A crowd at the nation’s largest right-wing summit cheered for US Senator Josh Hawley as he announced that he objected to results from the 2020 presidential election after a deadly insurrection at the Capitol among Donald Trump’s supporters fuelled by his lie that the election was stolen from them.
“On January 6 I objected to the Electoral College certification – maybe you heard about it,” he said to a standing ovation at the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida on Friday. “I stood up, I said, ‘We ought to have a debate about election integrity’.”
He said “the left” has tried to “cancel me, censure me, expel me, shut me down” for his decision to try to block Electoral College results.
“I’m not going anywhere,” he said.
Several panel discussions and keynote remarks at the 2021 CPAC have sought to relitigate or amplify lies about the 2020 presidential election, including speeches from high-profile Republicans and right-wing figures raising questions about “election integrity” after the former president’s loss.
Matt Schlapp, chair of the CPAC-hosting American Conservative Union, told CNN ahead of the conference that “we’re going to spend a lot of time going through what happened in the states.”
“Just because you fail in court doesn’t mean you don’t have a good case,” he said.
Friday’s lineup also included remarks from Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Florida Senator Rick Scott, who also sought to reject Electoral College votes to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Mr Hawley was the first senator to announce that he would reject election results as he repeated the false assertion that some states did not follow election laws in the 2020 election.
His home state paper condemned his decision, saying he had “blood on his hands” for “inspiring one of the most heartbreaking days in modern American history.”
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