White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond continued the administration’s forceful tone on voting rights with a blistering attack on Republicans and former President Donald Trump.
Richmond, who served as Louisiana’s representative in the U.S. House for a decade before assuming his current role as the White House Office of Public Engagement Director, said during a Zoom gathering of reporters that voting rights are the “bedrock of democracy.”
But GOP lawmakers have a palpable fear of Trump and losing re-election bids if they go along with Democrats who want to make voting easier for all Americans.
“Let me be very clear, what has changed is Donald Trump and his stronghold on the Republican Party and people who don’t want to get primaried,” Richmond asserted.
The senior adviser was asked why no Republicans support passing voting rights legislation today, despite 16 Republicans in 2006 voting in favor of extending the measure when pushed by then-President George W. Bush.
“President Joe Biden has said that politicians worry about the next election, but statesmen and stateswomen worry about the next generation,” Richmond continued.
“The president and the vice president stood up as a statesman and a stateswoman. Unfortunately, these Republicans fear the wrath of Donald Trump, and that is truly unfortunate when you think about how important this is to the country. Their lack of displayed courage is something that we can’t allow to stop us and what we need to do.”
Richmond promised that the President would continue to make voting rights a theme of his presidency.
“It is a very clear fact, a given, that the election in 2020 was one of the most safe and secure in our history,” he said. “The fact that [Trump] has pushed the big lie – some representatives have stood up to it, and most have not. It is just an indication that their Party has been hijacked by former President Trump.”
Earlier, both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris gave speeches about the significance of getting voting rights passed.
In what the White House called one of his most forceful speeches, Biden insisted that he would “defend your right to vote and our democracy against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
He questioned where U.S. senators stood on the issue.
On Thursday, Biden met with Democratic senators on Capitol Hill to discuss voting rights and even asked that they consider abolishing or altering the draconian filibuster to ensure passage.
“The 15th Amendment passed on a party-line vote. One Party delivered the vote to protect African Americans’ right to vote,” Richmond said. “The filibuster rules shouldn’t trump the Constitution. The rules are a means to an end. The end here is voting rights and free and fair elections.”