Republicans' Vote Recount Response Is About Cashing In. Even As They Decry It
While the recount campaign spearheaded by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein continues to gain steam, the Republican National Committee is gearing up their defense plan. The RNC's response to Stein's recount is all about taking lemons and turning them into GOP lemonade, creating a "Recount Defense Fund."
The Hill reported that a fundraising email went out Monday afternoon from the RNC's political director, Chris Carr. It urged supporters to donate to the party's “Recount Defense Fund," which would be used to fight the recount efforts being pushed by Stein in three of the more narrowly contested states.
While Carr's email asks supporters to “help us fight back against Hillary Clinton and her allies as they drag our country through a pointless recount," this recount fight isn't actually being initiated by the Clinton campaign. As noted above, it was at the behest of Stein that a recount was granted in Wisconsin, and she may pull off recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan, as well.
Stein stated on he website that she's pushed for these recounts because she wants to "ensure the integrity of our elections." Speaking to CNN, Stein defended her recount campaign by saying, “When evidence emerged the system was being hacked all over the place, my conviction only strengthened that this was something we have to do.” As of Tuesday, she had raised close to $6.5 million to pay for recounts in the three states.
In his email, Carr said that “This recount is nothing but a distraction—and a preview of the lengths to which liberals are willing to go over the next four years to try to stop us.”
Carr added that, “Even Hillary’s legal counsel admitted that there is no ‘actionable evidence of hacking’ of voting machines." He was referring to Clinton campaign general counsel Marc Elias' comments this week to the Washington Post, describing the Clinton campaign's involvement in the recount as that of an "observer" not an instigator.
It is unclear what the GOP's "Recount Defense Fund" will be used for, and whether or not the party has taken any actions to block the recounts in these states. President-Elect Donald Trump made his opinion of the recount known on Sunday, in a signature Twitter tantrum where he alleged that "millions of people voted illegally," which is why he lost the popular vote. He also tweeted out Clinton's comments form the final debate where she criticized Trump for not outright agreeing to accept the election results, as well as a remark she made in her concession speech where she the people need to give Trump a chance to lead, presumably in an attempt to paint her as a hypocrite for participating in the recount.
It is widely accepted opinion on both sides of the aisle that this recount is not likely to change the election outcome. But that won't stop politicians from fundraising off of it.