Nov 10, 2020
Mitch McConnell & Senate Republicans Press Conference Transcript November 10: “The Electoral College Will Determine the Winner”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans held a press conference on November 10 to address the Senate leadership election. McConnell also addressed the presidential election, saying “Anyone who is running for office can exhaust concerns about counting in any court of appropriate jurisdiction. It’s not unusual, it should not be alarming.” Read the transcript of the briefing here.
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Mitch McConnell: (00:03)
Well good afternoon everyone. We just had our leadership elections for the leadership team for the next two years and we’re ready to get going even though there’s some suspense about exactly whether we’ll be in the majority or not which will be answered in Georgia on January 5. We have one member of our team that’s brand new, Senator Rick Scott from Florida who will take over the NRSC. I’m going to call on each of my members for a couple of words and we’ll take a couple questions and then we’ll see you again after lunch. John Thune.
John Thune: (00:40)
Thank you Leader and congratulations to you and to all of our members of our leadership team. This is a terrific leadership team and a wonderful conference, very diverse conference and we got some great new members who are excited to get to work to take on the challenges that face the American people. I think the election made it very clear that people across this country reject the agenda that was put forward by the Democrats. If you look at the defund the police movement, the Green New Deal movement, all those things, it was pretty clear that voters across this country said we don’t want anything to do with that which is why I believe we had wins in the House and why people we expect in the end are going to support a divided government by giving us the majority in the United States Senate. So we have a terrific team to work with and we’ve got our leadership elections done today and this team is ready to go to work on behalf of the American people.
Jeb Hensarling: (01:50)
I appreciate the opportunity to continue as Chairman of the Republican Conference for the next two years. We have four new members who are part of the conference discussions today and are great additions and I’m especially happy to have Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming joining me. She is the first woman elected to the United States Senate from Wyoming in our 130 years as a state. We still have a couple of races in Georgia. Our candidates are very tough people and they know how to run tough races and I expect victories there. We did learn some lessons from this election, that there was a rejection of this very liberal approach by the Democrats far to the left. They’ve rejected the defund the police, rejected expanding the size of the Supreme Court beyond the nine, they’ve rejected forcing us to stop producing American energy. As Republicans we’re going to keep talking about the things that we believe people at home believe is important to them which is getting back to work, getting our kids safely back to school, and getting this coronavirus disease behind us and that is what the Republican conference is going to continue to talk about.
Roy Blunt: (03:05)
I was pleased to be elected policy chairman again. What we saw in this last campaign was that candidates really matter but what you’re for also really matters. I think that’s one of the reasons that virtually every predictor of what was going to happen in the elections was wrong. The president wasn’t defeated by huge numbers. In fact he may not have been defeated at all. We gained seats in the House, we are going to hold the majority in the Senate. Hispanic Americans voted for Republicans in ways that they have not ever done before. African-American women, young African-American men below say 35, high percentages of them, way beyond expectations, voted for our candidates, voted for the president.
Roy Blunt: (03:56)
I think if you’re a Republican in the Senate today, if you’re a Republican in the Congress today, there are incredible opportunities out there as we look at what voters said, what voters said they didn’t want but also what voters clearly said they do want. They want more opportunity, they want more fairness, they want a strong economy, they don’t want the regulators to regulate us out of business. We want every regulation we need and not a single regulation we don’t need. They’d like to see what happened in the first three years of the Trump administration continue to happen. That’s a message that we all need to pay close attention to. High employment numbers, low unemployment numbers among every group in American and voters defied every predictor when they came to the polling place and said, “This is what we want to see more of.”
Joni Ernst: (04:54)
First I’m very thankful to have made it through another election season and on to my second term in the United States Senate so to the people of Iowa, I’m very honored to be able to serve you again for six more years. For this leadership team and for my Republican conference, I want to say thank you so much for once again electing me as Vice Chair of the Republican Conference. It is such a tremendous opportunity for me to be able to take the stories that I get and you hear me talk about it all the time but I’m so proud of the 99 county tour that I do every single year, that Chuck Grassley has done for 40 years, to be able to gather those stories from Iowans and take their opportunities and their challenges and their voices and lay it out with the members of this leadership team to make sure that they are represented here to the best of my ability in the United States Senate.
Joni Ernst: (05:53)
One also you’ll recognize as the only female member of the leadership team, it is a great honor to be able to project a conservative woman’s voice on the national stage and recognizing that this may have been the GOP year for our women and again just adding an additional voice for them as we continue to move through this next term but again just so grateful [inaudible 00:06:22] people of Iowa and then to the members of my conference for re-electing me, putting their trust and confidence in me for this position as vice chair. Thank you.
Rick Scott: (06:35)
First off it’s a real honor to get elected to this job. It’s a hard job, I’m going to take it very seriously. I know the job is to make sure we have a Republican majority in the Senate. First we’ve got to go win in Georgia and we’re going to win in Georgia. We all heard what the Democrats are going to do. Chuck Schumer said if he can take Georgia he can change America and we know what the Democrat changes are. Medicare for all which is going to take away private health insurance for 150 million Americans. The Green New Deal which is going to ruin our economy, it’s $100 trillion expenditure. The socialism, reduce funding for the police. All these things are going to change the America that we all grew up in that we all want to keep. We’ve got great candidates for the ’22 cycle. We’re going to recruit others and we’re going to continue to have a Republican majority after the Georgia races and at the end of ’22.
Mitch McConnell: (07:25)
We’re going to have another stakeout after lunch. I’ve got to go open the Senate but I will take a couple quick ones.
Speaker 7: (07:32)
What does it say about America that heads of state from around the world have congratulated President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris when Republican leadership has still neglected to do so? Are you all afraid of President Trump?
Mitch McConnell: (07:49)
What it says about America is that until the Electoral College votes, anyone who is running for office can exhaust concerns about counting in any court of appropriate jurisdiction. It’s not unusual, it should not be alarming. At some point here we’ll find out finally who was certified in each of these states and the Electoral College will determine the winner and that person will be sworn in on January 20. No reason for alarm.
Speaker 8: (08:32)
Leader McConnell [inaudible 00:08:35] electoral challenges and legal [inaudible 00:08:37] from going on [inaudible 00:08:41]?
Mitch McConnell: (08:52)
I don’t think anything that’s occurred so far interrupts an ordinary process of moving through the various steps that I indicated and allowing … If there is a new administration, to work through the transition. All of these steps will be taken at the appropriate time.
Mitch McConnell: (09:13)
All of these steps will be taken at the appropriate time. Now I’m going to go over and open the Senate. We have another stakeout after lunch and I’ll be happy to take your questions then.