Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refuted President Donald Trump's idea that the upcoming November elections should be delayed. As calls for expanded mail-in voting have increased amid the coronavirus pandemic, the president has repeatedly made baseless claims that doing so would result in widespread election fraud. On Thursday, Trump hinted at a possibly delaying election day.
"Never in the history of the country through wars, depressions, and the Civil War have we ever not had a federally scheduled election on time," McConnell told reporters, via the Daily Mail. "And we'll find a way to do that again this November 3." He then reaffirmed, once again, that the election would go on as scheduled. That's right, we'll cope with whatever the situation is in the election on November 3 as already scheduled."
As has been pointed out numerous times, it is possible to reschedule or postpone an election, although the power lies exclusively with Congress, and not the executive branch. Several lawmakers and pundits have spoken out against Trump's remarks, including Steven G. Calabresi, a former Trump supporter and the co-founder of the Federalist Society. In an op-ed published in the New York Times, Calabresi wrote that he was "frankly appalled by the president's recent tweet seeking to postpone the November election." He added that "until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats' assertion that President Trump is a fascist," however, "this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president's immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate."
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who's likely to face off against Trump in November, has suggested back in April that Trump wouldn't embrace the position of a peaceful transfer of power. The official Trump campaign did comment on Biden's remarks, dismissing the idea that he'd postpone the election as an "incoherent, conspiracy theory ramblings of a lost candidate who is out of touch with reality."
During the 2016 election, Trump repeatedly suggested that he'd challenge the election results should he lose. In July, when he sat down with Fox News' Chris Wallace, Trump was asked how he felt this time around — especially given his less-than-stellar standing in every national poll. "First of all, I'm not losing, because those polls are fake," Trump insisted. "They were fake in 2016 and now they're even more fake." He also, once again, took the time to suggest that mail-in voting was simply a means to "rig the election."