Sen. Roy Blunt to Stephanopoulos: 'The Media Doesn't Get to Decide Who the Winner Is'

By Susan Jones | November 9, 2020 | 8:42am EST

( - ABC's George Stephanopoulos, along with CNN's Jake Tapper, expressed dismay on Sunday that leading Republicans have not congratulated Joe Biden, who's been declared the winner by major news outlets.

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) told Stephanopoulos: 

You know, actually, the media can project, but the media doesn't get to decide who the winner is. There is a canvassing process. That needs to happen.

I said on Friday, I thought it was time for the president to turn this discussion over to his lawyers, time for the lawyers to make the case that they have, both in court and to the American people, and then we're going to have to deal with those facts as they're presented. That has to happen, and then we move forward.

"Joe Biden has won this election. Why can't you acknowledge it?" Stephanopoulos asked Blunt.

"Well, what I said on, it's time for the president's lawyers to present the facts, and then it's time for those facts to speak for themselves," Blunt replied:

It's going to be much easier to work toward the kind of transition we want, look at the inauguration, which I'm going to have the honor of chairing again this time, and bringing the country together if everybody feels like we went through a process and everybody was heard, every legal vote was counted, every illegal vote was challenged and not counted, we come to a conclusion, I think that happens pretty quickly.

Almost every state within seven to ten days of the election goes through that entire canvas. There are always some changes. Seems unlikely that any changes could be big enough to make a difference. But this is a close election and we need to acknowledge that.

I -- I read twice in -- in reports this morning the Democrats -- the Democrat blue wall has returned. The blue wall of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin. The blue wall is at best a blue speed bump now. This is a competitive country. There is a message to whoever the next president is to work together.

I look forward to the president dealing with this however he needs to deal with it. I thought Vice President Biden did a great job last night talking about where the country wants to head. And one way to do that is to finish this election the way it deserves to be finished.

As chairman of the Rule Committee, Sen. Blunt is in charge of the presidential inauguration, and he said his committee is "planning for a normal inauguration," despite the pandemic:

We're moving forward, anticipating an outside, full-scale inauguration that's easier to scale back than to scale up, and we're going to be talking to people this week about that very topic and hope that the person who's sworn in on inaugural day sees it as a great day, even though it happens at the Capitol, is up to the Congress to decide.

The president-elect is our guest that day. And, once again, I think we're going to project to the world that democracy works, that this country where -- with the president's efforts and other efforts -- incredible energy in this election produced a result and that this is a great time for us to show how a true democracy works.

And hopefully we'll -- I'm confident we're going to see that. I expect to see both Vice President Biden and President Trump on the stages on Inaugural Day. And that will be a powerful message no matter which one of them is sworn in that day.

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