President Donald Trump floated the possibility Thursday morning of delaying the 2020 general election, citing his administration’s unsubstantiated claims that mail-in voting to allow citizens to participate in the vote without visiting a public polling place during the COVID-19 pandemic would result in massive voter fraud.
“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???” 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???
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2020
A U.S. presidential election has never been postponed and the power to do so does not lie in the Oval Office, NBC News reports.
Trump’s suggestion received mixed reviews among right-wing media figures. Some suggested that the president floated the idea to bait outrage from his opponents.
Conservative radio host Wayne Dupree asserted that Trump had “triggered politicos” and told his follower to “now watch them trip over their ankles until Sunday morning television programs slamming him for even ‘suggesting out loud’ that the election be delayed.”
The Spectator contributor Stephen Miller noted that Trump doesn’t have the power to delay the election but said people were “going to fall for it anyway.”
The Daily Signal White House correspondent Fred Lucas said that Trump “is quite likely baiting a hysteric response for this.”
MAGA “life coach” and proudly amoral right-wing broadcaster Brenden Dilley blamed outrage over Trump’s proposal on “Trump Derangement Syndrome,” alleging that Democrats were angry that Trump is intent on “preserving the integrity of elections.”
Tim Pool, a self-described “Disaffected Liberal” political commentator, wrote that Trump “played it safe with the question mark.”
Others chided Trump for floating the idea.
The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh said that suggesting delaying this year’s election was a sure to “absolutely guarantee a loss.” He wrote, “There could be no better way to further energize an already energized opposition while, in their minds confirming every paranoid theory they have about you.”
National Review senior writer Dan McLaughlin wrote, “This is not how a man who thinks he still has any chance to win talks.” He added, “If I was a Republican Senate candidate, I’d be very upset right now with Trump openly throwing in the towel on re-election.”
Breitbart News senior editor-at-large Joel Pollak said there was “zero chance” the election will be delayed “but every chance that it will be stolen by political operatives well-rehearsed in the dirty tactics of ‘ballot harvesting.’”
Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer tweeted: “This is not an idea anyone, especially POTUS, should float. Our democracy is based on elections in which everyone knows the rules and they apply to all. Election Day is and will be Nov 3, 2020. Mr. President – please don’t even pretend to mess with this. It’s a harmful idea.” He added in a follow-up, “If I were POTUS, I would quickly delete this tweet.”
The Daily Caller’s Christian Datoc noted that Congress has sole constitutional authority to set the election date and called it “laughable” that Congress would change the election date.