Marco Rubio And Tom Cotton Might Be The Beneficiaries Of Post-Election Chaos

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Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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Republicans who took more moderate stances on the 2020 presidential election may be in the best possible positions moving forward, especially in the wake of a violent riot that rocked Capitol Hill.

In the immediate aftermath of the November 3 election, a number of races nationwide were still too close to call — including the race for the presidency. Reports of “irregularities” quickly fueled President Donald Trump’s claims that the election had been “stolen.” Those claims then prompted a long line of lawsuits, most of which were declared dead on arrival.

Republicans in Congress began to take sides — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz offered to defend Trump if the Supreme Court agreed to hear his case, and Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley offered vocal support as well. House Reps. Louie Gohmert (TX) and Steve Scalise (LA) were also among those who said that they would challenge the Electoral College vote on January 6. (RELATED: Gohmert Says Over 140 Members Of Congress Will Object To Biden’s Electors On January 6)

But then all hell broke loose at the Capitol. Debate over the Electoral College vote was disrupted as Vice President Mike Pence, presiding over the process, was whisked away. Congressional leaders were removed next, and finally all members of Congress were evacuated as rioters breached the Capitol. When all was said and done, four protesters and one Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick, were dead. Another Capitol Police officer, Howard Liebengood, reportedly took his own life several days after responded to the chaos.

Congress reconvened that evening, once order had been restored, and continued with the certification of the Electoral College vote. Some, like Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Republican Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler, dropped their objections — but Hawley and Cruz did not. (RELATED: ‘Utterly Shameful’: Josh Hawley Strikes Back After Joe Biden Likens Him To Nazi Propagandist)

And in response to their continued objections, as well as the number of Democrats and pundits who argued that they bore some responsibility for inciting the rioters, calls quickly came for both Cruz and Hawley to resign or to be expelled from the Senate.

And while Cruz and Hawley face harsh criticisms, some of their Republican colleagues who took a more moderate position may be the ones who benefit in the long run. One who might benefit is Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who did not object to the Electoral College vote and has long argued in favor of making sure that the incoming administration under President-elect Joe Biden has full access to security briefings.

Even as the rest of Congress appeared consumed by the second impeachment of Trump, Rubio kept his focus on relief for individuals and small businesses still reeling from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sen. Tom Cotton took a vocal position against objecting to the Electoral College vote, explaining his position in an op-ed.

“If Congress purported to overturn the results of the electoral college, it would not only exceed its power, but also establish unwise precedents,” Cotton said.

Following the turmoil on Capitol Hill Jan. 6,  even some of the harshest critics have voiced support for Republicans who did not support Trump’s claims of a “stolen” election and even voted — as ten did — to impeach Trump for his role in allegedly inciting the crowd.

“The View” host Joy Behar even praised Republican Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney — something she conceded was a rare occurrence — for taking a stand in that particular case.


“I want to just say one word about Liz Cheney who I never have agreed with her, in fact, I never really liked her at all,” Behar said, noting that Cheney might be positioning herself to run for president in the future. “I have to give her props today because 70% of Wyoming voted for Trump, so she’s really out on a limb when she goes up against him and says, we should impeach.”

Similar praise for Republicans who did not jump on board Trump’s push to overturn the election have received similar accolades – and may find themselves better able to move forward in a Republican Party that is no longer led by Donald Trump.