As more than a dozen GOP senators await the opportunity to contest the Electoral College votes for the 2020 presidential election, Romney issued a preemptive reprimand to US President Donald Trump, his allegations of widespread voter fraud and Republican lawmakers supporting the outgoing president's claims.
“Well, it turns out that telling the voters that the election is rigged is not a great way to turn out your voters,” he quipped to reporters on Capitol Hill Wednesday, as reported by The Hill.
Romney, the sole GOP senator to support an article of impeachment against the US president last year, went on to assert Trump has "disrespected the American voters, has dishonored the election system and has disgraced the office of the presidency."
“I’m confident we'll proceed as the Constitution demands and tell our supporters the truth, whether or not they want to hear it,” he qualified.
The Utah senator issued a more formal rebuke toward his GOP colleagues on Sunday, claiming Cruz and other GOP senators are unwise to believe the "rejection of electors or an election audit directed by Congress would restore trust in the election."
"The congressional power to reject electors is reserved for the most extreme and unusual circumstances. These are far from it," Romney argued in his January 3 statement.
"More Americans participated in this election than ever before, and they made their choice. President Trump’s lawyers made their case before scores of courts; in every instance, they failed. The Justice Department found no evidence of irregularity sufficient to overturn the election. The Presidential Voter Fraud Commission disbanded without finding such evidence."
Cruz and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) were the first lawmakers to challenge Electoral College certification on Wednesday when they pushed back against the Electoral College vote count for Arizona, a traditionally red (Republican) state that flipped blue (Democrat) in the November election.
However, area protests quickly overshadowed the congressional joint session and forced both chambers to go into lockdown as demonstrators breached the Senate and House of Representatives.
Trump protesters just discharged a fire extinguisher outside Senate chamber. Many protesters are inside building, and most people are hiding from them pic.twitter.com/0y2sk8LHWd— Steven Nelson (@stevennelson10) January 6, 2021
The ongoing certification process requires bipartisan representatives from both legislative chambers to perform official, out-loud counts of the Electoral College's votes. US President-elect Joe Biden was handed 306 electoral votes, a total well above the 270 needed to secure a victory.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) also reached out to GOP lawmakers on Wednesday, urging fellow congressional Republicans to avoid pushing American democracy into a "death spiral."
"My colleagues, nothing before us proves illegality anywhere near the massive scale - the massive scale - that would have tipped the entire election. Nor can public doubt alone justify a radical break when the doubt itself was incited without any evidence," he proclaimed.
“Voters, the courts, and the states have all spoken - they’ve all spoken,” McConnell added. “If we overrule them, it would damage our republic forever.”