Republicans belittle Trump call to delay 2020 elections

Republicans at all levels of government on Thursday swatted down President Donald Trump's suggestion on Thursday that the November elections be delayed, as Democrats said it smacked of an authoritarian looking to extend his hold on power.


"Never before in the history of the federal elections have we ever not held an election," said House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (D-CA). "And we should go forward with our election."


"I don't support moving the election date," said Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH). "During wars, pandemics, and other emergencies, Congress has never postponed an election."


"Make no mistake: the election will happen in New Hampshire on November 3rd," Gov. Chris Sununu (R) tweeted.


At the White House, the President said he was worried about delays in counting votes, with an increase in ballots being cast through the mail - Trump backers like talk radio host Erick Erickson said it was not helpful.

Democrats said it was beyond wrong for the President to even suggest something like that.


"We have never postponed an election," said Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC). "This President is off in never neverland someplace."


"Donald Trump is terrified," said Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA). "He knows he is going to lose to Joe Biden."


"The notion that we should cancel the election in the fall is just clear wrong-headedness," said Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA).


"Congress sets the date for the general election, not the President," said Rep. Gil Cisneros (D-CA). "He has zero authority to delay it, and he knows it."


Even on Fox News - usually very supportive of the President, the idea was waved off immediately.

Democrats also noted the irony of the President expressing concern about delays in counting the votes - as in some states, Republicans have blocked changed to state election laws which would allow officials to start checking absentee and mail-in votes.


Of the big swing states, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin all have laws which prohibit elections officials from doing any work on absentee ballots - like preparing the ballots for counting, or verifying signatures - until Election Day.


That automatically means those three key states could see major delays in counting votes in November.


Other states like Florida and Ohio, allow elections officials to fully vet those ballots, insuring that most are counted immediately on election night.


The President’s election threat is a purposefully-timed distraction,” said Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA).

Jamie Dupree, CMG Washington News Bureau

Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau

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