With Trump Elected, Mikulski Says Democrats Must ‘Start With the Constitution‘

Maryland senators point to protections enshrined in the document

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski is retiring at the end of this Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski is retiring at the end of this Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Posted November 9, 2016 at 12:28pm

BALTIMORE — Maryland’s incoming and outgoing senators expressed disappointment with the presidential election results but expressed support for a smooth transition of power.

When asked if she respected President-elect Donald Trump, retiring Democratic Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski said she supported the electoral process.

“I respect the process. I respect the process that chose him,” Mikulski told reporters. “We need to start with civility, start with the Constitution, and I think we’ll be ok.”

Joined by Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who was elected Tuesday to succeed her, Mikulski said while Tuesday proved to be a “tough day,” lawmakers would “support the order of transition of power.”

Cardin, the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee agreed.

“Obviously I was very disappointed and very concerned about the national results on yesterday’s election,” Cardin said, but added he would “strongly support the transition of government and we will work very closely to make that as smooth as possible.”

“We’ll have a responsibility to look at the Constitution to make sure that the Constitutional protections are there and that we follow the values of America,” Cardin said.

Van Hollen, while acknowledging Trump ran a decisive campaign, said it would be essential that the president-elect “reach out, not just in words but in detail.”

He added that he knew little about Trump’s campaign other than his vows to build a wall along the southern border and to deport illegal immigrants.

The morning-after election news conference is something of a tradition for the Democratic senators who comprise part of what they call, “Team Maryland.”

Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report.