Trump says he will accept the election results only if he wins
The Republican said he reserved the right to contest questionable results, deepening his unsubstantiated assertions that the race against Hillary Clinton could be rigged against him
US President Barack Obama took to task Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for refusing to commit that he would accept the results of the general elections. He said the allegations of voter’s fraud and rigging of the elections is “dangerous” and “undermines our democracy”.
On Thursday, Donald Trump pledged to fully accept the outcome of next month’s presidential election, if he wins. The Republican said he reserved the right to contest questionable results, deepening his unsubstantiated assertions that the race against Hillary Clinton could be rigged against him. Trump’s comments came a day after his stunning refusal in the final presidential debate to say whether he would concede to Clinton if he loses. His resistance, threatening to undermine the essence of American democracy, was roundly rejected by fellow Republicans.
“When you suggest rigging or fraud, without a shred of evidence, Trump becomes the first major-party nominee in the American history to suggest that he will not concede, despite losing the vote, and then says that he will accept the results if he wins, that is not a joking matter,” Obama said on Thursday at an election rally in Florida.
“Most of the Republicans have acknowledged that there is no way to rig an election in a country this big. I don’t know if Trump has ever been to an actual polling place where you have Democrats and Republicans who are in charge of taking the votes,” he said.
Arizona Sen. John McCain, the 2008 GOP nominee, called the peaceful transfer of power “the pride of our country.”
“I didn’t like the outcome of the 2008 election. But I had a duty to concede, and I did so without reluctance,” McCain said in a lengthy statement. “A concession isn’t just an exercise in graciousness. It is an act of respect for the will of the American people, a respect that is every American leader’s first responsibility.”
Obama described Trump’s allegations as more than just the usual standard lie. That is dangerous because when you try to sow the seeds of doubt in people’s minds about the legitimacy of our elections, that undermines our democracy, he added.
“Then you are doing the work of our adversaries for them,” he pointed out. “Because our democracy depends on people knowing that their vote matters; that those who occupy the seats of power were chosen by the people. “Even when your preferred candidate loses, even when you are the one who is running and you lose, you have got to see the bigger picture and say that here in America, we believe in democracy, and we accept the will of the people,” the president said.
Obama said if there was any rigging, it would be to the disadvantage of the Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as many of the battleground states like Ohio, North Carolina, and Nevada have Republican Governors.
He said Trump had nothing to offer but “anger and grievance and blame.”
“His closing argument asks: What do you have to lose? Well, I am here to tell you: Everything. You know how much progress we have made, despite the opposition, despite the forces of discrimination, despite the politics of backlash. And that progress doesn’t stop with my presidency. We are just getting started,” he said.
“So progress is on the ballot, civility is on the ballot, tolerance is on the ballot, justice is on the ballot, equality is on the ballot, our democracy is on the ballot,” Mr Obama said.
He said Trump didn’t come out of anywhere now. For years, Republican politicians and far-right media outlets had just been pumping out all kinds of toxic, crazy stuff. First of all, there was the whole birther thing. Then they start saying climate change is a Chinese hoax.
“And according to them, I am powerful enough to cause these hurricanes and I am about to steal everybody’s guns in the middle of the night and declare martial law, but somehow I still need a teleprompter to finish a sentence,” said the U.S. President.
“They have been saying crazy stuff. And there were a lot of politicians, like Marco Rubio, who know better. But they just look the other way, because they figured if we could stir folks up and think that Barack or Hillary or others are doing all these terrible things we are saying they are doing, that’s going to help us get votes,” he said.
“So we will just oppose anything that they are trying to do, and maybe we will end up having more power in Washington.
And so they just stood by and said nothing even though they knew better while their base actually started believing some of this stuff.
“I say all this because Donald Trump didn’t start all this. Like he usually does, he just slapped his name on it, took credit for it, and promoted the heck out of it,” Obama said.