Republicans to Trump: American Elections Are Not Rigged

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The following was released by Hillary for America:

At last night’s debate, and again today at his rally, Donald Trump declared his unwillingness to respect the electoral process that is the foundation of American democracy by refusing to accept the outcome of the election. American elections are not rigged. Peaceful transfers of power are a hallmark of our republic – and the envy of the world.

The backlash from fellow Republicans has been swift, leaving Trump increasingly isolated after members of his own party repudiated his position in forceful terms:

Reactions to Trump’s Comments at Debate and Post-Debate Rally:

Elected Officials

Senator Bob Corker (TN), 10/19/16: “It is imperative that Donald Trump clearly state that he will accept the results of the election when complete.”

Senator Jeff Flake (AZ), 10/19/16: “.@realDonaldTrump saying that he might not accept election results is beyond the pale”

Senator Lindsey Graham (SC), 10/19/16: “Like most Americans I have confidence in our democracy and election system… If he loses, it will not be because the system is ‘rigged’ but because he failed as a candidate.

Senator Ben Sasse (NE), 10/20/16: “Talking about rigged elections with zero evidence is dangerous because it erodes trust without justification and kindles cynicism that undermines self-government… Likewise, every America — Republican, Democrat, or Independent — should absolutely condemn voter intimidation or acts of violence.”

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, 10/20/16: “Gov. Scott Walker says Republican presidential nominee has to accept results of the election, even though Trump hasn’t said whether he will if Hillary Clinton wins. WLUK-TV reports Thursday that Walker said following an event in Green Bay that ‘The bottom line is whether he does or doesn’t, there’s going to be a new president.’”

Other Notable Republicans

Conservative Radio Host Laura Ingraham, 10/19/16: “He should have said he would accept the results of the election. There is no other option unless we’re in a recount again.”

Former McCain Strategist Steve Schmidt, 10/20/16: “It’s absolutely unprecedented for any presidential candidate in the history of the country.”

Former Counsel to Bush/Cheney Campaign Ben Ginsberg, 10/20/16: “I think you’ve seen many leaders of the [Republican] party say our elections are not rigged in the past few days. Of the 15 closest states right now, more or less, 11 of them have Republican secretaries of state so that the responsibility for counting the votes – while there’s a check and balance system in every state – really rests with republican elected officials.” [MSNBC All In, 10/20/16]

Reactions to Trump’s “Rigged Elections” Comments Prior to Final Debate:

Elected Officials (Current and Former)

Senator Jeff Flake (AZ) 10/16/16: “States, backed by tens of thousands of GOP and DEM volunteers, ensure integrity of electoral process. Elections are not rigged.”

Senator Lindsey Graham (SC), 10/6/16: “I don’t think it’s good for democracy to have a major candidate for president doubt the outcome,’ Graham told CNN’s Kate Bolduan and John Berman on ‘At This Hour.’ ‘But being rigged means it’s rigged against you and I think Mr. Trump’s fate is in his own hands.

Senator John Kasich (OH), 10/19/16: “No!” Kasich said emphatically when asked on “CBS This Morning” if the election is rigged. “Look, to say that elections are rigged and all these votes are stolen, that’s like saying we never landed on the moon, frankly. That’s how silly it is,” added Kasich, who noted that his first statewide election was “extremely close.”

Senator Rand Paul (KY), 10/17/16: “The Courier Journal reports, Paul spoke to a Republican student group at St. Xavier High School in Louisville Monday stating concerns of rebellion that some Trump supporters have called for are “overstated” and the elections are accurately recorded.”

Representative Doug Collins (GA-9), 10/17/16: “When Trump says it’s fixed or rigged, my hope is that it’s taken in the vein that the media is against me – not that the voting process is… We can argue the edges, but let’s not cut into the exoskeleton.”

Representative Peter King (NY-2), 10/17/16: “Is it legally rigged? No it’s not. Whoever wins, wins.”

Former Arizona Governor and Former Secretary of State Jan Brewer, 10/17/16: “Even former Gov. Jan Brewer (R, Arizona’s former secretary of state and a top Trump supporter, said: ‘I don’t think there’s a lot of fraud going on.’  Asked whether Arizona’s election results would be rigged, Brewer told The Arizona Republic: ‘Absolutely not in Arizona.’”

Ohio Secretary of State John Husted, 10/17/16: “First of all, I can assure Donald Trump I am in charge of elections in Ohio, and they’re not going to be rigged… Times have gotten tougher for a lot of people who’ve seen their incomes drop during a period where many people have gotten very wealthy. So they’re frustrated by those kinds of things. But our institutions like our election system is one of the bedrocks of American democracy. We should not question it. Or the legitimacy of it.” [Newsroom, CNN, 10/17/16]

  • Husted on Trump’s comments: “Well, it’s irresponsible. He should focus on issues that matter to people… Give them some hope. Don’t create hopelessness in our country. Don’t make people feel despair.”

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, 10/17/16: “Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said Monday she has ‘full confidence’ in the state’s decentralized election system, despite broad claims by Republican Donald Trump that the presidential election will be ‘rigged.’

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, 10/17/16: “Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp on Monday joined the tide of Republicans and elections officials who pushed back on Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that a ‘rigged election’ would help Hillary Clinton win in November. Kemp said Georgia’s ‘battle-tested voting equipment and the election officials who manage the system have earned voters’ confidence’ with more than 45 million votes cast and tabulated. ‘As Georgia’s chief elections official,’ he added, ‘I have worked tirelessly to ensure Georgians have safe, accessible, and fair elections in our state.’”

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson, 9/8/16: “I hate the fact that people are questioning whether the outcome of an election could be rigged.”

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, 10/17/16: “‘Iowa has got one of the cleanest, best election systems in the country and I guarantee every eligible Iowa voter will be able to cast their ballot for the Nov. 8 election,’ added Pate, who said he wanted to clear away any ‘smoke’ over rigged elections by noting the many checks and balances Iowa has to maintain integrity and ferret out fraud.”

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargrett, 10/18/16: “I believe Secretary Clinton and Gov. Pence both talked about, we’re going to accept the results of the election. And in this country, we have a transfer of power that, in my mind, works better than any other country in the world.”

Office of the Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, 10/17/16: “‘Donald Trump has been tweeting about elections being rigged, but he offers no evidence of such,’ Secretary of State Communications Director Lynn Bartels said in a statement to Denver7. ‘I can say on Twitter I’m a super model, but that doesn’t make it so.’”

Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman, 10/17/16: “[It’s] irresponsible for a candidate to be casting doubt on the election process and just making these sweeping statements that the election is rigged already and that the outcome is predetermined.”

Philadelphia GOP City Commissioner Al Schmidt, 10/17/16: “The real threat to the integrity of elections in Philadelphia isn’t voter fraud… The real threat to the integrity of elections is irresponsible accusations that undermine confidence in the electoral process.”

Other Notable Republicans

Former Romney Policy Adviser Lanhee Chen, 10/11/16: “Credible Republicans have to be a note of sobriety, and we do have to respect the outcome of the election.”

Former George W. Bush White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, 10/16/16: “[If] Donald Trump loses and fights the outcome, it will make many of his followers, which means millions of people, question the legitimacy of our American government. That’s destructive and corrosive.”

Former George W. Bush Aide Tony Fratto, 10/16/16: “You hate to have to fight something like this, but it is very corrosive, so you do have to fight it. You don’t want it to even pick up with a small segment of the population. Reince and Ryan and McConnell will have to concede for him, for the party. They just have to take things out of his hands.”

Former McCain Strategist Steve Schmidt, 10/16/16: “What this would be is an assault on the foundations of the long-established traditions of the country, an assault on democracy, vandalizing it.”

Robert Kelner, an attorney that has represented the RNC, NRCC and NRSC: “Donald Trump’s effort to stir up trouble at polling places and to question, without any factual foundation, the fairness of the general election is a dangerous and unprecedented attack on our democratic institutions.”

Bill Kristol, 10/17/16: “The only ‘large scale voter fraud’ going on this year is the Donald J. Trump presidential campaign.”

Update (10/21): Republicans Continue to Denounce Trump’s Refusal to Accept Election Outcome

Donald Trump continues to shock the world with his unwillingness to accept the legitimacy of the U.S. presidential election. Trump is only increasing his isolation from the Republican Party – and from reality – as leaders in his own party continue to denounce their nominee.

Today, additional Republicans join the growing list of GOP leaders repudiating Trump’s position:

NEW Reactions to Trump’s Comments at Debate and Post-Debate Rally:

Elected Officials

Senator Lamar Alexander (TN), 10/20/16: “‘The most conspicuous and enduring symbol of the American democracy is the freedom to vote for our leaders and the restraint to respect the results,’ U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said in a statement. ‘When you run for public office, you accept the verdict of the voters.’”

Senator Mike Lee (UT), 10/20/16: “It’s frightening beyond my ability to describe,” Lee, R-Utah, told The Daily Universe, the student newspaper at Brigham Young University. “It’s almost an anticipated repudiation of the outcome of the election. … It delegitimizes the entire process in a way that is really dangerous.”

Senator John Thune (SD), 10/20/16: “The American electoral process is the cornerstone of our democracy. Suggesting otherwise undermines an electoral system that is a model for nations around the world.”

Representative Jason Chaffetz (UT-3), 10/20/16: “And Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said he has faith in the elections. ‘Vigilance is wise, but to suggest it is rigged, I see no evidence of that. I have confidence in the integrity of the vote,’ he said. ‘Our nation has a rich history of integrity in elections, and I would expect that to be the same here again.’”

 Representative Diane Black (UT-6), 10/20/16: “But regardless of the outcome, both candidates should honor the results once they are certified and accept the legitimacy of the process.”

Representative Mike Kelly (PA-3), 10/20/16: “The office of U.S. Rep Mike Kelly, R-Butler, said he would ‘accept the legitimately determined results of the election… America’s faith in the democratic process is more durable than any candidate’s campaign rhetoric,’ it added.”

Maine Governor Paul LePage, 10/20/16: “LePage advised Trump to ‘take your licks and let’s move on four years.’ ‘Not accepting the results, I think, is a stupid comment. I mean, c’mon. Get over yourself,’ LePage said.”

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, 10/20/16: “‘This election is not rigged, and it’s irresponsible to say that it is,’ Gov. Nikki Haley said in a statement provided to The Post and Courier. ‘Faith in the democratic process is one of America’s greatest strengths, and it’s more important than the outcome of any election.’”

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, 10/20/16: “Gov. Bill Haslam, who has said he does not support Trump’s candidacy, told reporters on Thursday that the United States is ‘predicated on a peaceful transfer of power and I think one of the basics of that is the acceptance of election results.’ He pointed to the outcome of the 2000 presidential election between Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush that went weeks past Election Day because of a close contest in Florida. ‘Now it’s one thing if an election is — we had the election in 2000 that was obviously too close to call and had to be played out but we had a process for playing that out,’ Haslam said. ‘But again the whole system is based on a peaceful transfer of power and part of that includes you know accepting election results.’”

Other Notable Republicans

Former Oklahoma Secretary of State Tom Cole, 10/18/16: “I just don’t believe there is any risk of massive voter fraud in the elections . . . It does concern me, because you’ve got a national platform running for president, and you delegitimize the process by which presidents are chosen when you raise doubts.”

NCGOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse, 10/20/16: “We at the North Carolina Republican Party are not aware of election results being optional.”

Update (10/21): Battleground Editorials Rebuke Trump’s Attempt to Undermine the Election

Voting is easy and we’re seeing record turnout this election cycle.  That’s one of the reasons battleground state editorial boards are rejecting Trump’s attempts to undermine our democratic process by refusing to commit to accepting the election results if he loses.

Here’s what voters are reading in their hometown papers:

REGIONAL AND LOCAL EDITORIAL BOARDS

 Akron Beacon Journal: “What Trump Doesn’t Know About Elections And Other Presidential Things.” On Sunday, Donald Trump tweeted: “The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary — but also at many polling places — SAD.” The Republican presidential candidate has persisted with this theme though he offers no supporting evidence. Sad isn’t the word that comes first to mind in weighing his claim. Try pathetic, outrageous or ridiculous.”

Boston Globe: Trump’s Attempt To Delegitimize The Election. “Trump’s claims that the election is “rigged” against him have no basis in fact. Election fraud in the United States is so rare as to be nearly nonexistent. All 50 states and countless local boards control their own elections, and rigging the vote on a nationwide basis would be nearly impossible. The actual counting of votes is closely watched by observers from both parties. Early voting is underway across the nation, and no credible allegations of fraud have emerged.”

Buffalo News: “GOP Must Disavow Trump’s Attempt To Undermine Confidence In The Election.” In a campaign overflowing with accusations from the Republican presidential nominee, perhaps the worst yet is just now infecting the country. Donald Trump is working, purposefully and relentlessly, to convince people that the election, itself, is rigged against him. He is doing this without a shred of evidence beyond his own collapse in the public’s estimation.”

Charlotte Gazette-Mail: Trump’s Claim “Ridiculous” And “Laughable” “On some level, Trump’s answer wasn’t a surprise. It’s become apparent that he’s likely to lose this election, and he’s spent the past several weeks whipping his supporters into a frenzy by claiming the Nov. 8 vote will be rigged against him. It is a ridiculous claim. It should be laughable. A conspiracy to rig votes across the country would, by definition, involve thousands of people of all political leanings, starting with local poll workers and observers. But Trump, never one to concern himself with facts, has continued to fan the flames. It was still shocking to hear him refuse, when asked point-blank, to accept the upcoming election results.”

Chicago Sun-Times: Shameful Trump Declines To Accept Elections Results. “Trump took every opportunity to undermine the confidence of the American people in the integrity of our national elections. It’s an outrageously irresponsible game. Without the public’s confidence — a confidence that is fully warranted, we should add — our democratic system cannot work.”

Chicago Tribune: Trump, You Think Illinois Elections Are Rigged? Here’s What You Don’t Know. “Did you giggle when you heard the Republican nominee for president say that America’s election process is “rigged”? And when he warned about insiders stealing the election process, did you convulse with laughter? Of course, you did. You’re from Illinois. You know that what’s corrupt often is perfectly legal. That’s the real outrage. Many of Trump’s allegations are fantastic, impossible. He’s wrong — although Trump never minds being wrong.”

Cincinnat!: Trump Is Over The Top And Out Of Bounds. “Donald Trump’s claims of a rigged presidential election aren’t only unprecedented and irresponsible. They are dangerous….”

Concord Monitor: This is Trump – now lets vote “The bottom fell out of Republican Donald Trump’s sagging campaign at Wednesday night’s presidential debate when he refused to say – twice – whether he would accept the results of the Nov. 8 election. It is wrong for any candidate for president to toy with our nation’s confidence in fundamental tenets of our democracy – free and fair elections and the peaceful transfer of power. We believe Trump has cemented what should be obvious by now – that he is totally unfit to be president of the United States. He is not even fit to lose the presidential race.”

Daily Record: “To Trump, Any Loss Will Be ‘Rigged.” So Donald Trump finally went too far. Or maybe not. Either way, the third and – mercifully – last presidential debate of the season largely boiled down to one singular and unprecedented moment, when Trump refused to say he will accept the results of the election. “I will look at it at the time,” Trump said in responding to a direct question on the issue from debate moderator Chris Wallace.

Daily Progress: Trump should take cue from Adams, Jefferson race “Donald Trump at the third presidential debate, on the other hand, wouldn’t commit to honoring the results on Election Day and told America he would “keep you in suspense … We have never seen in a modern election — even the narrowest, nastiest of campaigns — a candidate so openly question the integrity of the democratic process that he might not even accept defeat.”

Las Vegas Sun Editorial: Refusing to concede would be disrespectful Trump’s final insult “Voters should reject Trump. And then he can sulk all he wants — as he did when his TV show didn’t win an Emmy — and retreat to his gilded lifestyle. But if he refuses to respect the peaceful electoral ritual that distinguishes our nation, shame on him, and he will have revealed himself as fools gold, a phony who came to the end of his run.”

Miami Herald: At Final Debate, Trump Shocks By Saying He May Not Accept Election Results. “His unwillingness to say whether he would accept the decision by voters served once again to remind Americans tuning in for the third and final debate of this topsy-turvy electoral season that Mr. Trump does not respect American political traditions — and actually seems to hold them in contempt. He compounded his failure by again raising the issue of rigged elections without providing anything in the way of evidence.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Donald Trump’s Reckless End Game “Will Trump ever concede if he loses? Or will he encourage his ardent supporters to reject the legitimacy of the election — attacking the very cornerstone of our democratic republic? Trump must realize he is losing. He is trailing in every credible national poll and in most battleground states.But after pinning the “loser” label on everyone from his Republican primary opponents to past prisoners of war to troops who suffer from battle fatigue, this pampered prince of privilege cannot imagine a graceful exit. And so he claims without evidence to be the victim of a massive conspiracy that no reasonable observer believes is real ”

Roanoke Times: Republicans must disavow Trump on not accepting election results “Before we say anything about the third and final presidential debate, we must say this: Republicans must condemn Donald Trump’s declaration that he might not accept the election results.We usually like to be able to see things in many shades of gray but there is only one way to see this: Trump just made a brazen assault on one of the basic tenets of American democracy — that we abide by election results and peacefully transfer power. What, exactly, is Trump proposing when he says he will keep the nation “in suspense” until he announces whether he will accept the results”

Sacramento Bee: Talk Of ‘Rigged’ Election Is Slippery Slope To Violence. “Imagine voting on Nov. 8 under the watchful gaze of, say, a posse of poll watchers, assault-style rifles slung over their shoulders, “Make America Great Again” hats perched on their heads. Sounds farfetched? Voter fraud is exceedingly rare, as researchers have found over and over.”

San Diego Union-Tribune: “Donald Trump Makes Joe McCarthy Look Good With ‘Rigged Election’ Talk. “Republican nominee Donald Trump’s unhinged behavior in the last week will go down in American history as among the most wide-ranging assaults on fundamentals of democracy and civility this nation has seen from a leading politician.”

Seattle Times: Donald Trump Has Invented A Conspiracy That Could Do Serious Damage. “DONALD Trump is preparing a crash-landing pad for the likelihood of his resounding defeat in the Nov. 8 election. His claims about “large-scale voter fraud” and a “rigged election” are self-serving and, worse, damaging to the American electoral process. Like so many other claims from Trump’s demagogic campaign, his claims take a gossamer thread of fact and weave them into conspiracy.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Trump’s Worst Offense: The Vile Attempt To Discredit The Election.  “Of all the reckless assertions uttered by Donald Trump over the past two years, the most dangerous and despicable are those charging that the Nov. 8 election will be rigged. Unity and democracy do not concern Trump. Since the primary season, he has been casting doubt — with no evidence whatsoever — on the legitimacy of the democratic process.”

Star Tribune: Disgraceful defiance from Donald Trump “Unwilling to accept his backslide in the polls, Trump has been malevolently cultivating the notion that the American system of elections, whose heart is a peaceful, orderly transition of power every four years that is the envy of many nations, is so manipulated, so corrupt, that it cannot be trusted, nor its results necessarily accepted. Not only does Trump bring no evidence for such astounding assertions, he has made his claims in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.”

Philadelphia Inquirer: Trump’s rigged election claim is a danger “His belligerent comments at Wednesday’s final presidential debate strike at the very structure of American democracy, where elections are used to transfer power peacefully from one administration to the next. Trump’s remarks are rooted in an alternate reality. He believes dead citizens and undocumented immigrants will vote in the Nov. 8 election. He claims the upcoming election is rigged against him, without offering a speck of proof.”

Philly Daily News: DN editorial: Trump’s claims of a rigged election are racist in nature “YOU DON’T HAVE to dig too deeply to hit the roots of the allegations over voter fraud in Philadelphia. It’s racism. Donald Trump may have used dog-whistle phrases in speeches in Altoona and Wilkes-Barre while claiming the election could be stolen because of widespread voter fraud in Philadelphia.”

Post And Courier: No, The Election’s Not Rigged. “As for Mr. Trump’s reckless contention that polling places will be rigged against him, that goes far beyond an early alibi for what many analysts now foresee as his defeat three weeks from today.That baseless accusation feeds the dangerous myth that Mrs. Clinton will win the presidential election outcome via a fraudulent process.And that sets the stage for even more widespread distrust by the electorate in our self-governing system.”

Tampa Bay Times: Republicans Should Defend Elections, Not Trump. “That follows his constant warnings that the election could be rigged, and it threatens the underpinnings of our peaceful democracy. There is no basis for Trump’s fearmongering, and Republicans such as Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi should stand up for the electoral process now before their presidential candidate fuels more public distrust. Trump’s harping about rigged elections is a fact-free, pre-emptive strike to blunt the sting of his failing campaign.”

Union Leader: Loser’s Lament: Trump Conspiracies Are Nonsense. “ It’s fairly clear Donald Trump now believes he will not win the presidential election. Trump says the media is “rigging” the election by focusing on his myriad flaws … Trump can whine about the press all he wants, though he wouldn’t be the Republican nominee without the wall-to-wall coverage he received over the past year. He goes too far in suggesting the election could be stolen at polling places.”

Virginian-Pilot: Trump’s Dangerous Indictment Of Democracy “His attack on the foundations of democracy is unhinged, especially since the apparatus of American elections is controlled by the states, most of which are run by Republican executives. Such is the state of the 2016 campaign that Republican luminaries across the nation, and even Trump’s own advisers, immediately began trying to undo the damage that his reckless rhetoric unleashed. That’s likely to be a futile effort. Wednesday was another example in a long campaign of Trump being Trump.”

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