CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — There is no sign that President Trump is willing to concede the election or stop challenging the results but there are signals that some influential Republicans are not exactly on the same page with him.
While the president has been active on Twitter he has not spoken in public for a week, letting his aides launch a battery of challenges to vote totals in states where his margins are daunting – even with recounts.
Meanwhile, in Georgia, a hand-recount has been ordered to see if Mr. Biden really does lead by some 14,000 votes. State election official Gabriel Sterling said the process will start Friday.
“Right now there is a swath of voters around the country that would say those machines cheated, there’s no way that guy won and there’s no way that guy lost. When you’re so emotionally tied to the outcome anything you see that will feed your belief. that’s why we have decided to do this audit this time in this way,” said Sterling.
Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is in quarantine because his wife has tested positive, the reason Sterling stood in for him Thursday. He explained the narrow margin in the state would have required a recount anyway.
“The press has many times mischaracterized the rationale behind doing this as caving to Trump and their campaign but there is nothing further from the truth,” said Sterling.
In Wisconsin, where the Trump campaign is disputing Mr. Biden’s lead of some 20,000 votes, Meagan Wolfe Director of State Election Commission challenged the charges of fraud which Democratic Governor Tony Evers labeled B.S.
“There’s been no problems reported to our office, no complaints filed with our office on any irregularities,” said Wolfe.
And now a number of Republican governors have said it’s time for the president to acknowledge defeat.
This week, Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine said flatly that “Joe Biden is the president-elect” and fellow Republican Governors Charlie Baker of Massachusetts said charges of voter fraud were baseless and Larry Hogan of Maryland – neither avid Trump boosters – have accused the president of delaying the inevitable.
“In the middle of this pandemic, this economic collapse, people dying across the country, to not know if we’re going to have a transition. there’s no transition, and how long is this going to go on?” said Hogan. “With no stimulus package getting done with, with no additional virus relief with, you know, it’s crazy. We’ve got to move on.”
And veteran Republican strategist Karl Rove wrote in the Wall Street Journal:
“The president’s efforts are unlikely to move a single state from Mr. Biden’s column, certainly they’re not enough to change the final outcome. Once his days in court are over,” Rove continued “The president should do his part to unite the country by leading a peaceful transition and letting grievances go.”
As for Joe Biden, Pope Francis congratulated the president-elect on his victory. Biden, a lifelong Roman Catholic, spoke to the Pope on Thursday.