Midterm updates: Biden calls midterms a choice between ‘different visions of America’
With two days to go, Democratic and Republican leaders face a perennial problem at the end of the election season: There’s not much to say that they haven’t already said, usually dozens of times.
This was clear on the Sunday morning shows, where Republican guests repeated the themes of inflation and crime and expressed their belief in a coming red wave, and Democratic guests repeated their words about President Biden’s record and expressed their belief that the polls are underestimating them.
Here are a few moments that stood out from the blur.
RNC calls for more poll watchers.
Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, was asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” about reports that right-wing activists are intimidating voters. She replied: “No one should intimidate or break the law. No one should. But looking at the polls is not scary.”
The host, Dana Bash, did not mention vote watching, the formal process through which members of both parties can watch ballots being cast and counted. Instead, the episodes she cited included right-wing activists gathering near ballot boxes in Arizona with cameras and guns, and a group in Michigan calling on members to take photos of voters’ license plates.
“Don’t attack or intimidate people who are trying to vote,” Ms. McDaniel urged before returning to a separate question about poll watchers, whom Republicans are working hard to recruit. “The RNC couldn’t do that for 40 years — we were under a legal order that we couldn’t have poll watchers, and now we can,” she said, referring to a ban that was introduced in 1982 after courts found that the Republican Party had intimidated voters or tried to exclude minorities. The ban was lifted in 2018.
She added: “They’re just watching, and it helps us in the end to reassure the voters to say, listen, we’ve been there. We watched it. It went well.”
Oklahoma’s governor talks about his unexpectedly close race.
Gov. Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma – a Republican in a competitive re-election race in one of the nation’s reddest states – claimed Democrats were spreading “misinformation” about his record.
“The reason it’s a tight race is that unprecedented dollars, $50 million, have been spent against me to spread lies and mayhem,” Mr. Stitt told “Fox News Sunday.” “The misinformation is simply unbelievable. They are literally sending flyers to people in rural parts of our state saying I am going to close rural schools. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
Joy Hofmeister, his Democratic opponent, opposes vouchers that would give parents government funding for private school tuition, an idea Mr. Stitt supports. Ms. Hofmeister called the idea a “rural school killer” — arguing that it would divert limited resources from public schools to private schools, which are not an option in many rural areas — and that argument he seems to have been powerful among rural voters.
Clyburn is horribly throwing away the stakes in the election.
Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the third-ranking Democrat in the House and an influential figure among black voters, defended recent comments suggesting that the United States was in danger of following the path of Germany in the 1930s. He said Germany “was the biggest democracy” before it elected a leader who “co-opted the media” – and that Republican victories in the mid-term elections could “lead to the destruction of this democracy”.
On Fox News Sunday, host Shannon Bream noted that critics had slammed Mr. Clyburn’s remarks as Holocaust denigration.
“I have spoken to many Jews in my congressional district, and they are my supporters,” Mr. Clyburn replied. “They know that’s what causes these kinds of deteriorations in democracy.”
Mr. Clyburn cited efforts that could allow Republican governors and state legislatures to overturn the results of future elections, as well as the demonization of the media as troubling echoes of the past.
“I’ve studied history all my life, I’ve taught history,” he said, “and I’m telling you what I see here are parallels to what history was.
Chris Cameron contributed to the reporting.
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