Speed Reads

2020 election

James Baker, who led Bush's 2000 recount fight, says Trump should let votes be counted

President Trump's team may want to revise their search for a "James Baker-like" figure to lead his legal war.

As absentee votes have been counted over the past few days, Trump's re-election chances have turned narrower and narrower, leading his campaign to mount legal fights to stop the count of votes in several swing states. Trump's team was also reportedly looking for someone like Baker, who led former President George W. Bush's successful 2000 presidential election recount in Florida, to lead that effort. But the actual Baker says Trump's current approach is all wrong.

While Trump's campaign may have some legitimate legal concerns with the nationwide count, calling for a full stop of the count isn't the way to handle them, Baker told The New York Times. "We never said don't count the votes," Baker explained of his 2000 effort versus Trump's. "That's a very hard decision to defend in a democracy."

Baker went on to outline the "huge differences" between Bush's Florida fight and what's ahead for Trump. "For one thing, our whole argument was that the votes have been counted" over and over again "and it's time to end the process," Baker said. That's not what he heard from Trump, Baker added. He particularly had a problem with Trump's team trying to throw out drive-through votes cast in his hometown of Houston, even though Baker said he did personally vote for Trump.