Pence Campaigns in Ga. Ahead of Senate Runoffs


Pence Campaigns in Ga. Ahead of Senate Runoffs(Getty)

The trip highlights a critical juncture for the Republicans and Pence, who is trying to balance his own political future against his loyalties to a president who has yet to concede defeat.

Pence appeared with Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler on the outskirts of metro Atlanta's sprawling footprint, on the same day Georgia's Republican secretary of state was expected to certify that Biden is the first Democratic presidential nominee to carry the state since 1992.

Although Pence has joined President Donald Trump in not yet conceding to Biden, the vice president held fast Friday to more careful language than the president's repeated and baseless claims of widespread voter fraud.

“As our election contest continues, here in Georgia and in courts across the country, I’ll make you a promise,” Pence said. “We’re going to keep fighting until every legal vote is counted. We’re going to keep fighting until every illegal vote is thrown out. And whatever the outcome, we will never stop fighting to make America great again."

That position has grown increasingly fraught as more states certify election returns, and even federal judges appointed by Trump reject the president's specious claims of a fraudulent election. Pence, almost certainly a future presidential candidate himself, cannot yet afford to distance himself from Trump, but also must be careful not to attach himself to mistruths that undermine confidence in U.S. elections.

While Pence was on a bus tour in Georgia, a partial recount loomed in Wisconsin. Also Friday, the president called Michigan's Republican legislative leaders to a White House meeting, an extraordinary move that raises questions over whether the president is pressuring GOP state officials to select slates of electors to the Electoral College who might subvert the voters' will at the ballot box.

Pence focused Friday on securing the Republican Senate majority by helping Perdue and Loeffler defeat Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, respectively. Having won 50 Senate seats in the new Congress, Republicans need one more for control. A Democratic sweep of the Georgia runoffs would yield a 50-50 Senate, giving Vice President-elect Kamala Harris the tie-breaking vote to tilt the chamber to Democrats, if she and Biden are ultimately confirmed as president and vice president, respectively



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