Speaking with CNN's Anderson Cooper in an interview that aired Monday night, Obama cited Raffensperger as someone who was criticized by former President Donald Trump and his allies for rejecting their claims of widespread voter fraud. As a result, he's become an example of a perceived political traitor that other Republicans wanted to avoid becoming, even in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
The Democrat criticized the GOP establishment and conservative media for failing to stand up to the "base" in their belief that the 2020 election was stolen. Obama initially said "nobody stood up" to the base, but then corrected himself to note there were exceptions.
"There were some very brave people who did their jobs, like the secretary of state in Georgia, who was then viciously attacked for it, and all those congressmen said, 'You know what? I'll lose my job. I'll get voted out of office,'" he stated.
The House of Representatives impeached former President Donald Trump on a charge of incitement of insurrection in connection to the January attack on the U.S. Capitol by rioters as lawmakers met to affirm the 2020 results. Ten Republicans even joined Democrats in supporting the impeachment and are now facing primary challenges backed by Trump and his allies.
Nonetheless, Trump was acquitted by the Senate. Among those who voted against conviction was then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who then took the floor and accused the former president of being "practically and morally responsible" for the riot.
Raffensperger and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp became targets by Trump and his supporters for their handling of the 2020 election and for resisting efforts to overturn the results of the reliably red state that not only went to President Joe Biden but also to two Democrats in the January runoff elections for U.S. Senate.
A leaked phone call reveals Trump pressuring Raffensperger to help him find fraudulent votes that would overturn the 2020 election results in the state, but he refused while noting, "The data you have is wrong."
Raffensperger, who recently announced he will seek reelection in 2022, will face off against Trump-endorsed GOP Rep. Jody Hice for the Republican nomination in the Peach State’s race for secretary of state. Raffensperger was censured at the Georgia GOP convention on Saturday for a "dereliction of his constitutional duty" over the presidential election.
Georgia's secretary of state told the Washington Examiner last month that truth comes before party.
“At the end of the day, you just continue to speak the truth, and you continue to show numbers,” Raffensperger said.
“You continue to get your message out with the truth, and then you find out that everything that he based it on was not based on fact — it was based on unsound reasoning and an awful lot of emotion,” he added.