Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called out President Biden’s rambling, incoherent diatribe against state election reform bills he delivered in a Philadelphia speech on Tuesday. In the speech, Biden invoked Jim Crow laws, the KKK, and even the Civil War to describe the modest election integrity measures, such as voter IDs, a shortened absentee ballot and early voting window, and restrictions on drop boxes and ballot harvesting.
“The denial of full and free and fair elections is the most un-American thing that any of us can imagine, the most undemocratic, the most unpatriotic, and sadly, not unprecedented,” Biden shouted. “From denying enslaved people full citizenship until the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments after the Civil War, denying women the right to vote until the 19th Amendment 100 years ago, to poll taxes and literacy test and the Ku Klux Klan campaigns of violence and terror that lasted into the ‘50s and ‘60s, to the Supreme Court decision in 2013, and then again just two weeks ago, a decision that weakened the landmark Voting Rights Act, to the willful attacks, election attacks in 2020, and then to a whole other level of threat.”
McConnell on Wednesday blasted Biden’s speech as “utter nonsense” that was “set in an alternate universe.”
“Yesterday the president of the United States delivered a speech that was set in an alternate universe,” McConnell said. “He called these mainstream state laws, these modest integrity measures that are wildly popular with Americans, quote — now listen to this — ‘the single, the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War.’ Really?”
“This is our new president who promised to lower the temperature, bring America back together and rebuild a civil society where we can dialogue as fellow citizens,” he said. “That’s the person who’s now yelling that mainstream state laws are more dangerous than two world wars, more dangerous than poll test and Bull Connor and actual Jim Crow segregation and somehow analogous to the Civil War? That’s what the president of the United States said yesterday? What utter nonsense. It would be laugh-out-loud funny if it wasn’t so completely and totally irresponsible.”
“This spring the state of Georgia passed a mainstream election law that expanded early voting and made drop boxes permanent for the first time,” McConnell continued. “The left responded with a total meltdown. Regulations that left Georgia with more flexible early voting and more flexible absentee voting than many blue states, including New York, were insanely called Jim Crow 2.0. What nonsense.”
“Georgia Democrats scared huge corporations into promoting a moral panic,” he continued. “That was completely and totally false. It was a shameless effort to manufacture an era of crisis to help Democrats ram their election takeover bills through the Congress. But it didn’t work. The Senate rejected all the bad ideas in S. 1 so the made-up outrage had to be cranked up even higher, even higher.”
“So this week state legislators from Texas decided to grab some beer, hop on a private plane, and flee the state in what they are pretending is some great moral crusade,” he continued. “In reality they’ve just come here to Washington to snap selfies, bask in the limelight, and beg Senate Democrats to take over Texas elections. Once again this outrage is completely phony.”
“The Texas legislature was going to consider bills that would expand the minimum hours of early voting, make even more counties provide 12-hour days of early voting, and make it even easier for voters to fix mistakes on mail-in ballots so their votes would actually count,” he added.
“These bills would apply voter ID to mail-in ballots through a simple process that doesn’t even require a driver’s license number,” he continued. “They’d clean up voter rolls to remove voters who have died or moved away. This is not controversial stuff, it’s common sense.”
McConnell’s appeal to common sense and a reasonable assessment of the election bills is a marked contrast to Biden’s heated, incendiary screaming about the reforms on Tuesday. As they say in the legal profession, “If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts; if you have the law on your side, pound the law; if you have neither the facts nor the law, pound the table.”
That is exactly what the Democrats are doing right now: Pounding the table.