Hawley: When Millions Of Americans Have Concerns About Election Integrity, We're Supposed To Sit Down And Shut Up? | Video | RealClearPolitics

Hawley: When Millions Of Americans Have Concerns About Election Integrity, We're Supposed To Sit Down And Shut Up?

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Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) appeared on FOX News on Wednesday night after announcing his plan to object to the certification of Electoral College results. Hawley says by objecting, his actions will force his colleagues in the Senate to go on record. Former CIA Director John Brennan criticized Hawley on Twitter today, calling him the "Most Craven, Unprincipled, & Corrupt Senator."

"I don't recall hearing the Democrats make any such outrageous claims when they were the ones who are objecting during the Electoral College certification in 2004 and 2016," Hawley said.

"Democrats have done this for years in order to raise concerns about election integrity," he added.


"Now, when Republicans, 74 million Americans have concerns about election integrity, we're supposed to just sit down and shut up? I mean, somebody has to stand up here. You have got 74 million Americans who feel disenfranchised, who feel like their vote doesn't matter," Hawley said.

Full transcript below, via FOX News.



WILL CAIN, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  At this hour, Republican Senator Josh Hawley has announced that he will object the certification of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States.
 
He tweeted: "Millions of voters concerned about election integrity deserve to be heard. I will object on January 6 on their behalf."
 
The senator will join us exclusively here on "The Story" in just moments.
 
Good evening. Welcome to "The Story." I am Will Cain, filling in for Martha MacCallum.
 
But first:  Two weeks ago, a FOX News poll revealed that 77 percent of Trump voters, 68 percent of Republicans, and 36 percent of all voters believe the election was stolen from President Trump. Why?
 
Well, if you flipped the channel to another cable station, or you scrolled through the cesspool of your social media feed, you would be told it's because 74 million Americans have been fed a steady diet of lies, or, even more condescendingly, that you have fallen into a cult.
 
But that's not true. What is true is that half of America is wide awake to a society, if not an election that is totally rigged. They watched as the 2016 election result was blamed on Russian interference, as Democrats boycotted President Trump's inauguration, made promises to #resist, and use every level of government to try to take him out of office.
 
They watched a corrupt media one month before the election lie to the public about the Hunter Biden investigation, while our big tech overlords censored the nation's oldest newspaper and you for even mentioning that very true story.
 
More broadly, conservatives have watched disagreement with liberal ideas totally banned from college campuses and hypocritical Democratic politicians sip wine, eat fancy meals and travel to Mexico while ordering you to stay at home.
 
And, today, Walmart took a break from bankrupting downtowns across Middle America to tweet back at Josh Hawley. More on that tweet you see on your screen in just a moment.
 
So, whether or not there is enough proof that a presidential election is rigged, conservatives can be forgiven for feeling that the entire society is rigged.
 
And into that skepticism, into that environment today stepped Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley, who joins us now exclusively on "The Story."
 
Senator, thank you so much for being with us today.
 
SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO):  You bet.
 
CAIN:  Senator, your -- the reaction to your tweet, the reaction to your choice to object to the certification of Joe Biden has been strong.
 
Here is one of your colleagues, Senator Chris Murphy, who said you were attempting to overthrow democracy.
 
He tweeted this -- the following: "Let's be clear. Those contesting the Electoral College are trying to overthrow democracy. They want to turn America into a state akin to Russia or China, where elections are for show and one-party rules. They won't succeed this time, but they will wound democracy very severely."
 
What is your reaction to that, Senator?
 
HAWLEY:  Well, first of all, I don't recall hearing the Democrats make any such outrageous claims when they were the ones who are objecting during the Electoral College certification in 2004 and 2016.
 
Democrats have done this for years in order to raise concerns about election integrity.
 
Now, when Republicans, 74 million Americans have concerns about election integrity, we're supposed to just sit down and shut up? I mean, somebody has to stand up here. You have got 74 million Americans who feel disenfranchised, who feel like their vote doesn't matter.
 
And this is the one opportunity that I have, as a United States senator, this process right here, my one opportunity to stand up and say something. And that's exactly what I'm going to do.
 
CAIN:  Let's address that hypocrisy really quickly.
 
Let's listen to another one of your colleagues, Senator Chris Van Hollen, on what he has to say about your move. Listen to this.
 
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
 
SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D-MD):  This is just grossly irresponsible by Senator Hawley, going and undermining, even more, public confidence in our democratic process, siding with the false Trump narrative.
 
(END VIDEO CLIP)
 
CAIN:  Senator Hawley, I hear you pointing out that Democrats did this in 2004. They did it in 2016.
 
Does that mean, by the way, that you think it was appropriate for Barbara Boxer and other Democrats to do that in '04 and '16?
 
HAWLEY:  You know, you just played Senator Van Hollen, I think.
 
Senator Van Hollen in 2005, January 2005, personally praised the Democrats in the House and the Senate who objected during the certification process, as it was their right to do.
 
I mean, listen, every senator, House member has the right to object if they want to. I mean, it's a judgment call on their part.
 
My view is this, that this is my opportunity to stand up and say something, to stand up and point out that there were irregularities in this election, that there was fraud. Nobody disputes that, by the way, that there needs to be an investigation as to how widespread this fraud was, and there needs to be change.
 
Our election laws need to be changed. We need election integrity measures, obviously. And yet Congress has done nothing. And they won't do anything, unless somebody stands up and says something.
 
CAIN:  Let's talk about what you hope to accomplish, Senator.
 
First of all, will you object to the certification? We know that you will. You tweeted you will. Will you also vote against certification of Joe Biden as the next president of the United States?
 
HAWLEY:  Well, we vote -- we vote state by state -- or the roll call happens, as I understand it, state by state. So, there will be different opportunities. So, I imagine different folks will object.
 
But I'm likely to the state that I object to or states that I object to. And we will -- we will see how the process goes. But I'm likely to vote against the certification in order to make this point, to make the point that, first of all, we had states like Pennsylvania that did not follow their own laws, their own state law, in the election process.
 
We had unprecedented interference from the biggest, most powerful corporations in the history of the world, the big tech corporations, all in favor of Joe Biden, censorship like we have never seen before.
 
We have had no congressional investigation of the fraud. We need it. And we have had no congressional action. We need that to protect our election going forward.
 
CAIN:  Right.
 
HAWLEY:  So, I'm going to make all of these points. And I'm going to try to force a debate about all of these points.
 
CAIN:  No doubt many of those points are very true.
 
I talked about that in the beginning. There has been well-earned skepticism from some 74 million people in this country towards every institution in the United States.
 
One of those institutions that responded to you today was one of the biggest businesses in the United States of America. It was Walmart.
 
I want to get to Walmart in just a moment, but, first, let's put up what they tweeted back at you. Walmart tweeted: "Go ahead, get your two-hour debate. #soreloser."
 
Now, Walmart has since then apologized for that tweet and said it was an employee that did not have authorization to tweet that.
 
But the underlying point that whoever tweeted this is making is that all you will really be able to do is extend debate by two hours. So, what can you accomplish with this objection?
 
HAWLEY:  Well, you can accomplish actually putting people on record and forcing this issue to the front.
 
I mean, you -- this is -- again, I go back to the fact that this is my opportunity, the only one that I have got in this process to stand up and speak on behalf of my constituents in the state of Missouri who are telling me night and day that they are worried, that they have -- are afraid, that they feel disenfranchised.
 
Somebody has got to speak for them. And it's my job to do that. That's why they elected me. And we can force a debate about what happened in this election, about what's going to happen in future elections.
 
Congress won't take any action unless Congress is forced to. And that's what this is about.
 
CAIN:  Senator, I mentioned that Walmart apologized for that tweet, said it was from an employee that did not have authorization. But I wanted to give you a chance to respond to that.
 
We talked about big tech. We talked about the different aspects of society that all seem to be rigged in the favor of one ideology. What's your response to the biggest corporation, one of the biggest corporations in this country responding to you in this way?
 
HAWLEY:  Yes, I'm not surprised.
 
I mean, these big corporations, these multinationals, they are -- first of all, they're all woke now. They all supported Joe Biden. And they all secretly look down on the people they supposedly serve.
 
I was stunned by that tweet by Walmart. I mean, you talk about insulting, you talk about condescending. I look forward to them explaining that to the millions of people who shop there, by the way, including me and my family.
 
So, I mean, they -- it's certainly an interesting choice on their part. And I imagine their customers will have something to say about it.
 
CAIN:  I want to give you a response again to address many of your critics.
 
Many are saying this move by you on January 6 will be simply to set up your potential run for a 2024 candidacy for president of the United States. What do you say to those people?
 
HAWLEY:  That -- that's ridiculous. I'm not running for president.
 
I'm the senator from Missouri. I have a responsibility to speak on behalf of my constituents and to stand up and take a stand where I can. And I say again this is the opportunity that I have to do it.
 
By the way, the Democrats have done it before. They did it in 2004. They did it in 2016. And they were praised lavishly by the media, by Democratic leaders for making election integrity a point.
 
And now, when Republicans want to do it, we're called unpatriotic, we're called traitors? That's ridiculous.
 
I'm going to stand and take this stance, I'm going to force this debate. And I hope that change will come because of it.
 
CAIN:  Senator Hawley, you have taken the lead in pushing the Republican Party in a very populist direction. You have taken the lead in calling for COVID relief checks to be increased from $600 to $2,000.
 
I have asked several times, by the way, on various programs I have been on here at FOX News to try to get you, quite honestly, and Rand Paul, somebody who disagrees with you on increasing these checks, to sit down for a debate.
 
Many Republicans are now pointing to, it's time for a refocus on deficits and balancing the budget, that now is not the time to cut these checks, increase these checks to Americans.
 
What would be your major point, what would be your major response to any Republican telling you those things? What would be your response to somebody like Rand Paul, who disagrees with you?
 
HAWLEY:  Well, first of all, working people have borne the brunt of this pandemic, the shutdowns, being sent home back in March and April and May. They're the ones who have lost their jobs.
 
They're the ones now who've got kids at home because of distance learning from COVID. They're missing their shifts. They have gotten their hours cut. They need help. It's government who put them in this position by shutting down the economy, by taking away their jobs. They need help.
 
And I will say this. For all the people who say we don't have the money, I noticed that we seemed to have plenty of money when it came to bailing out Wall Street. That didn't seem to be a problem. I noticed that we seem to have plenty of money when it came to shipping money overseas. That didn't seem to be a problem.
 
But now, when working people need help, it's, oh, heavens, we can't possibly do that.
 
I suggest that the priorities are wrong. Working people should be first for COVID relief, not last.
 
CAIN:  Hear, hear. I think that's absolutely true.
 
I would love to see that debate, by the way, Senator Hawley, between you and Senator Paul. Hopefully, we can make that happen in the future.
 
But, tonight, we thank you for stepping forward and explaining your plan to object to the certification of Joe Biden on January 6.
 
Thank you, Senator Josh Hawley.
 
HAWLEY:  Thank you.
 
CAIN:  All right.



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