Lamar Alexander: Trump needs to ‘put the country first’ and accept election results
Sen. Lamar Alexander said in an interview that aired Sunday he hopes President Donald Trump “puts the country first” and congratulates President-elect Joe Biden on his victory.
Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Alexander said there should not be any doubt “after Monday,” when the Electoral College casts its votes across the nation, about the winner of the Nov. 3 presidential election.
“The states have counted, certified their votes,” the Tennessee Republican told host Chuck Todd. “The courts have resolved the disputes. It looks very much like the electors will vote for Joe Biden. And when they do, I hope that he puts the country first — mean, the president — that he takes pride in his considerable accomplishments, that he congratulates the president-elect and he helps him get off to a good start, especially in the middle of this pandemic. We need to not lose one day in the transition in getting the vaccine out to everybody who needs it.”
Alexander, who is retiring from the U.S. Senate after three terms, is among the minority of Republicans on the Hill who have been receptive to the idea that Biden actually won the election. Trump has steadfastly refused to concede, telling Fox News in an interview that aired Sunday morning: “It’s not over. We keep going and we’re going to continue to go forward.”
In discussing threats made against election officials in various states, Alexander looked to history to say that the ability to transfer power in a peaceful fashion is one of the key features of a democracy.
“I think the most important thing for our country, as George Washington said when it was founded, is not the first election, but the second election, the orderly transfer of power. I think anything that detracts from that is not good for our democracy,” he said. “I think anything that detracts from that is not good for our democracy. And people can make their own judgment about whether the president’s acting appropriately or not.”
Alexander also decried the proliferation of lawsuits coming from Trump’s campaign and other supporters of Trump attempting to overturn results.
“I don’t think his lawyers have a right to go to court with specious lawsuits with no evidence,” Alexander said.
Another famous Tennessean, former Vice President Al Gore, said he hoped the voting by the Electoral College would put an end to the fiction that Trump won the election — and compel Republicans afraid of Trump’s wrath to stop parroting his statements along those lines. Gore conceded on this date in 2000 after losing a challenge to Florida’s recount processes in a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
“There are things more important than bowing to the fear of a demagogue,” Gore said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”