Former president Barack Obama praised Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger as one of the only “brave” Republicans who defied former president Donald Trump during the 2020 presidential election.
In an interview with CNN, Obama cited Raffensperger as someone who has become a political outcast in his own party because he refused to help Trump investigate alleged voter fraud in Georgia’s election results.
“There were some very brave people who did their jobs, like the secretary of state in Georgia, who was then viciously attacked for it, and all those congressmen said, ‘You know what? I’ll lose my job. I’ll get voted out of office,'” Obama said.
More Republicans should have stood up to Trump’s “base,” he continued, but the entire party has been “cowed into accepting” Trump’s positions, including “the falsehood that there were problems with the election.”
“We have to worry when one of our major political parties is willing to embrace a way of thinking about our democracy that would be unrecognizable and unacceptable even five years ago or a decade ago.”
After the Jan. 6 Capitol siege, more Republicans were willing to denounce Trump, Obama said. But once Trump was out of office, “poof, suddenly everybody was back in line.”
“Now, the reason for that is because the base believed it and the base believed it because this had been told to them not just by the President, but by the media that they watch,” Obama said. “My hope is that the tides will turn. But that does require each of us to understand that this experiment in democracy is not self-executing. It doesn’t happen just automatically.”
Trump has vowed to oppose the Republicans who refused to investigate voter fraud in their states, including Raffensperger.
He recently endorsed a Republican candidate who will challenge Raffensperger in 2022 when the Georgia Republican runs for reelection.
“Unlike the current Georgia Secretary of State, [Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga.] leads out front with integrity,” Trump said in a statement. “I have 100% confidence in Jody to fight for Free, Fair, and Secure Elections in Georgia, in line with our beloved U.S. Constitution. Jody will stop the Fraud and get honesty into our Elections!”