
However, Mr. Cruz, who eventually endorsed Mr. Trump in 2016 and formed an uneasy alliance with him, said he was responding to how effective the president, with the help of right-wing news media, was in spreading the false notion that the elections were “rigged” throughout al Qaeda. The Republic.
Mr. Cruz, who declined to be interviewed for this article, described his thinking on Fox News, saying he did not want his voters to believe he was not interested in investigating allegations of election fraud.
But he also “does not want to be in a situation where we propose to set aside the election results, just because the candidate we supported did not succeed.”
“This is not a principled constitutional position,” added Mr. Cruz.
Mr. Cruz’s call to reject the election result is supported by Senators Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty, both of Tennessee. Mike Brown from Indiana; Steve Dines from Montana; Ron Johnson from Wisconsin; John F. Kennedy, Louisiana; James Lankford from Oklahoma; Cynthia Loomis from Wyoming; Roger Marshall from Kansas; And Tommy Toberville from Alabama.
Along with Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, who It was announced last week That he will object to Congressional approval of the election results, they raise nearly a quarter of the percentage of Republicans in the Senate who split from their leaders to join efforts to nullify Biden’s victory. In the House of Representatives, where a group of Conservatives have been planning their recent veto on the election for weeks, more than half of Republicans have joined a botched lawsuit seeking to overturn the results, and is expected to support further efforts to challenge the results in Congress. Wednesday.
Participants acknowledged that their efforts were unlikely to be successful. Any such challenge would have to be sustained by both the House of Representatives, where the Democrats have the majority, and the Senate, as top Republicans, including Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, have tried to close the House.
But even as Mr. Cruz describes the move as a legitimate attempt to get to the bottom of the fraud allegations, other Republican senators – even some of Mr. Trump’s strongest supporters – have seen his call to form a committee as a grassroots play to win support among the president’s base.
Senator Lindsay Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, said, “A commission proposal at this late date – which is unlikely to come true – is not fighting effectively for President Trump.” He wrote on Twitter. “It appears to be more of a political evasion than an effective remedy.”
Senator Roy Blunt, Republican # 4, said he also believed Cruise’s plan had no chance of success.
“I would actually love to come up with plans that have a chance of success,” said Mr. Blunt.
It was also met with widespread condemnation, including from some prominent Republicans. Like former spokesperson Paul D. Ryan Republican No. 3 in the House of Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming.
“It is hard to imagine an action more anti-democratic and anti-conservative than a federal intervention to nullify state-approved election results and deny millions of Americans the right to vote,” Ryan said in a rare statement on Sunday.
Republican Senator Ben Sassi from Nebraska told reporters on Capitol Hill that he was concerned that the spread of such myths about election fraud would stoke divisions in the country.
“It’s clearly not healthy for the Republican Party, either,” said Mr. Sassi. “What is good for America is the main question here, but it is bad for the country and bad for the party.”
Senators who joined Mr. Cruise’s efforts have tried to downplay their actions to reporters on Capitol Hill as merely symbolic support for Mr. Trump.
“It is only a protest vote, because, in my opinion, there is no chance for anything that could come of it,” Brown told reporters. It is clear that the House of Representatives will not vote for the abolition. I don’t think you will approach the Senate. Mostly, therefore, for many of us, it is still a way to express your opinion. “
Mr. Lankford said Sunday that his intention was to make a “statement” to his voters who believe that Mr. Trump has won and that the elections are rigged.
“None of us want to vote against the electorate, but we all want to get the facts out there,” Lankford said. “We are trying to make a statement on this.”
Emily Cochran And the Katie Edmundson Contribute to reporting.