After record-breaking victories, this is what newly elected GOP women had to say about the future of their party
Posted November 29, 2020 1:59 p.m. EST
CNN — In the wake of a record number of Republican women winning seats in Congress, two of the newly elected lawmakers, Rep. Nancy Mace and Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, stressed the importance of building representation in the Republican Party to serve as a check on their Democratic counterparts.
Mace, who flipped a South Carolina House seat red, said her party had more women running this year, adding that this trend needs to persist if Republicans want to continue to diversify. She later admitted that Democrats have previously done a better job recruiting women to run.
"We really reflect the faces of America," she said of the incoming Republican freshman class. "The diversity and the inclusion that we have in the Republican Party. That is our future. And if we don't get on board with recruiting the right people -- minorities, women, veterans, et. cetera, then we're going to lose in the future."
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Malliotakis, who also flipped a House seat red in New York, called the GOP a "big tent party," and credited the victories to the work of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, No. 3 Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, and Rep. Elise Stefanik. The New York Republican, who is the daughter of a Cuban refugee and Greek immigrant, noted that many of her soon-to-be colleagues share similar backgrounds to hers.
Malliotakis said she believes one of the reasons so many GOP women were motivated to run was, "seeing the Democratic women being elected in 2018 that don't necessarily reflect our values, particularly those who are, you know, self described socialists."
As the daughter of a Cuban refugee, Malliotakis hopes to "be a part of the discussion and the debate and provide a counter view."
Malliotakis has said she would like to build a "Freedom Squad" to counter the Democratic "Squad" -- the four progressive women of color, who include Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, reelected in November.
When asked about the "Freedom Squad," on Sunday, Malliotakis said a group of newly elected Republican members of Congress, including a number of immigrants and children of refugees like herself, will "serve as a counterbalance to the values" of the other squad.
"I mean what we stand for are freedom, liberty, we love this nation, we want to see it prevail, we want to see it remain the land of opportunity, what is in essence, attracted millions of immigrants from around the world to pursue that American dream. We don't believe we should be dismantling the economy, we don't believe we should be destroying free market principles, we don't believe in Green New Deal, we don't believe in packing the courts, I think there's just a stark contrast between what we're offering and what people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are offering, and that's something that needs to be debated in Washington," Milliotakis said, adding that she hopes to provide that balance to Ocasio-Cortez in New York as well.
Asked whether she believes Joe Biden is President-elect, Mace, who stressed the importance of working across the aisle, answered, "Well, everything -- I mean, in that direction, he is the President-Elect. That's where it's headed. I do believe that we have got the transition process happening now," adding that she thinks the President should pursue all of his legal options and present evidence "if there is voter fraud."
There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in this election.
Malliotakis went on to say she does not think that President Trump's baseless claims are undermining the result of her own election or those of her Republican colleagues.
"I don't believe that the President is undermining anything," Malliotakis told Bash, adding that the public must trust the system.
"In order for us to work together and to have bipartisanship, we need the public to have trust in our system and this really is about the integrity of our election system, and like Nancy [Mace] says, I look forward to working with anybody and everybody who's going to work with us for the American people when all is said and done," she said.