In a column for CNN, editor-at-large Chris Cillizza shamed the Republican party leadership -- in particular GOP senators -- for refusing to hit the cable TV shows over the weekend over fears they might have to defend Donald Trump's attacks on the American electoral system while also claiming to have won the election that he clearly lost.
One week after election analysts stated former Vice President Joe Biden will assume the reins of power on January 20, the president has been on Twitter tear claiming he won while also promoting a bevy of claims alleging voter fraud -- all of which have been dismissed by the courts to date.
With that in mind, Cillizza reported that every GOP lawmaker approached over the weekend to appear on the cable news shows -- with the exception of Fox News -- declined.
According to the CNN personality, that was a "gutless' move by all of them.
With NBC host Chuck Todd tweeting, "We invited every single Republican senator to appear here on @MeetThePress this morning. They all declined," Cillizza added, "In fact, according to Sunday show guests aggregated by Politico, there wasn't a single Republican member of Congress -- senator or House members -- on the major shows on any network. (The only show where Republican members appeared was 'Sunday Morning Futures,' which is hosted by pro-Trump anchor Maria Bartiromo.)"
Cillizza called the avoidance of the shows directly after a presidential election "absolutely remarkable."
"Sunday talk shows are the bread and butter of aspiring politicians. They scrap and fight for coveted slots on those shows, knowing that the permanent political class watches them religiously -- and that if you want to get your name out top donors, the media and the rest, doing a series of Sunday show appearances is a really good way to do that," he wrote.
Posing the rhetorical question "why?," he added, "Simple: None of them wanted to a) defend Trump's tweets or b) tell the President to tone it down, thereby incurring the wrath of the man who is, without question, still the most powerful person in GOP politics."
"This is, in a word, gutless. Republicans are still running scared of Trump despite that a) in less than 10 weeks he will be an EX-president of the United States and b) by any objective measure, his words and actions post-election have been at best deeply irresponsible and at worst dangerous to our democracy," he wrote before suggesting, "... it suggests that there is no one willing to lead the party into any sort of post-Trump era. Or even to try. Because they are all cowed by Trump and afraid that taking him on -- even as it's totally clear that he has lost the presidency -- amounts to a political kamikaze mission."
"This is not what leadership looks like. Hiding in the shadows and hoping someone else steps forward to say something isn't what we expect in our elected officials. Cowering in fear of your party's base isn't, either," he charged before writing, "What Republican senators are doing here is ceding the field to the President and his barrage of braggadocio and, well, bull ... That stance may reap short-term dividends for Republicans by keeping their base fired up in advance of the two Senate runoffs in Georgia in January. But the longer-term consequences for the party are not just bad for Republicans but for the country."
You can read the whole piece here.