4:50 PM ET Jan 24, 2020 17:50:30 A lot of Republicans have made the mistake of focusing on what ails their party and trying to take credit for a bad outcome, even if the underlying cause is not their fault.
But this is one of the most common of the times when GOP candidates have gone too far.
While the 2016 presidential campaign was plagued by accusations of voter fraud, it was the GOP that took the unprecedented step of calling for a “national commission on voter fraud” and appointing Vice President Mike Pence to lead it.
In 2018, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) floated the idea of a “major voter fraud investigation” after an election in which his opponent was elected, but the investigation never materialized.
In both cases, GOP lawmakers used the accusation as a wedge issue to undermine the legitimacy of the election process and prevent voters from exercising their right to vote.
At the time, the idea seemed extreme, especially considering that the 2016 election was the first to be held under the Supreme Court’s Voting Rights Act.
But the notion of a nationwide commission on election fraud has been gaining traction over the last several years.
It has been championed by Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan (R.-Wis.), the chair of the House Budget Committee, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), who have pushed for a nationwide “voter fraud commission” in recent years.
And Republicans are not the only ones using the term.
President Donald Trump has used the phrase “voting machine problem” several times to justify his campaign promise to install “more voting machines” in the country’s voting machines.
While that promise has been made multiple times by both Trump and GOP lawmakers, it is still not widely accepted as a viable solution.
“I would suggest that the next step is for us to move beyond that.
We can’t continue to sit on the sidelines and let this country be hijacked by the radical left and their radical agenda,” said Trump in an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett.
“This is a national security issue.
We have to move this country forward.”
In his 2017 budget, which included a proposal to build new voting machines, Trump also called for the creation of a national commission to investigate “the use of the ballot box as a voting system.”
“We are going to have to do something.
It’s time for us, in particular, to take the lead,” he said at the time.
“We need to do it.
It is a serious problem.”
The Republican National Committee, which has supported the idea in the past, is now pushing back against the suggestion.
“The National Voter Registration Project, led by the Secretary of State, is an important tool for strengthening voter registration and the integrity of elections,” the RNC said in a statement.
“Any suggestion that a national voter registration commission is the solution to the ‘voting machines problem’ is false and ignores the importance of our elections to our country.”
The GOP also argues that voter fraud is not a serious threat.
“There is no credible evidence to suggest that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 elections,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in February, according to a report from the Washington Post.
“However, there is evidence that some fraudulent votes were cast.”
But Democrats and civil rights groups say that the idea has been used to create an atmosphere of paranoia and distrust in communities of color, and that the GOP is simply trying to make the country less safe.
“To equate any form of voter intimidation or intimidation with voter fraud in a way that’s really irresponsible is shameful and irresponsible,” said Jesse Ferguson, a civil rights attorney who worked on the Justice Department’s voter fraud task force during the Obama administration.
“These Republicans are trying to turn back the clock on voting rights.
They are not interested in fairness.
They want to make sure that the people of the country have to live in fear.”
The notion of nationwide voter fraud commission was brought up during a White House meeting on Tuesday, when Vice President Pence and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) discussed a “voters integrity commission” at the White House.
The idea of such a commission has also been floated by a number of conservative media figures, including Fox News host Sean Hannity, who has suggested that the “voted fraud” issue could be the “first casualty” of the upcoming 2020 election.
“It’s like when you have the election of Donald Trump,” Hannity told his viewers on Tuesday.
“You’re like, well, we’re going to go find the guy who was actually responsible for the election.
And then when he’s gone, we’ll have the next election and they’ll be right back in it.”
The idea was also discussed by Sen. Rand Paul (R.
Ky.) in an email sent to the National Republican Senatorial Committee on Wednesday, according a report by Politico.
“As Republicans, we have a duty to stand up to the left and to protect