Jim Jordan Refuses To Say The Election Was Not Stolen
Rep. Jim Jordan simply could not bring himself to say Joe Biden's electoral victory was not stolen Tuesday.
The Ohio Republican was pressed to do so repeatedly by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), the chairman of the Rules Committee, as they were debating a resolution calling on Vice President to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Trump from power.
"The five words that would be helpful, I think, in terms of moving us forward, signaling to the people that came to the Capitol on Wednesday to desecrate this place, that would be helpful to try to bring them down, the five words are 'This election was not stolen.'" McGovern told Jordan.
"I would appreciate if the gentleman would say those words, because those are the words that I think would send an important signal to the types of people that came here to do harm," McGovern said.
Jordan refused. He was eventually willing to declare that Joe Biden won the election, but only while also qualifying that it was true after the GOP's objections to the Electoral College vote failed on Jan. 6, amid last Wednesday's insurrection.
He also suggested that Republicans were not to blame for the idea that the election was stolen, even as he continued to restate the case for disbelieving the actual results, which have withstood several recounts and 62 lawsuits.
"Americans, they don't need leaders to tell them what their gut already tells them, what they already instinctively know," Jordan said. "You had, for the first time in history, a sitting president get more votes than he got the previous time, but comes up short. Not just a few more votes, but millions... So they instinctively knew there was a problem. They didn't need anyone to tell them."
Jordan added that although he attended a "Stop the Steal" rally just days after the election, he only argued an investigation was needed.
"I never once said that this thing was stolen. I said there were major problems," Jordan said.
Still, he refused to affirm the opposite, that the election was not stolen.
Centrist Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter (Colo.) eventually got Jordan to say clearly that Biden won, but not without pleading emotionally for a simple yes or no.
"I'm not barking at you. I just need to have a declarative statement from you, so that we can potentially get through the next week without more violence," Perlmutter said.
"Please. We're trying to bring this nation back together. Jim, Jeeze. I really just want to bring this back together," Perlmutter said. "We had damage, injury to this nation the likes of which we haven't seen for centuries. And I just want the people to know from somebody who's in a leadership position, as you are, that Joe Biden won the election."
McGovern still wanted Jordan to affirm the results of all the court cases and recounts, though, and tried again to get the Ohioan to reject election theft claims.
"Mr. Jordan, I think for the sake of the country, it would be helpful if you would simply state for the record that this election was not stolen," McGovern said.
Jordan mocked the request.
"Now, let me get this straight -- the left says that they want to silence conservatives' speech, and now that's not good enough. Now you have to say the magic words that the left wants," Jordan said.
He argued and the three other Republicans on the Rules Committee argued that if Democrats really wanted to heal the country, they would not try to have Trump removed in the waning days of his presidency.
"I really do believe that you pushing this is going to further divide our country, further the unrest, and possibly incite more violence," said Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.). "In a little more than a week, President Biden will be the president. Please, let's just move on and heal our country."
Democrats passed the rule to consider the resolution shortly before 6, and sent it to the floor, where it appeared all but certain to pass late Tuesday. It requests Vice President Pence to declare that Trump is incapable of performing his duties as permitted in the 25th Amendment to the Constitution.
The committee was also expected to take up an impeachment resolution Tuesday night that Democrats prepared in case Pence does not go along.