DALTON, Ga. — President Trump campaigned Monday night on behalf of two incumbent Republican senators whose defeat in runoff elections on Tuesday could cost the party its majority in the U.S. Senate and deliver a symbolic capstone to his own time in office.
Clinging to his claims that widespread election fraud had cost him victory in the presidential election in states like Georgia, Trump continued to set his sights on Jan. 6, when he hopes that Congress — and his own vice president — will refuse to certify the Electoral College confirming Joe Biden’s victory.
“I hope Mike Pence comes through for us. I have to tell you. I hope that our great vice president, our great vice president, comes through for us. He’s a great guy,” Trump said on a frigid night at a mass rally held at a regional airport, before joking, “Of course, if he doesn’t come through, I won’t like him quite as much. No, Mike is a great guy.”
Before arriving in Georgia, Trump met in the Oval Office with Pence and members of his legal team to map out the strategy for Wednesday’s certification, which more than 100 members of the House of Representatives and 13 U.S. senators have said they will contest.
One of those senators is Kelly Loeffler, for whom Trump had traveled to Dalton to campaign.
“I have an announcement, Georgia,” Loeffler said when Trump invited her to speak. “On Jan. 6, I will object to the Electoral College vote.”
Sen. David Perdue, the other candidate whom Trump traveled to promote on Monday, did not attend the rally. Instead, he was in quarantine after being exposed last week to a person who tested positive for COVID-19. While Perdue said he supported the move by those in Congress who would challenge the certification of the Electoral College tally, he also said this week that he would not be able to be in the Senate to do so himself.
Still, for all of Trump’s assurances Monday that “there is no way we lost Georgia,” that he had defeated Biden nationwide and that evidence of voter fraud was “going to be revealed” in Congress on Wednesday, the president also seemed to understand that his time in office was coming to a close.