In his first official release as Montana’s new congressional member, Rep. Matt Rosendale referred to the media as “lackeys” and said he would oppose the certification of the presidential election in certain states.
After being sworn in Monday, Rosendale said he was not yet ready to say if he intended to recognize the outcome of the election. On Tuesday, however, he announced his plan to oppose President-elect Joe Biden’s win in various states.
“It’s sad that Democrats and their lackeys in the media are so blinded by partisan hatred for President Trump that they’re unable to live up to the precedent they have set and take appropriate action to safeguard our elections,” Rosendale said.
Rosendale made no mention of Trump’s call to Georgia election officials, in which he pressed the state to “find” enough votes to alter the outcome of the presidential race.
Rosendale on Tuesday joined Sen. Steve Daines, along with a handful of Republican House and Senate members, in their plan to block the ballot certification and demand that an electoral commission be established.
National experts have said the move will likely fail.
“I support the effort to create an electoral commission to conduct a 10-day audit of election returns,” Rosendale said. “This is a logical step to help restore faith in the results of this election and one that has historical precedent dating back to 1877.”
Attorney General William Barr, along with other Republican leaders, have repeatedly said they’ve found no credible evidence to support Trump’s claim of widespread election fraud.
The issue has caused a division within the Republican party. Several party members, including Sen. Mitt Romney and Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have warned against the move. Sen. Lindsey Graham also has expressed concerns with the action of certain party members.
“Proposing a commission at this late date – which has zero chance of becoming reality – is not effectively fighting for President Trump. It appears to be more of a political dodge than an effective remedy,” Graham said in a statement on Sunday.
Rosendale’s reference to 1877 relates to election returns in 1876 that were disputed in several states. Congress established a commission to determine how those electoral votes should be allocated, and it reserved the right to accept or reject the commission’s findings.
In the end, Congress awarded all 19 electoral votes to Hayes, who was elected with 185 electoral votes to Tilden’s 184. Those opposing the certification of ballots, which takes place on Wednesday, want a commission to consider reallocating electoral votes in certain states, possibly reversing the will of the voters in those states.
“It is clear that there are widespread, credible allegations of fraud and irregularities in many states, and that these allegations have endangered the American people’s faith in our electoral process,” Rosendale said. “All Americans have the right to a fair, secure election, and should be confident that the process ensures all legitimate ballots are counted, and all fraudulent ballots are rejected.”
On Sunday, Daines also announced his intention to oppose the certification of ballots and called for an election commission.
“Once completed, individual contested states would evaluate the commission’s findings, and if necessary could convene (a) special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed,” Daines said. “The commission provides a needed path to resolution before the January 20th inauguration.”