Sen. Josh Hawley, the Missouri Republican who led the Senate objectors to President Joe Biden’s election win on Jan. 6, 2021, said without a hint of irony Thursday that “Democrats don’t accept elections that they don’t win.”
Asked whether a failure to pass voting rights protections in Congress would render the 2022 midterm results illegitimate, Biden said that “it all depends on whether or not we’re able to make the case to the American people that some of this is being set up to try to alter the outcome of the election. He later added that “the increase in the prospect of [the election] being illegitimate is in proportion to not being able to get these reforms passed.”
The voting rights reforms are intended to make it easier for all Americans to cast a ballot and to reverse efforts by multiple states to restrict voting access amid former President Donald Trump’s ongoing lies that the 2020 presidential election was rigged against him.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki later clarified that Biden was not casting doubt on the legitimacy of the 2022 election. She also appeared on Fox News to make this point.
Hawley told Fox News’ Pete Hegseth: “What I heard was what Joe Biden said loud and clear, which is he’s already making excuses for why he’s going to lose in November. That’s what all this is about: Democrats don’t accept elections that they don’t win.”
Hawley then claimed that Biden was calling the results illegitimate to pre-empt a potential loss of the Democratic majority in the House and Senate.
“It’s dangerous, it’s wrong, it’s ridiculous,” he said.
Hawley was the first senator to announce that he would object to the certification of the Electoral College count on Jan. 6, 2021, and repeatedly promoted disinformation about election fraud after Trump lost to Biden in November 2020 by more than 7 million votes.
On Jan. 6, hours before a mob of Trump supporters laid siege to the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overturn the election, Hawley, heading into the Capitol for the pro forma House and Senate sessions to certify the electoral count, was pictured raising a fist to protesters gathering at the building.
In the months prior to the election, Trump repeatedly cast doubt on the integrity of the electoral system and claimed the vote would be rife with fraud.
Hawley’s hypocrisy left critics stunned.