President Donald Trump came out for vote-by-mail efforts in his home state of Florida Tuesday – after spending months blasting mail voting nationwide as rife with fraud.
Trump, who himself casts an absentee ballot by mail in Florida – a state he made his domicile after leaving higher-tax New York – made the surprising turnaround on Twitter, after a series of polls showed him trailing Democrat Joe Biden in the state.
He then defended the move in a Tuesday evening news conference where his first justification for his position was that the state has a 'great Republican governor.'
'Florida’s got a great Republican governor,' Trump said, asked why he supported mail-in voting there
'Florida’s got a great Republican governor,' Trump said, singling out DeSantis and predecessor Gov. Rick Scott.
'Over a long period of time, they've been able to get the absentee ballots done extremely professionally,' he said. 'Florida's different from other states.'
He added: 'Florida has been working on this for years and they have a very good system of mail-in.'
But he trashed Nevada's move to send a ballot to every state vote amid the coronavirus pandemic – a move that prompted Trump to threaten a lawsuit earlier.
'In the case of Nevada they’re going to be voting in a matter of weeks. You can’t do that,' Trump said.
Trump also cited Florida's low taxes, a factor in his decision to move his domicile there and no longer pay taxes in New York, where he has a business and a penthouse condo in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.
'They’re so well run. Florida’s a very well-run state, low taxes, low everything,' Trump said.
But he refused a follow up question on why he was against mail-in voting in other states.
Trump was asked about his surprise tweet Tuesday where he came out for mail-in voting in Florida.
'Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure, Tried and True,' Trump wrote.
'Florida's Voting system has been cleaned up (we defeated Democrats attempts at change), so in Florida I encourage all to request a Ballot & Vote by Mail!' Trump added. He concluded his missive by writing '#MAGA' – his 'Make America Great Again' slogan.
Trump did a U-turn on mail-in voting, at least as it applies to his home state of Florida
The administration has repeatedly called mail-in voting procedures rife with fraud
Trump lauded Florida's election system despite the state's national reputation for dysfunction in counting ballots, including during the disputed 2000 presidential election that led to the landmark Bush v. Gore Supreme Court decision.
The flip comes days after Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told reporters he was 'not concerned at all' about mail-in voting in his stage, which hosts a large number of elderly residents as well as a COVID-19 spike.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who like Trump votes by mail absentee in Florida, denied the president was making a U-turn.
'He’s been unmistakably clear that when you have this mass mailout voting … the consequences are real,' she said. She pointed to an alleged election fraud case in Patterson, New Jersey that Trump has also pointed to.
Trump on Monday threatened to go to court to prevent Nevada from mailing ballots to voters.
Trump is trailing Biden by an average of 6 percentage points in the RealClearPolitics Florida average.