Yesterday Senator John Cornyn was non-committal on whether or not he will join in a challenge to the Electoral College’s certification of Joe Biden’s victory. Today the senior senator from Texas released a letter to Texans making his position clear – “Unless substantial, new evidence is presented during the challenges to each state’s ballots, I will not object to the certification of that state’s election results based on unproven allegations.”
Frankly, I think this is where Cornyn has been all along. He was just keeping his cards close to his vest. He said from the start that he is open to hearing evidence of widespread voter fraud, the kind that can change election results but if none is presented then he will vote to certify the election. Remember that Senator Cornyn was a Texas Supreme Court Justice before he was a senator and he continues to operate with a judicious temperament.
In Cornyn’s letter, he speaks about President Trump’s successes in office, all of them despite the best attempts of Democrats and Trump’s opponents to deny his legitimate victory in the 2016 presidential election. If you want to talk about challenging an election, just think about how the last four years have gone. Democrats have tried to change the results of the 2016 election since the night that Trump won. There were calls for his impeachment before he even was inaugurated if you remember. As Cornyn wrote, Trump has had “the kitchen sink” thrown at him for four long years. He says that questioning the legitimacy of a president didn’t begin with President Trump.
Cornyn reminds Texans that when media outlets called the election for Biden, Cornyn supported recounts and letting legal challenges play out. He said that the legal challenges have not produced any victories in court for Trump. So, when Congress convenes to certify the results of the Electoral College tomorrow, though many of his colleagues in the House and Senate will object during the certification process “to shine a light on allegations of fraud and other irregularities”, he will not be one who objects. Even in coming to this decision, Cornyn continues to support his colleagues’ right to challenge one or more states’ electoral votes. His is an evidence-based decision-making process. However, a disappointed voter cannot override the legitimate votes of millions of Americans.
Senator Cornyn supports an independent commission to examine irregularities during the election. He calls it an excellent start.
.@JohnCornyn writes long letter to Texans: "Unless substantial, new evidence is presented during the challenges to each state’s ballots, I will not object to the certification of that state’s election results based on unproven allegations." pic.twitter.com/uxpgFb3MBW
— Patrick Svitek (@PatrickSvitek) January 5, 2021
The junior senator from Texas is taking a different approach. He is even fundraising off his decision to call for an emergency audit of election results in states with disputed results. He is doing this today. Cruz has been organizing Republican senators in favor of an audit and if Congress fails to act on it, he will reject the electors from the disputed states today. One state that has been named is Arizona, according to “a person familiar with Cruz’s plans.” Rep. Andy Biggs will join Cruz to contest the results from Arizona.
Cruz is a bomb-thrower with an eye on another presidential run, likely in 2024. If not 2024, in 2028. He has time. He’s only 50 years old now. He, unlike many others who make the claim, really is a constitutional scholar. He makes a point to say he doesn’t aim to overturn the results of the election but to object to electors. He knows his efforts will fail.
Cruz, however, argued in a late Monday interview that his focus was not about attempting to overturn the results of the election, even as other Trump allies in Congress continue to falsely assert that the president won reelection.
“My view is Congress should fulfill our responsibility under the Constitution to consider serious claims of voter fraud,” Cruz told conservative host Mark Levin on Monday evening.
Cruz added: “And that’s why I assembled a coalition of 11 senators that we are going to vote to object to the electors — not to set aside the election, I don’t think that would actually be the right thing to do — but rather to press for the appointment of an electoral commission that can hear the claims of voter fraud, hear the evidence and make a determination as to what the facts are and the extent to which the law was complied with.”
When Senator Hawley jumped out in front and said he will challenge the Electoral College votes, he forced Cruz’s hand to take action. Cruz didn’t want to be outmaneuvered by Hawley so he paved his own path. We’ll be seeing a lot of this in the months to come – potential 2024 presidential candidates will continue to battle for the spotlight and try to prove who will fight for voters. Cruz has proven time and time again he is a master at commanding attention in any room.