Marc Racicot has an unimpeachable resume as a conservative Republican. He was a two-term governor of Montana, chairman of the Republican National Committee and served as the chairman of President George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign.
Which is what makes his assertion about Donald Trump’s claims about election fraud in the 2020 election that much more powerful. As Racicot writes in an op-ed in the Billings Gazette, addressed as a letter to current RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel:
“Although it is ever so neat and tidy to blame the defeat of the former president on the existence of decisive and widespread fraud, there is not even a scintilla of evidence, anywhere, to support such piffle. The former president didn’t experience defeat in 2020 because of fraud. The truth is quite the opposite. The defeat of the former president is explained by the fact that legions of responsible citizens, part of that Great Middle of America, voted the way they did because they embraced the very fidelity to their country and its Constitution that the RNC claims to embrace in its Party Platform.”
All of that is, of course, perfectly accurate. There isn’t now – nor has there been – any evidence to support Trump’s claims that the election was somehow rigged against him.
Those facts haven’t stopped a majority of Republicans from saying that there was significant fraud in the 2020 election. In a recent CNN national poll, just 1 in 4 (26%) of self-identified Republicans say they have faith in US elections.
Trump defenders will note that Racicot has never been a Trump fan. And they will, rightly, note that he voted for Joe Biden in 2020. “The content of a man’s character or a woman’s character to serve in that capacity is more important than any other issue that I have to consider as a matter of conscience,” Racicot said by way of explanation of his vote.
But before the Trumpists totally write off Racicot, consider his motivations. At 73, and out of office for almost two decades, he isn’t positioning himself for some future political run – although he does sound like he would be supportive of the formation of a centrist third party. He isn’t some sort of sworn enemy of the GOP. He literally oversaw the previous Republican president’s reelection race!
Racicot’s voice is one of a growing chorus of what used to be known as establishment Republicans who have stepped forward to make clear that not everyone in the GOP has thrown their lots in with Trump’s cult of personality.
Unfortunately, the very people who need to hear Racicot’s message have been indoctrinated to believe any criticism of Trump is either a) a lie or b) a sign of someone expressing insufficient loyalty to the cause.
In Racicot’s case, it is neither.