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Senate candidate Durant: Trump deserves some of the blame for 2020 loss

Durant now appears to be adding to and retrofitting his priorities to align with those expressed by former president Trump. 

U.S. Senate candidate Mike Durant addresses the Pike County Republican Women on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022. (Madi Holmes/Alabama Political Reporter)

Ahead of former President Donald Trump’s rally in Commerce, Georgia, this past weekend, Senate candidate Mike Durant appeared on Friday’s episode of “Capitol Journal” on Alabama Public Television and said Trump is to blame for losing the 2020 election.

Durant was asked by show host Todd Stacy whether Trump deserves “some of that blame” for COVID-era election rule changes benefiting Democrats.

Stacy outlined that in Florida, for example, rule changes involving voting by mail seemingly helped Trump win, whereas swing states such as Pennsylvania and Georgia swung to now-President Joe Biden because Trump told Republicans in those states not to vote by mail.

“Doesn’t he (Trump) deserve credit for some of the losses there?” Stacy asked Durant.

“Well, I guess if you make that argument, I suppose so,” Durant answered. “The thing about it is Florida is probably going to go red no matter what. So, it isn’t really a swing state, at least not in this day and time. Whereas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, some of those key swing states, that’s where the outcome of that election was determined.”

The previous exchange on the show began with Stacy questioning Durant on a statement he issued on March 19 in which he said that “President Trump was ROBBED by the corrupt Democrats who changed the rules.”

“You said President Trump was robbed. That could mean different things, like, ‘Well, I was robbed of my strikeout.’ You know? ‘They got robbed in the tournament.’ Or do you mean the election was literally stolen from him?” Stacy asked.

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Durant responded, “So, I mean there was an injustice, I guess. Because, I agree with you, it’s somewhat, there are some semantics here.”

“The bottom line is I don’t think Joe Biden won the election,” he continued.

Durant has previously said that “President Biden won the election.”

Additionally, Durant stated on the campaign trail in December 2021 that election integrity was not one of his priorities.

“Well, if you’ll notice when I talked about what my priorities were, I didn’t list that,” said Durant back then. “The timing is right for us to focus on really important things, because we’re going to take back Congress. So, let’s focus on things that really matter.”

That would seemingly contradict Durant’s March 19 statement, in which he also said, “Election integrity and the results of the 2020 election are the highest priority issues across the country right now as we confront rising inflation, sky high gas prices and our diminished standing across the world.”

Alabama Political Reporter reviewed all of Durant’s known public speeches from the month of March, covering five appearances: March 2 in Anniston, March 5 in Cullman, March 17 in Tuscaloosa, March 17 in Fayette, and March 19 (the very same day as the statement) in Madison.

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Each speech did indeed feature Durant explicitly naming his top three priorities, however, none of those priorities included election integrity, election security, or the 2020 election results. 

His listed top priorities remained the same in name and order for all five events: border security, energy independence, and national defense. Durant referred to those three issues as his “big three.”

In Anniston, even after listing his top three priorities in his remarks, Durant was asked by a member of the crowd what his priorities would be if elected to the Senate. While reiterating he had already named his “big three,” he threw in two more priorities, again not including election integrity: stopping insider stock trading by members of Congress and term limits.

In Fayette, he also explained why border security, specifically “build[ing] the wall,” was his first priority: “because, number one, it’s achievable.”

“I think a lot of people in my position are going to go out there and throw out things that they say they’re going to do, that can’t be done. I mean, you know, it might sound good to say, ‘I’m going to drain the swamp.’ Well, good luck with that,” Durant added.

Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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