Eric Trump, the son of President Donald Trump, issued a statement Tuesday vowing to support a primary opponent against any elected federal lawmaker who did not object to Congress certifying Joe Biden’s presumptive win on Wednesday.
GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri, along with dozens of other Republicans in the Senate and House, signaled they would object to results showing Biden won the election. Others, such as Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah and James Inhofe of Oklahoma, will not stand in the way.
Per the younger Trump, those who are refusing to stand against what many view as widespread election fraud in November have earned themselves a permanent ticket back home away from Washington.
In no uncertain terms, Eric Trump laid into Republican lawmakers he sees as not standing up for his father by refusing to fight alleged election malfeasance on a massive scale.
“I will personally work to defeat every single Republican Senator / Congressman who doesn’t stand up against this fraud – they will be primaried in their next election and they will lose,” he tweeted.
I will personally work to defeat every single Republican Senator / Congressman who doesn’t stand up against this fraud – they will be primaried in their next election and they will lose.
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) January 6, 2021
“I can tell you, Sean, any senator or any congressman — meaning on this side — that does not fight tomorrow, I’m telling you, their political career is over, because the MAGA movement is going nowhere,” Eric Trump added in an interview Tuesday night with Fox News host Sean Hannity.
“They will get primaried the next time around, and they will lose.”
“I can tell you, Sean, any senator or any congressmen — meaning on this side — that does not fight tomorrow, I’m telling you, their political career is over, because the MAGA movement is going nowhere … they will get primaried” — Eric Trump pic.twitter.com/Xk7F65D7iG
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 6, 2021
If Republicans in Congress weren’t aware of the anger of much of the Republican Party’s base, Eric Trump simply highlighted it. Such primary threats have been launched in the comments sections of the social media pages of many Republicans for weeks — if not since November, when their silence on fraud allegations was deafening to many.
There is without a doubt a divide in the GOP, with those viewed as being establishment Republicans arguing that objecting to the election results equates to subverting the will of voters. But even popular, Trump-friendly lawmakers aren’t safe from the ire of those who view election integrity as a hill worth dying on.
Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas for example, a popular lawmaker with the GOP base, experienced the wrath of his Twitter followers after he announced he wouldn’t stand in the way of a Biden presidency. Cotton made the announcement in an Op-Ed published by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) January 5, 2021
“Some argue that Republicans in Congress should object to electoral votes from certain states, such as Arizona and Pennsylvania. They believe that objecting will highlight election disputes in these states, and perhaps even overturn the election results so the president remains in office. And, they note, a few Democrats have objected in various ways after each of the last three Republican presidential victories,” Cotton wrote.
“But objecting to certified electoral votes won’t give the president a second term. With Democrats in control of the House, Republicans have no chance of invalidating even a single electoral vote, much less enough votes to deny Joe Biden a majority in the electoral college,” he added.
“Instead, these objections would exceed Congress’ constitutional power, while creating unwise precedents that Democrats could abuse the next time they are in power. For these reasons, I will not oppose the counting of certified electoral votes.”
Cotton’s career as a reliable conservative wasn’t enough to buy him the benefit of the doubt among angry conservatives who responded to him with threats of a primary.
Comments such as these go on and on — and then on some more.
Arkansans won’t forget in 2022
— Brittany Fields (@Brittan93695312) January 5, 2021
Hope you have a backup plan for a job very soon. Gonna need it!
— JENNerationPatriot (@gunter_jenni) January 5, 2021
— LadyMorgana (@yourLadyMorgana) January 5, 2021
— Matt Harlin (@harlinmj) January 5, 2021
We will not forget about you. You’re finished.
— 520?? (@Mrsagresta) January 5, 2021
If what he is saying is “it won’t make a difference” then it won’t make a difference if half his constituents don’t vote for him again. Because if it comes down to my vote he’s SOL!
— darrell d doughty (@doughty_darrell) January 6, 2021
Twitter isn’t always the most accurate metric for gauging public sentiment. But there’s no doubt that a plurality of the GOP base feels that President Donald Trump has been robbed an election victory by a corrupted system, and that many Republicans who have ridden his coattails to victories have abandoned him.
If a popular man such as Cotton, with a clean record, isn’t safe from the ire of the voters, then is anyone? Does Eric Trump’s vow to support a primary those who choose to sit on the sidelines right now actually carry the weight?
Those questions will be answered in 2022 and perhaps beyond.
But if the 2020 election told us anything clearly, it’s not to underestimate the ability of anger to generate Republican voter turnout.
Democrats went for blood against Trump in 2020, and the result was the largest turnout in GOP history. A similar sentiment might send conservatives to the polls in droves to unseat those they view as having been disloyal.
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