'We are confident in the fairness and accuracy of Iowa's election system,' say Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst.
Republicans have promoted baseless claims of widespread voter fraud in the Nov. 3 general election for a month in refusing to admit Donald Trump lost — but now they're selectively accepting some election results and not others.
Fearful of losing seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate, prominent Republicans are suddenly speaking up in defense of the election as free and fair, in some cases just days after promoting myths of voter fraud.
Iowa Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst issued a joint statement Thursday in support of Mariannette Miller-Meeks' win in the state's 2nd Congressional District. After a statewide recount, Miller-Meeks' lead in the election dropped from double digits to single digits.
Her challenger, Democrat Rita Hart, has announced that her campaign will contest the election by filing a request directly with the House in accordance with the Federal Contested Elections Act, according to the Associated Press.
Grassley and Ernst are now slamming a losing candidate for questioning the results of an election. They say: "Rita Hart declined to take legitimate legal action in Iowa courts and instead chose to appeal to Washington partisans who should have no say in who represents Iowans. That's an insult to Iowa voters and our nonpartisan election process. We are confident in the fairness and accuracy of Iowa's election system."
Neither Grassley nor Ernst has congratulated President-elect Joe Biden on his win against Donald Trump last month. Just the day before he defended the results of the election in Iowa, Grassley posted on Twitter in language that avoided acknowledging Biden's win, tweeting: "I realize this might hurt their chances but if Biden becomes president he should select an Iowan or Heidi Heitkamp or Collin Peterson to be Ag Secretary."
Other Republicans who have publicly contested the election results were horrified when Trump ally Lin Wood weaponized their own arguments against them.
Even Republican lawmakers who deny Trump's loss in the general election were swift to blast Trump ally Lin Wood's call for GOP voters to boycott the Jan. 5 runoff elections in the Georgia Senate races.
But Wood's rationale was not dissimilar to their own: He argued that the election was rigged.
But Wood took it farther, advocating for a boycott because of what he said was failure on the part of Republican incumbent Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler to stand up for Trump in his dispute of election results in the state.
"They have not earned your vote," Wood said. "Don't you give it to them. Why would you go back and vote in another rigged election for god's sake! Fix it! You gotta fix it!"
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who has spread false claims of voter fraud for weeks, was quick to call Wood a "clown."
"I don't know who this clown is, but anyone saying America would be better off w/ Chuck Schumer as Majority Leader—producing huge tax increases, the Green New Deal, massive amnesty & a packed Supreme Court destroying the Bill of Rights—is trying to mislead the people of Georgia," he tweeted Thursday.
Just the day before, Cruz urged the Supreme Court to hear an appeal of one of Trump's election fraud lawsuits in Pennsylvania, stating: "This appeal raises serious legal issues, and I believe the Court should hear the case on an expedited basis."
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, too, was swift to condemn Wood's objections to the election results as "destructive" to American democracy.
"Lin Wood and Sidney Powell are totally destructive," Gingrich tweeted. "Every Georgia conservative who cares about America MUST vote in the runoff. Their dont vote strategy will cripple America."
But 12 hours previously, he himself retweeted Donald Trump's most recent public statement disputing the election results. And earlier this week, Gingrich spoke on a podcast with Wisconsin Republican Party chair Andrew Hitt and complained about "voter irregularities" in the election.
Seth Hill, a University of California-San Diego political scientist, told the New York Times this week that it's possible some Republicans are simply exhibiting wishful thinking, even if they know that President-elect Biden won the election.
"The evidence is strong that a number of people out there, even if they know the truth, will give a cheerleading answer," Hill said.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.