President Donald Trump took to Twitter Thursday to suggest delaying the upcoming November election.
In his tweet, the president wrote, "With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???"
As could be expected, his words quickly made headlines and the rounds of social media.
The tweet was a gift to the president's foes, who seized the moment to denounce any such scheme, using terms like fascism and dictatorship. They also claimed the tweet indicated the White House might not accept the results of the election should President Trump lose.
Republican leaders were quick to distance themselves from the notion.
"I think that's probably a statement that gets some press attention, but I doubt it gets any serious traction," said Senate Majority Whip John Thune told CNN, adding, "I think we've had elections every November since about 1788, and I expect that will be the case again this year."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham also dismissed the idea of an election delay.
It's important to remember the president doesn't have the power to delay the November election. Only Congress can do that. So it is almost certain the November vote will go off as scheduled.
We can't say whether President Trump was serious, testing the waters of public support for the idea, or was simply throwing out a random thought, as he is prone to do. The president doesn't have much of a filter when it comes to Twitter so it could easily be the latter.
But on the off-chance he would try to delay the election, we can only say it would be a very, very bad idea.