On Fox News Sunday today, Chris Wallace seemed more interested in belittling and discrediting Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein than he was in trying to glean for his viewers any understanding of her calls for recounts in three states. Given that he insists the recounts will not change the outcome, why are he and, coincidentally, the Trump people, so worked up over it?
The Hillary Clinton campaign has said it carefully examined the election results with its experts and decided against initiating a recount because no “actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology” had been found. Now that Stein has gone ahead, Clinton will “participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides.”
In other words, neither Clinton nor, obviously, third-party candidate Stein, expects a recount will make either of them president-elect. Ironically, it’s the Trump campaign acting that way. Trump backers are working to legally block the recount.
AlterNet lays out a persuasive case that the recounts could lead to an Electoral College crisis in the form of a legal fight over whether the states' Electoral College members can vote by December 19, the day they are scheduled to vote, if the recounts are not concluded.
Whatever the outcome, the one thing we do know is that Trump has resoundingly lost the popular vote and while he won (so far) the Electoral College votes by a comfortable margin, his wins in the swing states that gave him the Electoral win – three of which also happen to be the states Stein wants recounted – were razor-thin.
“Fair and balanced” Chris Wallace didn’t mention any of that during his shockingly contentious interview with Stein today. But one thing you couldn’t miss was his determination to paint Trump as an unqualified winner. That nicely tees up a claim that he has a mandate when Trump and Vice President Mike Pence try to ram through a radical-right agenda through Congress.
Check out how Wallace tried to delegitimize Stein’s news conference tomorrow in front of Trump Tower (transcript excerpts via FoxNews.com):
WALLACE: [Trump] got—he got—how many votes did you get in—Dr. Stein, how many votes did you get in this election?
STEIN: Excuse me—excuse me, how many votes did Donald Trump get? He got about 2.5 million less votes—
WALLACE: He got—he got 62.5 -- he got 62.5 million votes.
STEIN: He got about 2.5 million less votes than Hillary Clinton.
WALLACE: He got 62.5 million votes. How many votes did you get, Dr. Stein?
STEIN: So I think the American people are owed an actual explanation here—
STEIN: Of what is going on.
WALLACE: Dr. Stein, could you answer the question?
STEIN: And you do not know until you look at the evidence.
WALLACE: How many—how many votes did you get?
STEIN: I am not the—I am not going to be the beneficiary of this one way or the other. That’s why I can do this because I’m a non-partisan in this fight.
WALLACE: But he got 62.5 million votes. How many did you get? I mean the question really is, who’s speaking for American voters, him or you?
Besides the unprofessional badgering, this was a disingenuous, if not outright dishonest line of questioning. Surely, Wallace does not need Stein to tell him how many votes she won. Especially when he already had Trump's total at hand. Unfortunately, Stein did not push back on Wallace’s tactics.
In his previous interview, with Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, Wallace asked plenty of tough questions. But there were no tough questions about the recount. Instead, Wallace only brought up the subject near the end of the interview (thus conveniently relieving himself of any obligation to challenge anything Conway said) and all but prodded her to attack Stein’s efforts:
WALLACE: Finally, we’re going to, in a couple moments, have Jill Stein on the program, the Green Party presidential nominee who is pushing recounts in Wisconsin, in Michigan, and Pennsylvania. What do you say to her about those efforts?
CONWAY: I say to her, give it up, as it seems like you’re doing in Pennsylvania for a very simple reason. Even your friends in the Clinton campaign have admitted that these recounts will not change any results. Hillary Clinton gained a whopping one vote, Chris, one. And so, I read one article at “The Daily Caller” I believe that said at this pace, Hillary Clinton could change the election results in Wisconsin in 74 ½ years.
I don’t think America is going to sit around and wait for that to happen. The people have spoken. I was asked on this program and many others that will you accept the election results. The question for Jill Stein and Hillary Clinton and those still in the grief, anger, and denial stages, will you start moving over to acceptance and let this president-elect and vice president-elect get on with the business of government, have a peaceful transfer of power?
The other thing is, I’m just astonished how Jill Stein is now the favorite flavor of the left. They ignored her and ridiculed her. And a lot of their friends in the media made sure she had no coverage and no oxygen.
WALLACE: Well, I’ve got to cut you off so we can get her on the show.
CONWAY: Go ahead.
CONWAY: Wish her well for me. But, yes, I mean, gracious—it’s good to be gracious and to admit what you see in front of you. In this case, Donald Trump won 306 electoral votes, 30 of 50 states, 2,600 counties.
CONWAY: It wasn’t even close.
WALLACE: Kellyanne, thank you. Thanks for your time today.
Yes, the vote was close. And Democrats and anyone else who wants to resist Trump should make “no mandate” their mantra. Especially as Trump and his cronies work to destroy Obamacare against Americans' wishes, destroy public education against Americans' wishes, build a wall on the southern border against Americans' wishes, destroy Medicare while pretending to save it and implement God knows how many other radical policies Americans do not want.
I’ll say it again: No mandate. Here’s hoping the Democrats in Congress will, too.
Watch the two Chris Wallace interviews below, from the December 4, 2016 Fox News Sunday.
“……and the start of a new war with Iran and/or North Korea……”
Which will naturally require INSTANT REINSTATEMENT OF THE DRAFT!
“This nation is in for four years of hell with President Donald Baby Hands. Tax cuts for the wealthy, the shaft for the middle class and working class…….”
Translation: for those of you who are homeowners and renters, GET READY TO GET HAMMERED WITH MORE COLOSSAL HIKES IN YOUR STATE AND LOCAL PROPERTY TAXES AND USAGE FEES! Mark my words: this round of STEEP HIKES in state and local property taxes and usage fees will be MUCH WORSE than the steep hikes under Der Fuehrer II (i.e. George Dumbya Bush)) !!
David hits the nail on the head – these guys have been acting like sore winners from the moment they squeaked in on November 8th. Wallace’s behavior here is exactly what we’ve been seeing, and will be seeing for the next several years – outright bullying and nastiness. Get ready for the Year of the Bully.
Ellen is correct to note that the overall point is that Clinton easily won the popular vote in a landslide over Trump. If the Right wants to talk about 62.5 million voters choosing Trump’s viciousness, that’s fine. The response is that 65 million chose Clinton, so how does Fox News wish to answer that. Squeaking by in multiple counties does not constitute a landslide for Trump or any mandate for him to do the damage he’s doing. It constitutes squeaking by and then running away with the football to scream “I won! I won! It wasn’t even close!”
Seriously, this is the kind of thing that used to get kids sent to bed without their supper.
We could be accused of being sore losers with the recount, but given the Russian hacking, the FBI interfering with the election and assorted republican horseshit, I think we’re more than justified in asking for a recount. If there is no skullduggery, fine. But if we start uncovering Trump over votes time after time, I would like to see that smug look wiped off of Wallace’s face.
The stock market at the end of Baby Hands’ term will be 1/2 of what it is now. And on Fux Noise, it will all be Obama’s fault.