NASHVILLE — Tennessee Republican and former U.S. Sen. Bob Corker weighed in Monday on plans by some congressional Republicans, including Tennessee officeholders, to oppose certifying President-elect Joe Biden's election victory.
"I am saddened that some senators plan to undermine our democratic process that gives the American people, not politicians, the right to elect our president," the former Chattanooga mayor and one-time Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman said on Twitter.
The comment by Corker came after Tennessee's two current senators, Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty, over the weekend joined an effort to oppose Wednesday's planned certification by the U.S. Senate and House of Biden's victory over President Donald Trump.
"Each American deserves to have complete confidence in our country's election results. That's why Senator @VoteMarsha and I are opposing the unconstitutional election processes of the 2020 Presidential election," Hagerty tweeted on Monday.
Biden's victory with a 7 million vote margin has been certified by the Electoral College. Trump's legal challenges have been rejected by dozens of judges, including several he appointed. The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected his challenges as well.
Trump's last stand may be the official counting of the Electoral College votes in Congress on Wednesday, normally a formality. But challenges to that outcome have won the support of senators such as Hagerty and Blackburn.
On Monday, two Republicans seeking to win a runoff election for U.S. Senate seats — Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue — announced they would join the opposition to the election results as well. Their support means Tennessee and Georgia are the only two states in the union to have both senators on board for rejecting Biden's victory.
"I will vote to give President Trump & the American people the fair hearing they deserve & support the objection to the Electoral College certification process," Loeffler said in a statement.
The GOP senators who plan to oppose final approval of the election results are asking for a 10-day delay and an audit of the allegations of voter fraud that have been rejected by state officials and the courts.
Trump continued to stoke the fires of voter fraud over the weekend after a recording was released of his attempt on Saturday to pressure Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, to "find" 11,780 votes to reverse Biden's 11,779-vote victory in the Peach State and hand the win and the state's 16 electoral votes over to Trump. He cited instances of alleged voter fraud, and was told repeatedly by Raffensperger that the allegations were reviewed and determined to be unfounded before Georgia officials certified the outcome.
Asked about Trump's recorded remarks during a Monday Fox News interview, Blackburn acknowledged that "one of the things I think that everyone said is that this call was not a helpful call.
"Now one of the things I think you have seen us talk about with our coalition that is looking at election integrity is sending this issue back to the states," Blackburn said. "The states are the ones that are going to resolve this issue. We do not have federalized elections in this country."
U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, a Nashville Democrat, tweeted Monday that "everyone should listen to this recording of President Trump's call to the Georgia Sec. of State. Trump's attempt to overturn the election in GA, after 3 recounts & many frivolous lawsuits, is worse than Watergate because it strikes at the heart of our democracy & the rule of law."
Noting "the reality in a democracy is there are winners in elections and there are losers in elections," Hamilton County Democratic Party Chair Rodney Strong said the reason the nation has survived "is because the losers accept the result. If they don't like the result, they work hard in the next election cycle. But [they] don't try to overturn the results of the last election."
Strong called it "a shame that we have our congressional representatives and two senators dishonoring the peaceful transition in trying to overturn the vote of 81 million people in this country."
Also publicly joining the opposition to the election results are U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who represents Northwest Georgia, and in Tennessee U.S. Reps. Scott DesJarlais, Chuck Fleischmann, Mark Green and Diane Harshbarger.
"I have long supported and been engaged with the Trump campaign, and I also have concerns about the conduct and transparency of many of the electoral processes in several states during the most recent election," DesJarlais, R-South Pittsburg, said on Twitter on Sunday. "An overwhelming number of people in Tennessee's Fourth Congressional District have asked for a full debate and vote, and I believe that the questions raised are worthy of discussion, evaluation, and debate by the House before a vote for certification. I have agreed to join the effort to see this happen on January 6th."
The state's three other GOP congressmen, Republican U.S. Reps. Tim Burchett, John Rose and David Kustoff, have not stated publicly whether they support the effort.
The House effort is widely expected to fail given Democrats' majority in the chamber.
But while Blackburn and Hagerty are among a dozen Senate Republicans who have joined the effort, a number of Republicans including U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky oppose it. McConnell has already congratulated Biden as the president-elect.
Contact Andy Sher at email@example.com or 615-255-0550. Follow on Twitter @AndySher1.