Five Republicans are the only House members to oppose a broadly supported resolution backing a peaceful transfer of presidential power after the November election.
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Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Clay Higgins of Louisiana, Steve King of Iowa and Thomas Massie of Kentucky dubbed the resolution “a way for Democrats to attack the president,” who so far hasn’t committed to accepting the results of an election he says is ripe for fraud.
Gaetz argued that the resolution is meant to “disguise the fact that [Democrats] will refuse to accept the election results unless they win.”
“Professional loser Hillary Clinton has told Joe Biden that he should not concede, and I’m quoting, ‘under any circumstances,'” Gaetz said.
Clinton, the wife of former President Bill Clinton, ran two successful campaigns for Senate before losing the 2008 Democratic primaries to Barack Obama and the 2016 presidential campaign to Trump.
The transfer-of-power measure’s bipartisan 397-5 approval in the House followed passage of a similar resolution in the Senate by unanimous consent.
Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., who authored the resolution, tried to persuade his GOP colleagues that it wasn’t much different from the Senate counterpart, but he still faced dissent.
“As the United States of America, the federal government has always had a peaceful transition of power. And it is a collective responsibility of this body to ensure that continues,” Swalwell said during floor debate in the House.
“Everyone in America knows that this is what makes us American,” he added. “Everyone, that is, except President Trump.”
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Asked repeatedly by journalists if he would hand over the White House to Democratic opponent Joe Biden if the former vice president wins the November election, Trump has so far offered vague, noncommittal responses. His administration, however, has tried to tamp down resulting worries.
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“We’re not gonna lose this, except if they cheat,” Trump said during a campaign rally in Virginia last week. “That’s the only way we’re gonna lose, if there’s mischief.”
Biden currently leads Trump by 6.6 percentage points in a Real Clear Politics average of national polls while holding a smaller advantage in battleground states key to winning the Electoral College. In 2016, Clinton lost the Electoral College, capturing 227 votes to Trump’s 304, despite winning the popular vote by nearly 3 million.