GOP Sen challenges Chuck Todd to locate Stacey Abrams’ concession speech in battle over Trump

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander confronted NBC News’ Chuck Todd over his double standard in calling on President Trump to concede the 2020 election.

The Tennessee Republican pushed back at the Meet the Press host’s repeated narrative on Trump’s right to contest the presidential election as he continues to oppose calls for him to concede to Democrat Joe Biden. In the segment Sunday, Alexander sparred with Todd over the issue and brought up Democrat Stacey Abrams who infamously refused to concede in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election.

Alexander initially raised the ire of Trump supporters when he called on the president to “put the country first” and admit defeat. But his hopes that Trump “congratulate the president-elect,” citing the example of the 2000 race between Al Gore and George W. Bush, soon turned to a confrontation over the hypocrisy of Democrats like Todd.

Alexander, who did not seek re-election in 2020, said “what is a good comparison is that Al Gore conceded, then unconceded. Then, after 37 days, he conceded again.”


(Source: WRCB-TV)

“But the important thing was he made the best speech of his life. He went on television. He said, ‘the courts have decided. I respect the result. Let’s put the country first.’ That’s what I hope the president will do if, as expected, on Monday the electors vote for Joe Biden,” the GOP lawmaker added.

Todd brought up the 2016 race in which Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, asking, “I mean, do you see why it looks like a double standard?”

“Well, what about Stacey Abrams’ concession speech? Have you found it yet?” Alexander fired back.

“I’m not here to defend Stacey Abrams’ decisions,” Todd responded. “Look, I’m not here to talk about Stacey Abrams. I’m not covering that race…and that’s her decision.”

“Well, why aren’t you covering…that race?” Alexander asked.

“The question I have is, this is how the Republican Party seems to define itself in the Trump era, which is anything the president does that is unseemly, breaks a norm, instead of criticizing him, you, just now, you just say, ‘Well, what about?’ It’s whataboutism. ‘What about this?’ That doesn’t dismiss the president’s behavior, does it?” Todd responded.

“But I would think if you’re going to talk about Donald Trump all the time, you might mention Stacey Abrams once. I mean, after all, Georgia is where the Senate races are – ” Alexander shot back.

“It is something I’ve mentioned a handful of times. I’m not here to debate that,” Todd argued, as Alexander pressed, “Why aren’t you?”

“I have consistently said that if the president loses, and it appears that he will when the electors vote, he should put the country first, take pride in his accomplishments, congratulate Joe Biden and help him off to a good start, especially because of the vaccine,” Alexander said. “I think that’s a very proper way to think about that. And it respects the processes we have.”

The retiring Tennessee Republican earlier in the segment had urged Trump to “take pride in his accomplishments” and move on, adding that if he chooses to run again in 2024, “he’ll be a force in our party and in our country for as long as he wants to be.”

But many other GOP lawmakers, including more than 60% of House Republicans, have come out to publicly support the president amid the legal challenges to the election results in several key states. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-LA., locked horns with Fox News host Chris Wallace over the latest lawsuit that was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The president called out the “massive voter fraud” in the battleground states, tweeting on Monday that the votes could not be certified “without committing a severely punishable crime.”

“I worry about the country having an illegitimate president, that is what I worry about,” Trump told Fox & Friends co-host, Brian Kilmeade, on Sunday. “A president that lost, and lost badly. This was not like a close election. Look at Georgia, we won Georgia big, we won Pennsylvania big. We won Wisconsin big — we won it big. Won all of these states.”

Frieda Powers

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