Trump in a tweet on Thursday floated the idea of delaying the vote in November, repeating his unfounded claim about mail-in voter fraud.
With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2020
Senators, former government officials, cable news hosts and others explained that Trump has no power to delay the election. Many top Republicans quickly rejected his suggestion.
Some commentators also pointed out what Trump was really trying to do with the tweet: divert attention from his administration’s disastrous handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting cratering of the U.S. economy, which experienced its worst drop on record in the second quarter of 2020.
At least 150,000 people in the United States have now died from COVID-19.
“Don’t waste time on this Trump ploy to distract from terrible economy+COVID numbers,” warned Neal Katyal, who served as acting solicitor general under former President Barack Obama.
CNN’s Chris Cuomo, meanwhile, urged viewers to “pay no mind to the president’s ‘delay the election’ flash-bangs to disorient you.”
Some senators and House representatives described Trump’s idea as unconstitutional.
Donald Trump doesn’t have the authority to do this—but that doesn’t make what he’s doing any less dangerous. It’s clear he will stop at nothing to spread misinformation and sow division to distract from the mess he’s created. This is what we’re up against.https://t.co/VhJzKc3YTb
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) July 30, 2020
Trump wants to distract from the fact that we're still facing a pandemic and our economy is in shambles. And that he and Senate Republicans aren't fixing it.
Remember: When we had time to put forth solutions, McConnell sent the Senate home for two weeks and Trump went golfing.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) July 30, 2020
The President doesn’t have the power to delay an election & he knows it.
Instead of trying to distract from his failures by delegitimizing upcoming election, Pres. Trump should focus on building an effective response to pandemic that has killed 150k Americans & devastated econ. https://t.co/9kr7dTD0mM
— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) July 30, 2020
Families in Michigan are desperate for help. Calling for a delay in our election, which he has no power to do, is the latest attempt to distract us from his failure to lead during this crisis. https://t.co/hB0dHuJF7h
— Sen. Debbie Stabenow (@SenStabenow) July 30, 2020
There is no way @POTUS can delay the election. We shouldn't let him distract us from his #COVID19 incompetence.
But the fact that he is even suggesting it is a serious, chilling attack on the democratic process. All members of Congress— and the administration— should speak out. pic.twitter.com/saznCjSe0N
— Tom Udall (@SenatorTomUdall) July 30, 2020
Trump is trying to distract from today’s devastating economic numbers that make it clear his failed response to the coronavirus has tanked the economy and caused tens of millions to lose their jobs.
He can tweet all he wants, but the reality is that he can’t delay the election. https://t.co/KFMqWo2Wsr
— DNC War Room (@DNCWarRoom) July 30, 2020
Don’t waste time on this Trump ploy to distract from terrible economy+COVID numbers
It’s silly. Constitution(Art 2)gives this power to Congress. Cong exercised it,3 USC 1. He can’t delay election w/out Cong&he lost House in 2018
He’d lose in Court faster than he can say “Putin” https://t.co/nxBTftS0Dr
— Neal Katyal (@neal_katyal) July 30, 2020
"Pay no mind to the President's 'delay the election' flash bangs to disorient you," says @ChrisCuomo as Pres. Trump floats the idea of a delayed election.
"He knows that his mishandling of this pandemic...[and] the economy as a result, has him losing this election right now." pic.twitter.com/IgMzc4Xnw4
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) July 31, 2020
In some cases, we can't abide by the possibility that ignoring Donald Trump might be interpreted as approval or even normalizing the things that he says.
And who can say for certain what the president might have been aiming to distract from today? There was a lot to choose from. pic.twitter.com/NXfYZ8Wu3v
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) July 31, 2020
GDP shrank by 32.9% on an annualized basis in Q2. The hole we must dig out from is very big. That’s why Trump wants to distract us with his calls for a delay in the election, which can’t happen without a Constitutional Amendment. The economic news is terrible, and it’s on him.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) July 30, 2020
Trump’s acting like he can move the date of the election. He can’t. He’s just trying to get everyone all riled up to distract from the fact the economy just had its worst drop on record. Again, he can’t move the election. He is full of it. Trump belongs in prison. Vote for Biden.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) July 30, 2020
THIS is the news Trump is trying to distract us from today. He knows he can’t win with these numbers. He’s gotta go.
‘U.S. second-quarter GDP plunged by a historic 32.9%’ https://t.co/1oy1cOlqhe
— brittany packnett cunningham does not do remixes. (@MsPackyetti) July 30, 2020
I do not believe trump is smart enough to distract anyone from anything. But this stupid move the election shit sure got us talking about something other than today’s shocking economic news.
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) July 30, 2020
Trump is trying to distract us with the insinuation of delaying the election. He wants us to look away from today's news. That news being:
"The U.S. economy’s contraction in the second quarter was the worst on record."
THE. WORST. ON. RECORD.https://t.co/TrtUO4SUml
— VoteVets (@votevets) July 30, 2020
It is safe to return to school but not hold an election? We had an election during the civil war, we had mid-term elections in the middle of the Spanish flu. Pathetic attempt to distract from the failing economy, COVID response, and presidency. https://t.co/knRkgj5vcL
— Dr. Lisa Welch for US House (@Welch_tx) July 30, 2020
Things Trump wants to distract from with his empty threats to delay the election:
- The rising Covid death toll that just passed 150,000
- The worst decline in US GDP ever
- Republicans letting unemployment benefits expire
We're voting him out on November 3. Period. https://t.co/VEjy0AzDOa
— Virginia Democrats (@vademocrats) July 30, 2020
— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) July 30, 2020
A few things:
1. Only congress can delay Election Day.
2. Voting by mail is secure.
3. Trump posted this to distract us. The U.S. Q2 GDP plunged by a record 32.9%, more than 150,000 Americans have died from COVID, and there are 1.4 million new unemployment claims.
Vote him out. https://t.co/rMAT5FoFHN
— Voto Latino (@votolatino) July 30, 2020
1/3 Trump’s tweet about delaying the #2020election is another step in his #authoritarian playbook. But we see this for what it is: #Trump is once again using his presidential platform to try to distract the American public from his most recent failures. https://t.co/jP7D8yvCHd
— Truman Project (@TrumanProject) July 30, 2020
Trump's musing he might "delay the election" is meant to distract from this HISTORIC ECONOMIC MELTDOWN and his catastrophic mismanagement of the pandemic — a crisis which my opponent, Trump puppet David Perdue, predicted would have "little" economic impact.
— Jon Ossoff (@ossoff) July 30, 2020
A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus
Stay up to date with our live blog as we cover the COVID-19 pandemic
7 essential pieces of relationship advice for couples in quarantine
What you need to know about face masks right now
How to tell if you need to start doing online therapy
Lost your job due to coronavirus? Here’s what you need to know.
Parenting during the coronavirus crisis?
What coronavirus questions are on your mind right now? We want to help you find answers.
Everyone deserves accurate information about COVID-19. Support journalism without a paywall — and keep it free for everyone — by becoming a HuffPost member today.
Also on HuffPost
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.