After resisting former president Donald Trump’s, Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s life changed almost overnight.
“You watch your back,” Raffensperger told CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett. Raffensperger and his wife received death threats and threats of sexual violence from Trump supporters, even though Raffensperger is a lifelong conservative who voted for Mr. Trump in the 2020 election.
Raffensperger told Garrett he has started to looking for people’s “tells,” asking himself “Is there anything on the side of their hip?” His family also got a dog “for awareness.”
Georgia’s 2020 ballots were counted three times and each time showed then-President Trump “came up short,” Raffensperger said.
“These stolen election claims, what they do is they undermine voters’ confidence in the election process,” Raffensperger said. “Those precinct workers that you meet there [are] the people that you see at the grocery store… church groups, or out at the ballfield when your kids are playing Little League. Those are your neighbors and those are the people that are walking that line of integrity, to do their job with integrity. Not looking left or right, but just doing their job.”
He blamed the “biggest misinformation, disinformation, outright lying campaign” for the January 6 Capitol attack on Trump.
“They were misled, they were deceived, they were given falsehoods about the results of the election,” Raffensperger said.
He believes that Trump’s comments about the election potentially being “rigged” against him before and after the election could have negative repercussions for the GOP in future elections.
“When you start creating doubts in the voter’s mind, then what do they do? They step out, they step back,” Raffensperger said. “It hurt the Republican Party. And as a conservative, that really bothers me because, you know, I wear the brand. I vote the brand.”
In his new book, “Integrity Counts,” Raffensperger gives his account of the and his work leading up to and after the 2020 election. His book is distributed by a division of ViacomCBS.
Garrett also spoke with Bucks County, Pennsylvania Commissioner Bob Harvie, a former history teacher, who said the current political climate scares him.
“This is not something I’ve seen except going back to the Civil War,” Harvie said. “If you wanted to destroy democracy, the first thing you do is turn members of that country against each other… the second thing you do is to get people to start doubting the validity of the elections.”
The interviews in this week’s episode originally on “CBS Sunday Morning,” which you can watch.
Executive producer: Arden Farhi
Producers: Jamie Benson, Jacob Rosen, Sara Cook and Eleanor Watson