Fox News host Tucker Carlson has urged Republicans not to ‘sit out’ the Senate runoff races in Georgia, responding to threats from conservative voters to boycott the election to support President Donald Trump‘s claims of fraud.
‘You’re hearing some Republicans say, “Well maybe we should let the Republicans lose,” because they’re mad at the party in Washington,’ Carlson said on Tuesday night. ‘By the way, they have every reason to be mad at the party in Washington, They should be punished.’
‘The problem is, the rest of us should not be punished,’ he argued. ‘So before you decide to sit this one out, you should think about what this might mean.’
Implicit in Carlson’s monologue was a concession that President-elect Joe Biden will take office in January. Republicans currently hold a 50-48 edge in the Senate, meaning that if both Georgia seats flipped Democrat, a Vice President Kamala Harris would cast the tie-breaking vote.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson has urged Republicans not to ‘sit out’ the Senate runoff races in Georgia, responding to threats from conservative voters to boycott the election
Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler faces Democratic challenger Rev. Raphael Warnock in the January 5 runoff elections that could determine control of the Senate
Carlson described what he views as the risks of a Democrat-led Senate controlled by ‘Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.’
‘If Democrats take full control, the first priority will be to pass something called the HEROES Act. You’re told that’s a coronavirus economic relief package, and there’s some of that in there, but there’s a lot more,’ he said.
Carlson said the bill contains ‘a bunch of policies that will, and this is the point of them, create a permanent Democratic majority,’ including a measure to ‘legalize ballot harvesting.’
‘If Democrats take the Senate, things are going to change really, really fast, in ways that most people aren’t going to like at all,’ he continued.
It followed reports that some Republicans in Georgia are furious at state officials in the party for allowing the state’s vote to be certified, showing Biden as the winner by a narrow margin.
Over the weekend, Lin Wood, a Trump campaign attorney, suggested Trump supporters withhold their votes for the Republican Senate candidates unless they do more to address the alleged election ‘steal.’
A super PAC backing Trump, the Committee for American Sovereignty, launched a website encouraging supporters to write in Trump’s name for Senate to push Perdue and Loeffler to act.
Trump Campaign Attorney Lin Wood has suggested voters should not back Republican Senate candidates David Perdue (R-GA) and Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA)
The Trump attorney tweeted that the voters should withhold the backing for both candidates
The tension was on display at a rally last week in an Atlanta suburb, when Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler told attendees, ‘We are the firewall – not just for the U.S. Senate, but for the future of our country.’
Minutes later, the audience began chanting, ‘Stop the steal,’ echoing Trump’s unfounded claim that he will eventually prevail once fraudulent ballots are thrown out.
Loeffler and Republican Senator David Perdue face Democrat challengers in the January 5 runoffs, and have been forced to walk a narrow line by calling themselves a last bastion against Democratic priorities without explicitly admitting Trump lost the November 3 election.
While Biden narrowly carried the state, Georgia has not elected a Democratic senator in two decades.
Perdue, 70, faces Democrat Jon Ossoff, a 33-year-old investigative journalist, whom he edged out on November 3 by a 49.7 percent to 47.9 percent margin, below the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff.
Republican Senator David Perdue (left) faces Democrat Jon Ossoff (right)
A ‘Stop The Steal’ sign is displayed at a Senate runoff election campaign rally for Georgia Republican US Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler on November 20
The 49-year-old Loeffler’s Democratic challenger, Rev. Raphael Warnock, 51, led the Republican incumbent 32.9 percent to 25.9 percent in a complicated 20-candidate race in which Republican Representative Doug Collins won 20 percent support.
In twin statements, Perdue and Loeffler said they supported Trump’s recount demands.
‘I have spoken to President Trump several times in the last week about this, and as I have said from the beginning: Every legal vote cast should be counted,’ Perdue said. ‘Any illegal vote shouldn’t.’
Perdue and Loeffler previously called on Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to resign despite no evidence of major irregularities, an extraordinary attack on a fellow Republican that underscored the intense pressure to fall in line behind Trump’s claims.