ATLANTA — Late on Jan. 4, the day before the consequential runoffs, U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler further riled a Donald Trump-frenzied crowd in Dalton with the proclamation that she would object to Congress certification of the electoral college votes solidifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
“Look, this president fought for us,” she said Monday. “We’re fighting for him."
But when the moment came and Congressional members reentered the chambers after a pro-Trump mob stormed and vandalized the nation’s Capitol, Loeffler went back on her promise.
The billionaire senator, who lost her runoff to Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock, declared that the violent protestors that wreaked havoc in the halls and office of Congress, “forced” her to reconsider.
"I cannot now in good conscience object to the certification of these electors,” she said in a floor speech. “The violence, the lawlessness and the siege of the halls of Congress are abhorrent and stand as a direct attack on the very institution my objection was intended to protect, the sanctity of the American democratic process.”
Loeffler still claimed there was “last minute changes” and “serious irregularities” in the vote counting process after the general election which resulted in a loss of confidence in the democratic system by Americans.
"Nevertheless, there is no excuse for the events that took place in these chambers today and I pray that America never suffered such a dark day again,” she said. "Though the fate of this vote is clear, the future of the American people's faith in the core institution of this democracy remains uncertain. We as a body must turn our focus to protecting the integrity of our elections and restoring every Americans' faith that their voice and their vote matters.”
Earlier in the day, her change of heart may come a shock after tethering herself to the president in hopes of boosting her chances in the runoff. But after Congressional members were rushed into hiding while an angry mob overtook the the Capitol Complex, Loeffler was one of several GOP lawmakers that walked back on their intended objections.
Throughout her campaign, Loeffler perpetuated Trump’s false claims of a “stolen” election, her advocacy for the baseless allegations only growing stronger as the clock ticked down to the Jan. 5 election.
Georgia’s elections officials slammed Loeffler and U.S. Sen. David Perdue, who also lost the runoff race to Democratic opponent Jon Ossoff, after the two teamed-up to demand Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger resign.
After Loeffler’s flour speech announcing her decision not to object to the confirmation of the votes, Statewide Voting Implementation Manager Gabriel Sterling, a Republican, who has been outspoken against Trump’s baseless claims, commended her decision.
“Thank you Senator Loeffler,” he tweeted. “You have done the right thing.”
Without Loeffler’s objection in the Senate, Georgia House members who went on to object in their chamber, was rejected by Vice President Mike Pence.
Despite the scene at the Capitol on Wednesday, Georgia Republican U.S. Representatives Jody Hice, Rick Allen, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Buddy Carter all went on with their objection to the formal tallying of votes.
“Myself, members of the Georgia delegation and some 74 of my Republican colleagues object to the electoral votes from the state of Georgia on the grounds the election conducted on Nov. 3 was faulty and fraudulent due to unilateral actions by the secretary of state to unlawfully change the state’s election process without approval from the General Assembly,” Hice said on the floor.
Their attempt failed after Loeffler’s decision.