DeWine Latest Republican to Break with Trump

The list is small but growing.

While the majority of key Republican leaders are going along with President Trump’s pretense that the outcome of the 2020 election is still in doubt, the number who have had enough is growing. Ohio’s Governor joined their ranks this morning.

Cincinnati Enquirer (“Ohio’s GOP Gov. Mike DeWine: ‘Joe Biden is the president-elect’“):

After a vague statement Monday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine made his thoughts on the presidential election clear: former Vice President Joe Biden won.

“We need to consider the former vice president as the president-elect,” DeWine told CNN Thursday morning. “Joe Biden is the president-elect.”

Contrast that with DeWine’s statement Monday: “I congratulate Vice-President Biden,” he said. “When lawsuits have concluded and election results are certified, it is important for all Americans to honor the outcome.”

Calling Biden the president-elect might seem like a hair-splitting distinction, but it’s one few Republicans have made. 

Forbes’ Andrew Solender is keeping a list of those who have acknowledges Biden’s win, along with a record or the exact words they used.

Susan Collins (ME)
Lisa Murkowski (AK)
Mitt Romney (UT)
Don Bacon (NE)
John Curtis (UT)
Will Hurd (TX)
Adam Kinzinger (IL)
Paul Mitchell (MI)
Tom Reed (NY)
Ben Sasse (NE)
Pat Toomey (PA)
Fred Upton (MI)
Don Young (AK)
Charlie Baker (MA)
Spencer Cox (UT)*
Larry Hogan (MD)
Phil Scott (VT)
President GW Bush
VP Dan Quayle
Gov. Jeb Bush (FL)
Gov. John Kasich (OH)
Sen. Bob Corker (TN)
Rep. Francis Rooney (FL)
*Currently Lt Gov but elected as next Governor

I’ve included only major elected officials, so this doesn’t include prominent cabinet officials and the like.

While there are some very big names on the last—including a two-term President and the party’s most recent pre-Trump Presidential nominee—it’s admittedly short. But the fact that it keeps growing is another sign that Trump’s gambit is going nowhere.

It needs to include the Senate Majority Leader and House Minority Leader very soon to end the charade and get the formal transition process going.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, US Politics, , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. charon says:

    There was something on MSNBC about Trump admitting it looks like he lost (per the vote counting) while not conceding – I didn’t pay too much attention but I think this was so the transition could start.

    6′-1″ baby.

  2. Jen says:

    “Elected Republican official acknowledges reality. News at 11.”

    This presidency is exhausting.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Frank Rich

    Buried in NYT story on GSA refusal to authorize transition is that it results in substandard Secret Service protection for Biden.

  4. charon says:

    Trump’s ability to be a player has a sell-by date.

    The MSM is increasingly noticing the progressing neurological symptoms.

    Trump finally made a public appearance since losing the election. He visited the Arlington Cemetery for Veterans day. He can’t stand still and he is wobbling again.

  5. gVOR08 says:

    Trump’s election challenge gambit is going nowhere because a) it’s hopeless, and b) he’s not even really trying. The support or non-support of Republican pols is irrelevant to his pretend election sabotage. It does, however, affect the post election environment. E. J. Dionne at WAPO points out that the GOPs also disputed Bill Clinton’s legitimacy as he was elected by a plurality (Ross Perot) and Barack Obama’s because he was born in Kenya. Face it, when Republicans say “We’re a republic not a democracy” they mean it. Only the right votes should be counted, only the right people should rule. The country won’t be safe until their Party is reduced to tiny rump.

    Current GOP senators, reps, and governors total something like 280 people. Add in whatever-elects and prominent retirees and it’s what? 500? With DeWine your list is 24 who have done the right thing.

  6. Blue Galangal says:

    Who knew that I would actually have a stray positive feeling or two towards DeWine, and some tiny small affection for – of ALL people – Joe Walsh?

    I’m still never voting for another Republican again.

  7. Sleeping Dog says:


    And you can add that Trumps attorney’s are whimping out on him in court. Full of bravado when they talk to the press, they melt in front of the judge and begin hedging. They know the consequences of lying to a judge in court.

  8. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    We are normalizing Presidential tantrums.

  9. Jen says:
  10. Joe says:

    I think this list will grow by trickles for another week before the dam starts to crack. Eventually, even the Rs will tire with giving them the chance to bring their evidence to court and conclude that their is no evidence.

  11. Nightcrawler says:


    I wonder if he’s experiencing the aftereffects of COVID-19?

    It is strange that he hasn’t made any public appearances. He’d talked about having more rallies, and I expected him to start them up again right away, so that he could whip his followers into a frenzy.

  12. James Joyner says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    We are normalizing Presidential tantrums.

    Just Trump tantrums. We’ve had four solid years of them. Dan Drezner has written a whole book and a 2111-long Twitter thread on the #ToddlerinChief idea.

  13. Kathy says:


    Trump’s election challenge gambit is going nowhere because a) it’s hopeless, and b) he’s not even really trying.

    Demonstrably. On Sunday, the first day after the election was called, Trump went golfing. Time is limited. if he had a shot, and he were inclined to give it a serious try, he’d have spent Sunday huddled with his lawyers, campaign manager, and political advisors strategizing about it.

    Instead I suspect he came back from the links and asked contemptuously, “Haven’t you won me the election yet? What am I pretending to pay your for?”

  14. inhumans99 says:


    It could be after effects of Covid, as I admittedly immediately went there, or he could eventually start showing symptoms of having Parkinson’s. At the moment, he might be able to hide the disease from the public but eventually his body will betray him with all the shaking and he will have to fess up that he is not well.

    If folks think he will be in anywhere close to being in shape to make another run at the White House when he is 78…well, his followers will believe what they believe and I will not disabuse them of that notion.

  15. Slugger says:

    @charon: I thought that he was praying.
    It’s common in my meshpucha.
    I agree that hitting the golf course after the election shows a lack of interest in any real challenge to the outcome.

  16. Scott F. says:

    I think you are missing the objectives of ‘Trump’s gambit” if you all think it’s hopeless. What’s really important to him is still in play.

    Objective 1) Presidency in Name Only: I don’t believe Trump wants to remain President for the power and the duties of the office. He’s never wanted to do the work of the office or bear the responsibilities of a President. He wants the trappings of the office – the deference to the title, the rallies with the pomp and the adulation. He’s looking for a way to keep the parts of being President that he likes and sitting in the WH is the least of it.

    Objective 2) Protect the Brand: Trump just can’t abide being labeled a Loser. With his narcissistic personality disorder, the very thought of his legacy being a one-term failure must torture him. He so very much needs to be known as the country’s greatest president ever who was thwarted from the second term he would have used to become the Greatest President in the History of Man. And he would have gotten it too if it weren’t for the meddling Democrats, the Fake Media, and the US system of elections that cheats Real Americans.

    TL:DR Trump’s gambit is for continued fame and profit. He couldn’t give a damn about the politics of it.

  17. Kathy says:


    If folks think he will be in anywhere close to being in shape to make another run at the White House when he is 78…

    It depends. He stands a good chance of being dead by then.

    But that would improve his performance as a candidate. he’d certainly be far less irritating.

  18. inhumans99 says:


    If in 2024 it is a choice between Pence deciding to make a run for the White House or pulling a Weekend At Bernie’s and convincing the public Trump is still alive so they will vote for him, the GOP will pull a Weekend At Bernie’s…lol. Pence does not have that special sauce that Trump unfortunately does have that gets the base all excited and to the polls.

    Also, you could substitute Ted Cruz or Matt Gaetz, or Jim Jordan, and others like these critters in for Pence’s name because these folks think they have the same ability as Trump to animate the Base but they do not and the GOP knows it.

    They need to realize that anyone running against Kamala will have a real battle on their hands because she does not have a lot of Clinton type baggage, she is young compared to most of the folks in Congress, she is a woman, and intelligent. Across the country more and more women are shattering glass ceilings on a near daily basis and even the GOP saw women make some good in-roads as a surprising number of women who are Republican’s made it into the halls of Congress.

    Assuming it will a cake walk to go against a Democratic opponent in 2024 would be dangerous thinking but I suspect the GOP realizes that they need to put up better candidates that Trump going forward.

  19. Teve says:

    A friend says she just saw on CNN the chyron “aides split on whether Trump to pardon himself.”

  20. reid says:

    @Blue Galangal: I follow Joe Walsh on twitter now and almost completely agree with his posts. He’s apparently made a 180 degree turnaround. (I didn’t really know of him in his crazy days.) It’s encouraging. It sounds like he still has a radio show and is trying to talk some sense into his audience.

  21. Kathy says:


    I don’t know. If the GOP keeps the Senate, and that’s the way to bet right now, they’ll keep Biden from doing much of anything, and blame Biden for not accomplishing much of anything. That would weigh heavily on a Harris candidacy.

  22. Nightcrawler says:


    Yeah, it could be a lot of things. The most logical hypothesis is that it’s a combination of aging, decades of bad eating habits, and preexisting health issues, now combined with COVID-19 and perhaps some form of dementia.

    Whatever is causing it, I agree that the chance of DT living to see the 2024 election is very small. I wouldn’t be surprised if he died prior to January 20.

  23. Sleeping Dog says:


    Kathy, that assumes an R senate can escape blame for doing nothing. Like they did the last 2 years the House needs to send legislation that addresses problems that are recognized across the political spectrum and then run ads in R states to the effect of House Dems sent legislation to the Senate that will assist the people of state A summarized in 3 bullet points, finishing up with call your senator to vote for…

  24. Scott F. says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I’m with you. The more progressive items on the Democratic agenda are likely dead in the water with an opposition Senate, but there’s a lot of Trump Repair that needs to get done and that work will have broad appeal. And after 4 years of Trump’s often-promised, never-delivered Infrastructure Weeks, there’s lot of core national maintenance that could get done. Pork is popular in the middle of the country, so ‘austerity’ won’t play well.

    The Democrats will run against Republican obstructionism in the 2022 mid-terms and more Republican seats are vulnerable again this next cycle. If the chips fall the right way, the good governance in the last two years of Biden’s term, plus incumbency for either Biden or Harris, could set up 2024 very favorably for Democrats.

  25. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    One thing often said here is the Democrats are not good at messaging. And the republicans are far better.

    Don’t underestimate the opposition, or assume your side will develop smarts in record time. Biden has yet to pick up on the obvious idea of tying economic recovery to containing the pandemic. Or if he has, he certainly hasn’t gotten the message across.

  26. CSK says:

    I read somewhere today that Trump understands that he lost, and all this drama is precisely that: theatrics for his fan club.

  27. JohnSF says:

    @Scott F.:
    There’s one other factor I suspect Trump is very conscious of: legal jeopardy.

    I don’t think he believes he can remain president; I do think he is foolish enough to think he can compel a deal, and use a “TrumpMedia” enabled stranglehold on the Republicans to ensure the deal sticks, and he can grift to his hearts content.

  28. dazedandconfused says:

    I suspect Trump knows it’s over but also knows admitting it, for him, carries a downside. He may be following the example of Ace in “Casino”, who created a lame-ass TV show so “I’m a somebody…people know they can’t screw with me.” His creditor’s opinion on this should be apparent within a year or so.

  29. Matt says:

    @Kathy: Indeed Mitch will continue to stop all bills passed by the democratic controlled house while the GOP continues with the “do nothing democrats” talking point and the public will eat it up….

  30. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Matt: Yeah. That’s certainly Plan A. And Plans B and C for that matter.

  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Graham Joins GOPers Saying Biden Should Have Access To Intel Briefings

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Thursday acknowledged that President-elect Joe Biden should be getting access to classified intelligence briefings.

    “Yeah, I think he should,” Graham, a close Trump ally, told CNN when asked if he believed the incoming president should be receiving the briefings following earlier reports that the Trump administration had denied Biden access to documents and other resources needed to ensure a smooth transfer of power.

    Graham told CNN on Thursday “I hope so,” when asked if he expects Biden will get the briefings soon, adding that he had not voiced his opinion with the White House.

    The comments follow a pledge by Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) on Wednesday to “step in” if the Trump administration continued to deny Biden access to intelligence briefings. Lankford, a member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, told a local radio station that he saw “nothing wrong” with allowing Biden access to the briefings in order to “be able to prepare himself” for the presidency.

    Yeah I know, James will say, “See? The party stalwarts are working their way thru appeasing trump’s ego to a normal transition.” and I will say, “Look at these gutless weasels, still afraid of the toddler 3 yr old throwing a tantrum in the middle of the cereal aisle.”

    James sees these folks as trying to bravely save the union without risking their precious RWNJ sinecures, and I see… gutless weasels, still afraid of the toddler 3 yr old throwing a tantrum in the middle of the cereal aisle.

    James? They could have impeached this shit stain and had Pence and all the judicial appointments too, but HE, as a professional politician would have acknowledged a loss and moved on.

    And besides, who knows? Maybe he would’ve won.

    Ok, well anyway, the country would have been much better served by a President Pence.

  32. An Interested Party says:

    Yeah I know, James will say, “See? The party stalwarts are working their way thru appeasing trump’s ego to a normal transition.” and I will say, “Look at these gutless weasels, still afraid of the toddler 3 yr old throwing a tantrum in the middle of the cereal aisle.”

    If the Democrats were smart, they would find a way to develop a political advantage by pitting Republican politicians against Trump and Biden would use the “do-nothing” Congress approach that Truman used in his election in 1948…of course, if Democrats were smarter, perhaps they would have won more than just the presidency…alas…

  33. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: I just saw a report saying he’s asked if he can issue “preemptive” pardons, for future crimes.

  34. DrDaveT says:


    I just saw a report saying he’s asked if he can issue “preemptive” pardons, for future crimes.

    ObClassicSF: “Time in Advance”, by William Tenn (aka Philip Klass)

    If so, can we also issue preemptive convictions?

  35. Gustopher says:

    At this point, referring to Biden as the President-Elect is weak tea. Republicans need to say that Trump’s baseless accusations are hurting our country.

    Had enough of them come forward earlier to say that Biden is President-Elect, or even that it “looks like Biden is Vice-President elect” we would have been in a better position as a country. But their silence has been helping Trump hurt out country.