Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker lashed out at members of his own party on Monday, saying the continued efforts by some Republicans to overturn the results of the presidential election are "an affront to Democracy."
President Donald Trump has enlisted support from a dozen Republican senators and up to 100 House Republicans to challenge the Electoral College vote when Congress convenes in a joint session to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 win.
"I can't remember who said this over the weekend, but someone said, 'President-elect Joe Biden won the election fair and square,'" Baker said Monday. "He did."
Despite Trump’s claims of voter fraud, state officials have insisted the elections ran smoothly and there was no evidence of fraud or other problems that would change the outcome. The states have certified their results as fair and valid. Of the more than 50 lawsuits the president and his allies have filed challenging election results, nearly all have been dismissed or dropped. He’s also lost twice at the U.S. Supreme Court.
On a call disclosed Sunday, Trump can be heard pressuring Georgia officials to “find” him more votes.
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"I think the noise and the accusations and the commentary about challenging this or that is an affront to democracy and to the voice of the people who turned out in record numbers in this election," Baker said. "For the life of me, I can't figure out how people in my party can say all the other elections in which their folks barely won were fine, and the only one they seem to have any concerns about is the one at the top of the ticket."
"I hope these initiatives fail," he added, so an orderly transition can take place.
"We just finished 20 minutes of Q and A with you all about the largest and most significant and potentially life-saving vaccine rollout in U.S. history, and I think everybody at this point in time would say it can't happen fast enough... That, in my view, is where our colleagues at the federal level should be focusing their time and attention."
Baker is one of a growing number of prominent Republican lawmakers who are pushing back against Trump.
“The 2020 election is over,” said a statement Sunday from a bipartisan group of 10 senators, including Republicans Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Mitt Romney of Utah.
The senators wrote that further attempts to cast doubt on the election are “contrary to the clearly expressed will of the American people and only serve to undermine Americans’ confidence in the already determined election results.”
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland said, “The scheme by members of Congress to reject the certification of the presidential election makes a mockery of our system and who we are as Americans.”
Former House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican, said in a statement that “Biden’s victory is entirely legitimate” and that efforts to sow doubt about the election “strike at the foundation of our republic.”
The unusual challenge to the presidential election, on a scale unseen since the aftermath of the Civil War, clouded the opening of the new Congress and is set to consume its first days. The House and Senate will meet Wednesday in a joint session to accept the Electoral College vote, a typically routine process that’s now expected to be a prolonged fight.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.