Georgia’s voting system implementation manager Gabriel Sterling cast doubt on the GOP’s chances in the Georgia Senate runoff election on Tuesday night, airing his grievances about President Donald Trump and offering his pundit-like election predictions to the corporate media.
Instead of acknowledging concerns about some counties ceasing vote counts early in the night on prime time, Sterling spent at least 20 minutes of his time in the spotlight fueling the media’s narrative about Trump’s “voter fraud conspiracy theories.” When a CNN reporter asked who should be blamed if both Republican incumbents lost their seats, Sterling directed his frustration toward Trump.
“It will fall squarely on the shoulders of President Trump and his actions since Nov. 3,” Sterling replied, referring to Trump’s campaign against voter fraud in the Peach State. “When you tell people, your vote doesn’t count and has been stolen, and people start to believe that, then you go to the two senators and ask the secretary of state to resign and trigger a civil war in the Republican Party when we need to unite, all of that stems with his decision-making since the Nov. 3 election.”
Sterling also claimed that Trump “single-handedly divided the party” when the president demanded that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger resign.
In another interview with CNN on Tuesday night, Sterling could not provide a straight answer about how many outstanding votes were left in the state. Instead, he continued to push the narrative that the potential downfall of the GOP’s control of the Senate rests on Trump.
“The President of the United States is 100 percent, four square responsible, with a little added assist from Doug Collins, who decided to run in that Senate jungle primary, which helped split the party. … Then you create a civil war within the GOP, when the GOP probably wanted to unite their vote to turn out. Those are the kind of things the president is solely responsible for doing,” Sterling said, adding that Republicans “maybe need to rethink the tactics that they have been using and the messages they’ve been using to get out.”
While Sterling tried to clarify that his doubts about Trump and the GOP were a “personal opinion,” he was introduced on CNN multiple times and other news shows Tuesday evening as an explicitly labeled “election official.”
“From the numbers that we’re looking at now, it doesn’t look good for the two incumbent Republican senators,” he told WSB-TV of Atlanta.
Sterling’s willingness to offer political opinions as an election official was criticized by some people, who noted that not only was it inappropriate given his title, but it was also strange since some Georgia counties ceased counting votes early in the night.
The GA elections guy should NOT be on CNN engaging in predictions and playing pundit.
— Kevin Madden (@KevinMaddenDC) January 6, 2021
This is about Gabriel Sterling, and yeah it’s weird. https://t.co/Q6AANTj4hB
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) January 6, 2021
Sterling, who has expressed frustrations with Trump and Republicans in the past, is often praised by those in the corporate media who claim that he does a wonderful job of “debunking” Trump’s lies.
GA election official Gabriel Sterling methodically debunking Trump's conspiracy theories at news conference at this hour. Sterling, a Republican, sounds exasperated: "This is all easily, provably false. And yet the president persists."
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) January 4, 2021
Ongoing on CNN and elsewhere: Georgia elections official Gabriel Sterling is doing a very thorough debunking of the lies coming from Trump and his allies.
This is not a debate. One side has facts, the other side has nonsense, deception, idiocy.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) January 4, 2021
Top Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling is debunking Trump's election claims one by one. “It’s Groundhog Day again. I’m going to talk about the things I've talked about repeatedly for two months, but I'm going to do it for one last time," he says.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) January 4, 2021
"This is all easily provably false. Yet the president persists." — Georgia elections official Gabriel Sterling is holding a press conference in which he's debunking one Trump conspiracy theory after the next pic.twitter.com/snNBlrH31C
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 4, 2021