Senator M. Michael Rounds went on ABC News yesterday and stated the simple fact that, contrary to the Big Lie fascists are peddling in South Dakota, the 2020 election was the fairest election in American history:
We looked — as a part of our due diligence, we looked at over 60 different accusations made in multiple states.
While there were some irregularities, there were none of the irregularities which would have risen to the point where they would have changed the vote outcome in a single state.
The election was fair, as fair as we have seen. We simply did not win the election, as Republicans, for the presidency. And moving forward — and that’s the way we want to look at this — moving forward, we have to refocus once again on what it’s going to take to win the presidency [Senator M. Michael Rounds, interview with George Stephanopoulos, transcript, ABC: This Week, 2022.01.09].
Senator Rounds told his fellow Republicans that winning future elections requires rejecting the Big Lie:
And if we simply look back and tell our people don’t vote because there’s cheating going on, then we’re going to put ourselves in a huge disadvantage. So, moving forward, let’s focus on what it takes to win those elections. We can do that. But we have to let people know that they can — they can believe and they can have confidence that those elections are fair.
And that is in every single state that we looked at [Rounds, 2022.01.09].
Asked if he would support the Biggest Liar, Donald Trump, if he runs for President again, Senator Rounds said, “I will take a hard look at it”:
Personally, what I have told people is, is I’m going to support the Republican nominee to be president. I’m not sure that the eventual nominee has even shown up yet. There’s still — we’re two years to go, where we’re going to focus on the next election cycle. It’s critical that we take back the House. It’s critical that we take back the United States Senate.
And doing and based upon that, then we will decide who our nominee for president is going to be [Rounds, 2022.01.09].
The fact that Senator Rounds can speak simple fact should not impress us. The fact that Senator Rounds can still suggest he would support a fascist menace who unleashed an insurrection against Congress and is still undermining the United States Constitution should disgust us.
The fact that Senator Rounds declined to directly endorse Trump but directly refuted Trump’s Big Lie disgusted Trump, who posted this stream of insults against Rounds on his website today. Let’s take it in chunks:
“Senator” Mike Rounds—
Mock quote marks? Really? Is Trump making his Lie Bigger by asserting that South Dakota’s 2020 U.S. Senate election was also rigged and that Democrat Dan Ahlers is the rightful junior Senator from South Dakota? Yes, please, bring that lawsuit.
—of the Great State of South Dakota just went woke—
Senator Rounds is “woke”? I thought that Left and Right at least agreed that “woke” refers to attention to racism and other social injustice. Senator Rounds’s comment Sunday says nothing about race, gender, or anything else that seems to fit the “woke” frame. He’s not discussing his party’s generation-spanning efforts to quash voting rights through systemic racism (although he should be). His affirmation of the results of the 2020 election make no claim pertaining to racial or social justice. Rounds is stating only that we counted ballots correctly. That’s not a “woke” statement; that’s just math and law.
—on the Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020. He made a statement this weekend on ABC Fake News, that despite massive evidence to the contrary,—
Were you not listening to Senator Rounds? There is no evidence, massive or minuscule, of a fraudulent election.
—including much of it pouring in from Wisconsin, Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and other states, he found the election to be ok—just fine. Is he crazy or just stupid?
Why both listening further? Forever lacking evidence, the Big Liars can only resort to name-calling.
The numbers are conclusive, and the fraudulent and irregular votes are massive. The only reason he did this is because he got my endorsement and easily won his state in 2020—
Oh, so Rounds did win the 2020 election. So he is our Senator, without quote marks. Trump’s style is not about developing a coherent story; it’s just about venting his boundless spleen.
Additionally, I concur with the assessment of South Dakota Republican Party blogger Pat Powers that Trump’s endorsement of Rounds in 2020 has no impact on the results of Rounds’s victory over Ahlers. Suppose Trump hadn’t endorsed Rounds. Would the outcome of the election have changed? Rounds won over 15,000 more votes than Trump. At least 15,000 people who did not want Trump as their President chose Rounds as their Senator. The absence of a Trump endorsement wouldn’t have swayed those voters. If “doing what Trump tells me” was the only criterion for any other voters, they still wouldn’t have added their votes to the Dan Ahlers and the Democrats, and they had no alternative candidates; they’d have just left the ballot blank rather than casting a traitor’s vote for woke liberal Antifa lovers. Rounds could have given more than 132,000 votes, almost 48% of his total, without losing his seat to Ahlers.
Rounds won a harder campaign against multiple opponents in 2014 without any endorsement from Trump. Rounds won an easier race in 2020 independent of any “help” (i.e., a few words on Twitter) from Trump.
—so now he thinks he has time, and those are the only ones, the weak, who will break away. Even though his election will not be coming up for 5 years, I will never endorse this jerk again.
Jerk. That’s all Trump has. Name-calling. All that’s left now is for someone to tell Trump M. Michael Rounds’s real first name.
It’s RINOs like this that are allowing the Democrats to destroy our Nation! Our Borders, our Military, our Economy, Inflation, the horrible handling of the China Virus and Afghanistan, and rampant crime throughout our Democrat-run cities are ripping our Country apart. We are a laughingstock throughout the world when we were respected and even feared just 1 year ago. There were no thoughts of Russia with Ukraine, China with Taiwan, Iran with nuclear weapons, or North Korea with nasty statements.
The Radical Left Democrats and RINOS, like “Senator” Mike Rounds, do not make it easy for our Country to succeed. He is a weak and ineffective leader, and I hereby firmly pledge that he will never receive my Endorsement again!
Now one would think that Trump’s vow not to support Rounds if he is again nominated by the Republican Party would free Rounds from his loyal party-boy promise to support his party’s nominee for President, even if that nominee is the disloyal Trump. But Senator Rounds doesn’t go there. He just sticks with the facts:
I’m disappointed but not surprised by the former president’s reaction. However, the facts remain the same. I stand by my statement. The former president lost the 2020 election.
This isn’t new information. If we’re being honest, there was no evidence of widespread fraud that would have altered the results of the election. To that point, nearly all of my Senate Republican colleagues acknowledged this last January. During the electoral certification process, we did our due diligence and looked at the challenges made by the former president’s lawyers. Over 90 senators agreed that there was not enough evidence to overturn the results and, therefore, certified the election as our Constitution calls for [Senator M. Michael Rounds, Facebook post, 2022.01.10].
…takes two clever and Senatorially subtle shots at Trump:
Additionally, Vice President Mike Pence stood his ground, acknowledged President Biden’s victory and acted with integrity. It’s time the rest of us do the same.
If you look at the challenges our nation faces today – whether it be inflation, the border crisis or Afghanistan – it’s clear that we are in desperate need of responsible, conservative, disciplined leadership in the White House [Rounds, 2022.01.10].
…and reminds his fellow Republicans that attacking fellow Republicans, not to mention the legitimacy of elections, will not win elections:
As a Republican Party, our focus should be on what lies ahead, not what’s in the past. Elections are about growing support for your party, not further dividing it. Attacking Republicans certainly isn’t going to result in a winning formula. Neither is telling citizens not to vote. If we are going to win in 2022 and 2024, we have to move forward together [Rounds, 2022.01.10].
Just compare the content and tone of these two men’s statements. While Trump lies, calls names, and wallows in personal pique, Rounds ignores personal insult and recites plain facts and practical campaign strategy. Just imagine hearing talk like this at your dinner table, at Caribou Coffee, or at a ball game, from a real person speaking directly to your face. Which person would you rather listen to? Which person would you want to spend more time with? Which person would you trust as a neighbor, or as your boss, or as the person speaking for you on your City Council, or in Congress, or in the White House?
I don’t like either of these Republicans. (Remember, Rounds is the Republican who made me a Democrat, and his complicity in Trump’s ascent affirms my choice.) But the Rounds/Trump exchange shows South Dakota Republicans that they face a stark choice: follow a petulant, lying child, or follow a mild-mannered, occasionally honest adult who can put his party ahead of his ego.