McConnell to GOP Colleagues: ‘I Won’t Judge Anybody for Their Decision’ in Electoral College Certification

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 15: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks during a news conference following the weekly meeting with the Senate Republican caucus at the U.S. Capitol on December 15, 2020 in Washington, DC. Earlier today McConnell said the Electoral College has spoken and congratulated US President-elect Joe …
Rod Lamkey-Pool/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reportedly told GOP senators that he “won’t judge anybody for their decision” in regards to objecting to the Electoral College vote, which Congress will count on Wednesday, after previously urging them to refrain from doing so.

According to Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), who recounted the conversation to Politico, McConnell recognized that it is a weighty decision and added that each lawmaker has to “make it yourselves.”

“‘I’ve voted twice on declarations of war.’ And he said, ‘This is right up there. But … there’s a lot of noise out there and I won’t judge anybody for their decision,'” Cramer said of McConnell.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) was the first GOP senator to announce his intention to object to Electoral College votes, formally making the announcement last week:

On Monday, Hawley revealed left-wing activists protested outside of his home, demanding he drop his Electoral College challenge, while his wife and newborn were home alone.

“Tonight while I was in Missouri, Antifa scumbags came to our place in DC and threatened my wife and newborn daughter, who can’t travel,” he announced, adding that they “screamed threats, vandalized, and tried to pound open our door.”

“Let me be clear: My family & I will not be intimidated by leftwing violence,” he added:

On Saturday, several GOP senators, led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), released a joint-letter, outlining their intention to object to electors from disputed states “unless and until” an “emergency 10-day audit is completed.”

In addition to Cruz, senators signing off included Ron Johnson (R-WI), James Lankford (R-OK), Steve Daines (R-MT), John Kennedy (R-LA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Braun (R-IN), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL).

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), who faces off against Raphael Warnock in Tuesday’s runoff election, joined her colleagues on Monday, stating her intention to “vote to give President [Donald] Trump and the American people the fair hearing they deserve and support the objection to the Electoral College certification process” on January 6.

One Republican senator “aligned with McConnell” added that the majority leader is “letting everybody reach their own conclusion here.”

“That’s very much his leadership style on issues like this, is to not say much,” the lawmaker said, according to Politico.

“I think he hopes we don’t have too many people vote to do this,” the lawmaker added. “Trying to convince people right now wouldn’t produce much of a result when you could just give them time to think about it.”

McConnell’s hands-off approach follows reports of the majority leader urging members to refrain from challenging the votes, reportedly telling them that an objection “isn’t in the best interest of everybody,” as reported in mid-December.

“I think that there was encouragement on the phone for us to accept the result, as much as it’s not what we, you know, would have envisioned for the next four years, and to try to do what’s best for American people, which is to look forward,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) said at the time.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), on the other hand, has explicitly approved of the challenge to the Electoral College votes, explicitly calling for a debate.

“I mean, you see now that senators are going to object, the House is going to object — how else do we have a way to change the election problems?” he asked.

Trump, meanwhile, has slammed what he dubbed the “Surrender Caucus” within the Republican Party, warning that it will “go down in infamy as weak and ineffective ‘guardians’ of our Nation, who were willing to accept the certification of fraudulent presidential numbers!”:


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