Rubio Uses a Term Sure to Displease Trump

He is calling Joe Biden 'president-elect'
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2020 8:19 AM CST
Rubio Uses a Term Sure to Displease Trump
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., stands with Georgia Republican candidate for Senate Kelly Loeffler, right, and Bonnie Perdue, wife of Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., after a campaign rally Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020, in Marietta, Ga.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Marco Rubio joined a select club on Monday with a seemingly humdrum response to question regarding Joe Biden. "Well, that'll be the president-elect's decision obviously," Rubio said when asked about the possibility of a fellow senator, Angus King, joining a Biden Cabinet. By NPR's count, the response makes Rubio the fifth Republican senator to refer to Biden as president-elect, the others being Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, and Ben Sasse. Related coverage:

  • Rubio did, however, hedge a bit with the word "preliminary" when asked about his use of the phrase. "Ultimately that's what the results, the preliminary results, seem to indicate," he said. "You certainly have to anticipate that's the highest likelihood at this point."

  • A story at Politico (Republicans start to relent") suggests a shift is underway in the GOP and rounds up comments such as one from Sen. John Cornyn, who says he has "every confidence on Jan. 20 we’re going to inaugurate a president, and it will probably be Joe Biden." North Dakota's Kevin Cramer says "it grows increasingly unlikely that a remedy would involve overturning the election." And GOP Sen. Roger Wicker balked at Trump's "I won" assertion, saying, "I wouldn't have advised that he put it that way."
  • A story at the Hill ("Republicans start turning the page on Trump era") has a similar theme. It calls particular attention to a comment from national security adviser Robert O'Brien: "If the Biden-Harris ticket is determined to be the winner—and obviously things look that way now—we’ll have a very professional transition from the National Security Council."
  • But not all are as supportive. Lindsey Graham, for example, has been one of Trump's more aggressive supporters in regard to allegations of impropriety in the vote count. And the Wall Street Journal reports that GOP Sen. James Lankford now says he is "not in a hurry" to allow Biden to receive intel briefings, despite an earlier statement suggesting otherwise. Lankford says his earlier comments were distorted by the media.
  • As for Biden himself, he sounded sympathetic Monday to the position of Republicans, notes Politico: "I understand a lot of your reluctance because of the way the president operates."
(More Marco Rubio stories.)

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