President Donald Trump threw everyone for a loop last week when, as part of his oft-repeated critiques of mail-in voting, he floated the idea of delaying Election Day this year.
Trump’s tweet prompted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to accuse the president Friday of attempting to “suppress the vote” as a way to improve his electoral chances in the fall, Newsmax reported.
Trump stirs the pot
It was on Thursday morning that President Trump tweeted:
With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???
There was an immediate uproar from Democrats, the media, and even some Republicans, all of whom ignored the strong likelihood that the president, as he is well known to do, was trolling for exactly such a response.
Indeed, Trump made it abundantly clear in subsequent tweets and a press briefing later in the day that he had no desire or intention — not to mention any authority — to delay the election, but merely hoped to spark a conversation about the risks of fraud inherent with the widespread use of mail-in ballots.
Pelosi claims suppression
Pelosi either missed or ignored the president’s explanation, however, as she let loose with her accusation that Trump was attempting to undermine the confidence of American voters in the election with his suggestion, as The Hill reported.
“The reason he does it is because the more people hear something like that, the more they’re discouraged to vote,” Pelosi said of Trump’s remarks on mail-in voting while speaking with CNN host Briana Keilar, according to The Hill.
“It’s a way to suppress the vote,” she continued, providing no evidence to back up her assertion.
Referencing the funeral on Thursday of civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Pelosi added of Trump: “At the same time as we are burying a hero of voting rights, our democracy, he goes out and says something beneath the dignity of the White House. But he does that almost every day, beneath the dignity of the presidency.”
Obama weighs in
This claim that President Trump is attempting to suppress the vote of the American people has become an increasingly commonplace refrain from Democrats.
Indeed, it was during a eulogy for Lewis that former President Barack Obama devoted a portion of his remarks to launch similar accusations at his successor, albeit without specifically naming him in what was a nakedly political diatribe at a supposedly solemn event.
Unfortunately, while Trump and everyone associated with him are forced to explain or elaborate on everything he says, the same is not the case for prominent Democrats like Pelosi or Obama, who can make all sorts of evidence-free assertions against without the slightest whiff of pushback.