Most Texas Republicans In Congress Won’t Acknowledge Joe Biden Is President-Elect

A Dallas Morning News reporter says GOP lawmakers fear backlash from the president’s supporters, who could opt for more Trump-friendly primary challengers in future elections.

By Jill Ament & Shelly BrisbinDecember 16, 2020 11:51 am, ,

Despite the electoral college members’ vote on Monday to confirm Joe Biden’s status as president-elect, some Republicans refuse to acknowledge Biden’s victory, even after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did so on the Senate floor Tuesday. They include Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and 16 of 22 GOP House members from the Lone Star State.

Todd Gillman of The Dallas Morning News has been covering this story. He told Texas Standard that most Texas Republicans in Congress either have not responded to questions about Biden’s victory or they dispute it. But Sen. John Cornyn and six Republican House members have acknowledged that Biden is president-elect. 

“There’s not any reasonable room for doubt about who won this election,” Gillman said. “But we have a lot of holdouts in the Texas Republican caucus.”

Gillman calls what Cruz and others are doing “risk aversion,” protecting themselves from the wrath of Trump supporters who agree with the outgoing president that there was fraud in swing states that Biden won. Those supporters have swelled Trump’s campaign coffers by nearly $200 million since Election Day.

Cruz is likely to run for president in 2024. 

“It’s not quite so much as making Trump backers happy as avoiding making them very, very angry, and inviting a primary challenge,” Gillman said. 

Unless all Republicans acknowledge Trump’s loss, Gillman says, it exposes those Republicans who do to retribution from the president – a tactic he has employed many times before to ostracize formerly loyal supporters. 

Gillman says McConnell, who shepherded Trump’s judicial appointments through the Senate and has otherwise backed the president’s policies throughout Trump’s term, is now being “blasted” by conservative media figures who are on the president’s side. 

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