Donald Trump stormed Georgia rally a day after his alleged phone call was leaked where he was asking Georgia officials to find votes and overturn election results to his favour. And this time at the rally, he said he is relying on his Vice, Mike Pence to come through for him.
He was clearly referring to the vice president’s role in presiding over the counting of electoral votes this week that will affirm Joe Biden’s victory.
“I hope Mike Pence comes through for us, I have to tell you,” Trump said. “I hope that our great vice president, our great vice president comes through for us. He’s a great guy, because if he doesn’t come through, I won’t like him quite as much.”
But Pence’s role is largely ceremonial as a joint session of Congress meets on Wednesday to certify the tally of the Electoral College, which met last month and voted 306-232 in favour of Biden.
Traditionally, the joint session has been merely a formality, as it is the counting of ballots cast in states weeks ago. But some of Trump’s allies in the House and the Senate say that they will object to Biden’s electors and, although that maneuver will lead to a debate, it is unlikely to prevent the certification of the results, Deadline reports.
According to the report, one of Trump’s staunchest defenders, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) even sued Pence to force him to interfere and reject the Electoral College results, but courts tossed out the claim.
It is not clear what Pence could do in his role. Past incumbent vice presidents like Al Gore in 2001 and Richard Nixon in 1961, have presided over such ceremonies and have faced the bittersweet moment of affirming the victories of their campaign rivals.
Pence will have the same task of announcing the names of Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the winners.
“He is going to have a lot to say about it, and you know one thing with him, you are going to get straight shots. He is going go call it straight,” Trump said.
At the Georgia rally, held on the eve of runoff elections that will determine which party gains control of the Senate, Trump quickly went into his unfounded claims that the presidential election was stolen from him.
“There was no way we lost Georgia this time,” Trump said. “That was a rigged election.”
Trump attacked Democrats at the Georgia rally, but also Georgia’s governor, Brian Kemp, and its secretary of state, Bred Raffensperger, because they have refused to overturn the results in their state.
Over the weekend, The Washington Post posted a phone call that Trump had on Saturday with Raffensperger, in which the president pressured and even threatened him to “find” additional votes in his favor. Raffensperger refused.