'Why wouldn't I?': Budd suggests he would accept 2022 election results
U.S. Rep. Ted Budd indicated Tuesday that he would accept the results of the 2022 election, an acknowledgment that comes after his campaign faced criticism for brushing aside questions about the issue.Posted — Updated
Budd and Democrat Cheri Beasley are vying to win the seat of Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, who’s retiring this year.
In a brief conversation with reporters Tuesday, Budd said concerns over his position are overblown. He intimated that he would uphold the results and pointed the finger back at Democrats. “This is pretty much a false narrative from the left,” Budd said before speaking to a law enforcement group in Durham. “I mean, why wouldn’t I [accept the results]?”
He added: “I have no reason why I wouldn’t, unless the Democrats do something to generate a cause” for concern.
Asked by the Times about whether she would accept this year’s election results, Beasley told the newspaper: “I trust that our 2022 election will be administered fairly.”
After Budd made his remarks on Tuesday, the Beasley campaign criticized him for not providing a yes-or-no answer. The state Democratic Party, meanwhile, issued a statement calling Budd an “election denier.”
“Actions speak louder than words, and based on Budd's actions, North Carolinians have every reason to believe Ted Budd will continue to undermine democracy if elected to the U.S. Senate,” Kate Frauenfedler, the state Democratic Party’s spokesperson, said in a statement.
Polling shows Americans are concerned about threats to democracy, as former President Donald Trump and many of his supporters continue to spread the false conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was fraudulent. Budd voted against certifying the results of the election that year and is now endorsed by Trump. Last year, Budd said he saw “lots of question marks” throughout the election but that he considered Biden to be the legitimate president.
Budd and other Republicans have accused critics of turning a blind eye to Democratic efforts to game the elections. Budd, in speaking to reporters Tuesday, made reference to efforts by the North Carolina Democratic Party to keep the Green Party off the state’s ballots.
Votes gained by the left-leaning Green Party’s U.S. Senate candidate, Matthew Hoh, could diminish Beasley’s chances of winning the race. The National Republican Senatorial Committee filed a brief in support of the Green Party’s efforts.
Budd made his remarks ahead of a speech before the state Fraternal Order of Police. Budd and Beasley have each been angling to show voters that they’re favored by law enforcement, hosting a smattering of events with public safety groups.
“I just want to let [police] know that they have the support,” Budd said Tuesday ahead of his speech. “This is a known profession and we want to encourage folks to take a look at law enforcement. I know there are recruiting challenges with the false narrative from the left for the past couple of years. And I want them to know that as an elected official — whatever role I'm in — that they have my support.”
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