Grappling with governing: Rep. Blake Moore supports both Trump and electoral college

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Editor’s note: Daily Universe reporters examined how Utah’s congressional delegation responded not only to the Capitol breach on Jan. 6 but the shift in the Republican Party over the last four years in a series of stories.

Utah Rep. Blake Moore, who was just elected to represent the First District of Utah in the U.S. House of Representatives, has consistently supported President Donald Trump, but declined to challenge president-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win. (blakemoore.house.gov)

Utah Rep. Blake Moore of Utah’s 1st District was sworn in just days before the U.S. Capitol was under attack.

Moore has consistently supported President Donald Trump, and the two have similar policy stances. The new congressman focused on maintaining election integrity on a state level rather than through federal intervention, declining to challenge President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win.

Outgoing First District Rep. Rob Bishop, another Republican, announced in 2019 his plan to retire, creating an opening for the office he has held since 2003.

Moore worked as an executive with the Cicero Group, a Utah-based management consulting firm, before being elected. He defeated Democrat Darren Parry and was sworn into Congress Jan. 3.

Moore supports Trump, but has disagreed with the president on federal intervention issues.

June 2020 — Military intervention

Trump said he would deploy the U.S. military if states couldn’t control violence during protests following George Floyd’s death.

Moore spoke against this plan during a primary debate on June 2. “Not in our country. Not in our state,” he said. “Our response to these situations is best done at the local level where we know exactly what’s going on.”

September 2020 — Character and rhetoric

Moore has made a positive impression on many Utah residents, who have noted his character and rhetoric.

Moore debated his then-opponent Darren Parry on Sept. 24. The Deseret News reported that both candidates praised each other and kept dialogue civil during debates and on the campaign trail — “a stark contrast to the tone of national races.”

Trump and Biden’s debates were criticized for interruptions and insults. While Moore supports Trump, his conduct differs from the president’s.

“Moore said he believes that is how politics needs to happen — respectfully disagreeing but abiding by civility,” the article reads.

The AP quoted Sunset resident Craig Johnson commending Moore’s character prior to the election. “The thing that really sealed it for me was Blake didn’t have the vitriolic rhetoric that I heard from a lot of the other candidates. We need to be electing people of character.”

October 2020 — Support from the president

President Donald Trump endorsed Utah representative Blake Moore on Oct. 31, 2020. Moore has continued to support the president, but voted against challenging President-elect Joe Biden’s win in the Electoral College. (@realdonaldtrump on Twitter)

Trump endorsed Moore in October via Twitter. The two men have similar stances on political issues such as immigration, healthcare and the Second Amendment.

“Before any immigration reform can happen, we must secure the border,” Moore stated on his campaign website. “Streamlining legal immigration will benefit both the immigrants and the American economy, and those who go through the process legally will not be punished by those who do not.”

Moore also praised the country’s pre-COVID economy, saying that Americans were experiencing the best job market and highest economic growth in decades.

A hot foreign policy issue is the Iran nuclear deal. It aims to restrict Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons, lifting economic sanctions on the country in return.

Trump pulled out of the deal in 2018, as he felt it failed to protect U.S. national security interests. Biden plans to rejoin it. “The Iran Deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into,” Trump said.

If the United States revisits the deal, Moore told the Deseret News it’s critical the arrangement has teeth. “We have to hold Iran accountable. We need to be strong. I am open to a diplomatic solution in any way, shape or form, but we can’t let Iran skirt their responsibilities.”

January 2021 — ‘I could not in good conscience endorse federal intervention’

Moore said in a recent press release he was saddened and troubled by the assault on the Capitol. He told Fox 13 News Utah about his experience being evacuated from the building in this interview.

Congressman Blake Moore gave a statement following Wednesday’s Capitol Hill attacks. He had just been sworn into Congress Jan. 3. (@RepBlakeMoore on Twitter)

In the press release, Moore said he believes Trump’s policies would have been the best way to rebuild the economy after the pandemic, and that he had looked forward to serving alongside Trump’s administration.

Moore said he and his Republican colleagues are firmly committed to election integrity, and that they were dismayed by reports of fraudulent activity.

“Every abuse must be thoroughly investigated, and I will support legislation to safeguard our elections so that all Americans can trust in the security of our democracy.”

However, when it came to certifying the Electoral College votes, Moore said he “could not in good conscience endorse federal intervention in state-certified elections.”

It’s up to states to implement their own laws and cast their own electoral votes while it’s up to the judiciary to determine if the states acted constitutionally in changing their election systems, he continued.

“I believe that the Constitution does not give Congress the right to disenfranchise the states and thereby overthrow the Electoral College — a long-time goal of Democrats,” he said, adding that the Electoral College system has elected many Republican presidents.

Moore said adhering to the country’s founding document and committing to “aspirational, pro-growth, and inclusive policies” are how Republicans won so many house seats in 2020, and how they will take back the majority in 2022.

He also urged states across the country to follow Utah’s election process, thereby addressing serious concerns about the integrity of their systems.

It took Utah several years to ensure it had a secure and efficient election process, while many states rushed to implement mail-in balloting systems systems during the pandemic, he said.

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