In May 2021, as polls showed Republican voters clinging to Donald Trump’s “big lie” about the previous fall’s presidential race, Kevin McCarthy, then the House minority leader, told reporters“I don’t think anyone is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election.”
However, two and a half years later, too many Republican officials always will not recognize the results. Axios reported on one of the most memorable moments of the Sunday broadcasts.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) repeatedly failed to answer Sunday whether the 2020 election was stolen when asked by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on Sunday. . Why it matters: Scalise is one of several GOP lawmakers who have avoided publicly confirming that the 2020 presidential election was not stolen by widespread voter fraud.
Against that backdrop, Stephanopoulos reminded the GOP leader that Republican Ken Buck, who announced last week he would not run for re-election next year, had made pointed remarks about the circumstances surrounding his departure from the Capitol. “Our nation is on a collision course with reality,” the Coloradan said. “And a strong commitment to the truth, even uncomfortable truths, is the only way forward. Too many Republican leaders are lying to America by claiming the 2020 election was stolen.”
With that in mind, the ABC host gave Scalise the opportunity to respond. The Louisiana Republican said he worked with Buck “on a number of issues,” then changed the subject.
Stephanopoulos insisted even more: ask, “Can you say unequivocally that the 2020 election was not stolen? » Scalise equivocates.
To his credit, the “This Week” host didn’t give up.
“That’s not what I asked,” Stephanopoulos added. “I said: Can you say unequivocally that the 2020 election was not stolen? Scalise then acknowledged that Joe Biden was the president, and then attempted to change the subject again.
“Congressman, I know Joe Biden is president,” the anchor said. “I’m asking you a different question. Can you unequivocally state that the 2020 election was not stolen? Scalise didn’t respond yet.
“So you simply refuse to say unequivocally that the 2020 election was not stolen? » Stephanopoulos asked again. Scalise, instead of responding, said the host was “rehashing 2020.”
“I just want an answer to the question, yes or no?” » asked the host again. The GOP leader wouldn’t say anything. “Can you unequivocally state that the 2020 election was not stolen? » added the host. Scalise pointed to “a handful of states that have failed to comply” with election laws, which was not an answer.
“I just want to say, again, for the record, you can’t say the 2020 election wasn’t stolen? » Stephanopoulos asked again. Scalise covered. “Yes or No, Was the 2020 Election Stolen? »concluded the host.
“What I told you is that Joe Biden is the president of the United States,” Scalise responded.
White House spokesman Andrew Bates responded shortly after in a written statement: “Election denial is a dangerous conspiracy theory that has caused unprecedented harm to the country and has been thoroughly disproven by more than 80 federal judges, as well as national security officials from the Trump administration. Bates added that now is “not the time to perpetuate long-discredited conspiracy theories that fueled the assault on the Capitol and tore Americans apart.”
We’ll never know for sure, of course, but it’s hard not to wonder: Did Scalise continue to dodge the question because he didn’t want to express his own conspiratorial beliefs on national television, or Did the House Majority Leader worry that if he acknowledged the reality that he would pay a high political price within his party?