Georgia congressman: Biden has to 'cry about' election laws to distract from policy failures

"He's had, you know, 12 months where he's been able to hang on to what President Trump did, and now you're moving past that, and he's not going to be able to," Rep. Austin Scott said.

Updated: January 23, 2022 - 10:41pm

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Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) blasted President Joe Biden for trying to change the narrative on his failed policies following his first year in office by focusing on state voting laws.

Scott said that Biden is attempting to distract from both his foreign and domestic policy failures, from Russia and Afghanistan to inflation, by going to Georgia and denouncing the state's voting reforms, such as voter ID.

"He's had, you know, 12 months where he's been able to hang on to what President Trump did, and now you're moving past that, and he's not going to be able to," Scott told the John Solomon Reports podcast on Thursday's episode. "And so he's got to make up something to cry about, and it's elections now.

"So the vast majority of people want and believe that showing an ID is reasonable in our democracy, just to make sure that the person is who they say they are when they vote. And I don't understand what their objection is to it."

Scott noted that Biden discussed voting in Georgia without acknowledging the extra million ballots that were cast in the 2020 presidential election.

"[I]n every election up to and until this last one, Georgia has had about 3.9 million voters," he recounted. "Going all the way back to the last Obama election and the last governor's election and Trump versus Clinton, we had 3.9 million voters in the state of Georgia. This last election, we had 4.9 million voters."

Not only did the 2020 election see "the largest turnout that we've ever had" in Georgia, but "for the first time ever" absentee ballots made up 30% of the total vote count, rather than the usual 5%, Scott pointed out. Whereas former President Barack Obama received 85,000-89,000 absentee mail-in ballots in his last election, Biden got 850,000 in 2020, he added.

"I absolutely think that that discrepancy — that questions need to be asked," Scott remarked as he praised the state Legislature and governor for passing voting reform legislation last year that added "some integrity to the absentee ballot process" after the vote total didn't "look right."

Regarding allegations of 2020 ballot harvesting, which is illegal in Georgia, Scott said, "If there's the evidence that that is there, as it looks like there's got the good chance to be, then people need to go to prison for this." 

Former Sen. David Perdue "got put into a run-off [election] by a few thousand votes," Scott pointed out. "If they find that fraud, if they're able to show that there are votes that should have been tossed out, you're talking about the difference in Republicans being in control of the U.S. Senate and Democrats being in control of the U.S. Senate." 

The "standard can't be that one party benefits from election laws and not the other ... they need to be fair, and they need to be open, and they need to be accountable," Scott said. "And so our goal in any election law is to have the balance with both access and integrity. And if you don't have the integrity in the vote, then people aren't going to respect the vote. And if you don't have access to the vote, then people aren't going to respect the vote."

Under the Constitution, voting is "a state issue, so we have to be very careful what we do in Congress," the Georgia congressman cautioned. "There is some advantage in having ... 50 different states that handle elections in different ways, and we can learn from the ones that have found that combination of both access and integrity. But ultimately, it pretty much is a state issue."