House GOP leader defends Trump's call to stop vote count

The president said vote counting should end on Election Day.

November 4, 2020, 2:51 PM

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday attempted to explain the president’s rhetoric demanding "all voting stop" after Tuesday -- referring to vote counting – but McCarthy insisted he meant only that new votes should not be cast after Election Day.

“The people vote, up until Election Day, not the days after,” McCarthy told reporters. "That's exactly what the president was expressing."

PHOTO: President Donald Trump speaks during election night in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Nov. 4, 2020.
President Donald Trump speaks during election night in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Nov. 4, 2020.
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

During his remarks from the White House early Wednesday morning, Trump argued for all "voting to stop," asserting Democrats would use mail-in ballots to steal the election.

“We want all voting to stop. We don't want them to find any ballots at four in the morning and add them to the list, OK?" Trump said.

PHOTO: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy gives his assessment of the GOP's performance in the election as he speaks with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Nov. 4, 2020.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy gives his assessment of the GOP's performance in the election as he speaks with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Nov. 4, 2020.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

McCarthy said he spoke to Trump Wednesday and that the president "feels good." The California Republican suggested that Arizona should revert to undecided status, and said Trump “looks very good” in Pennsylvania and Michigan - two states that remained too close to call as votes legally cast before polls closed continued to be counted.

"I think at the end of the day, the president will be reelected for four more years," McCarthy predicted. "This is what a public democracy is about. We want to make sure it's legal, it's fair and every legal vote is counted."

Ignoring the fact that Joe Biden has already secured more votes than any other presidential candidate in U.S. history, McCarthy instead touted Trump’s totals – correctly observing that the incumbent president has exceeded the total number of votes Barack Obama received in 2008.

He also celebrated his party’s performance, noting that the House GOP Conference will expand its ranks to include a record number of women and minorities.

"There's a simple reason for this: President Trump has led our country to historic success. Even in the face of unprecedented challenges, his administration has prevailed and delivered results for the American people," McCarthy said. "That is why our country needs President Trump for four more years and we’ll continue to fight for his re-election, until all the votes legally cast are counted."

After picking up a net-gain of 5 seats in the House of Representatives so far, McCarthy contended his party's success is a repudiation of socialism and the Democratic left’s agenda.

"I think the rejection that we saw last night from the Democrats was that America does not want to be a socialist nation," he said. “I think the other rejection that we saw -- we watched the Democrats promise that [if] they would be given the power to have the majority that they would act that they would solve problems, and they wasted their majority."

Nevertheless, Republicans are expected to fall short of winning a majority of seats in the lower chamber, and McCarthy is expected to win his conference's top leadership post as House Minority Leader in the 117th Congress.

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