“We’ve had the most competitive presidential race in our modern history,” McCarthy said on Fox News on Sunday. “That’s why every vote should be counted, every recount to go forward, and every challenge should be heard.”
The Republican Party is split over how to handle Biden’s victory, as Trump continues to dispute the result. While a small contingent of conservatives want to restore faith in the democratic process, Trump’s fiercest supporters have adopted the President’s mantra to “fight back very hard” when he feels personally mistreated.
“This is a contested election,” Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham said on Fox on Sunday. “The media doesn’t decide who becomes president, if they did, you would never have a Republican president forever.”
“Do not concede, Mr. President, fight hard,” the South Carolina Republican added.
Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, a member of GOP leadership, said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that “it seems unlikely that any changes could be big enough to make a difference, but this is a close election.”
“I look forward to the President dealing with this however he needs to deal with it,” he added.
The party’s responses in the aftermath of the election seem to split its past from its future.
And Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, a former governor and secretary of education who is retiring after a four-decade career in public office, said on Saturday that the presidential candidates should fulfill their democratic duty and accept the will of the people.
“After counting every valid vote and allowing courts to resolve disputes, it is important to respect and promptly accept the result,” tweeted Alexander. “The orderly transfer or reaffirming of immense power after a presidential election is the most enduring symbol of our democracy.”
But Alexander’s Republican incoming successor in the Senate, Bill Hagerty, Trump’s former ambassador to Japan, said that he had contributed to Trump’s legal fund to protect the “integrity” of the election, and retweeted Trump’s statement that “this election is far from over.”
Addressing the nation on Saturday before a parking lot in Delaware full of honking supporters, Biden and Harris called on the country to heal after a divisive election.
“It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, to lower the temperature, to see each other again, to listen to each other again,” Biden said.
But just hours earlier, Trump again falsely claimed that the election was stolen from him, baselessly alleging that election observers were not present at the polls.
“I WON THE ELECTION, GOT 71,000,000 LEGAL VOTES,” tweeted the president. “BAD THINGS HAPPENED WHICH OUR OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE. NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WERE SENT TO PEOPLE WHO NEVER ASKED FOR THEM!”
“In the Senate, virtually every candidate, even those who were wildly thought to be on the way to winning, over performed,” Billy Piper, a former McConnell chief of staff, told CNN. “That’s a good night.”
“It actually appears that in the middle of absolutely horrible circumstances, America has once again run the election it should be proud of,” he added. “The fact that we are counting 150 million ballots as quick as we are, given the uniqueness of how they had to be cast, it’s pretty amazing.”
Kristin Wilson contributed to this report.