“January 6 is a long ways off; right now we’ve got a Senate race to run here in Georgia,” Loeffler said. “We’ve got to win. The future of the country is on the ballot. I’m focused on making sure that we win that, to hold the line here in Georgia against the radical left, the democrat socialist policies, and that’s what I’m doing every single day.”
When pressed if she was leaving the option open, Loeffler responded: “I haven’t looked at it. January 6 is a long way off; there’s a lot to play out between now.”
Loeffler, who is being challenged by the Rev. Raphael Warnock, also refused to call Biden the President-elect during a short news conference after she cast her ballot Wednesday morning for the Georgia races. She deflected or ignored several direct questions about the results of the presidential election, claiming she was focusing all of her energy on the January 5 runoff.
“The President has a right to every legal recourse,” she said. “That’s what’s playing out right now. I’m focused on winning this race on January 5.”
Both GOP candidates in the Georgia runoff have found themselves in a difficult position as they attempt to fire up Republican base voters to participate in the runoff, which is expected to be very close.
Their efforts have been complicated by President Donald Trump, who, despite endorsing Loeffler and GOP Sen. David Perdue, has spent much of his time challenging the results of the presidential race in Georgia and attacking leading Republicans who oversaw the voting process and confirmed the results.
Warnock quickly pounced on Loffler’s comments Wednesday, accusing her of disrespecting voters in Georgia.
“After refusing for weeks to acknowledge the basic fact that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election, Kelly Loeffler is now leaving the door open to challenging those results in Congress,” Warnock said in a statement. “That’s reckless and disrespectful of Georgia voters.”
Republican voters in Georgia have put an enormous amount of pressure on Loeffler and Perdue to demonstrate support for Trump’s ill-fated quest to overturn the results. Some have interrupted their campaign stops demanding they do more to stand up for Trump. When the pair appeared onstage with Trump during a rally in Valdosta, the crowd erupted in a chant of “Fight for Trump.”
It’s left Loeffler and Perdue in a situation where they been forced to wade carefully through the sensitive issue and commit full loyalty to Trump, despite the reality of the results of the presidential race. So much so that when Loeffler was asked Wednesday if she will ever concede that Biden won the election she responded:
“Look, there will be a time for that, if that becomes true.”
Loeffler may have a say on January 6, win or lose. Because she is filling a seat vacated by the retirement of Sen. Jonny Isakson, she will remain in office until the results of the runoff are certified by the Georgia secretary of state. That could take a week or longer, depending on how long it takes to count all the votes. It is likely that even if she is the apparent loser, she may still be a member of the Senate when Congress convenes to take up the Electoral College results.