Donald Trump Jr. put out a clarion call on Thursday for every Republican who hopes to be on a future presidential ticket to rush to the defense of his father and help combat largely nonexistent election irregularities. Within minutes, they began snapping to attention.
“The total lack of action from virtually all of the ‘2024 GOP hopefuls’ is pretty amazing,” the president’s eldest son tweeted on Thursday afternoon.” They have a perfect platform to show that they’re willing & able to fight but they will cower to the media mob instead.”
Less than 20 minutes later, the statements from likely 2024 GOP contenders started pouring in. “All votes that are *legally* cast should be counted,” tweeted Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR). “There is NO excuse not to allow poll watchers to observe counting.” He included a link to a Trump campaign donation and added, “Support @realDonaldTrump's legal defense here.”
Within minutes, other 2024 hopefuls were chiming in as well. “Free and fair elections is what America is about. Every LEGAL vote needs to be counted fairly and transparently,” tweeted Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), echoing Trump campaign rhetoric on the issue.
“We all owe @realDonaldTrump for his leadership of conservative victories for Senate, House, & state legislatures,” piped up former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. “He and the American people deserve transparency & fairness as the votes are counted. The law must be followed. We have to keep the faith that the truth will prevail.”
The speed with which potential future Republican presidential candidates responded to Trump Jr.’s complaint underscores the influence that President Trump and his family will likely retain in GOP politics even if, as appears likely, he is unseated by Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Indeed, some prominent Republicans didn’t even have to wait for Trump Jr.’s cue. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) had already chimed in to announce he would introduce legislation to “Ban ballot harvesting, guarantee poll watcher access, make ballot counting transparent.”
“Thanks @HawleyMO good to see this was before my tweet,” Trump Jr. tweeted, approvingly.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) had already chimed in as well. But shortly after Trump Jr.’s tweet, Cruz sent out another one, amplifying a video from a man who claimed to be a Philadelphia poll watcher and said he’d been barred from closely observing the counting process.
“This is messed up,” Cruz wrote. “Dem mayors are defying the law.”