WASHINGTON — President Obama today accused Donald Trump of “whining before the game’s even over” with allegations made by the GOP nominee that the presidential election is rigged.
“They even want to try to rig the election at the polling place,” Trump told a rally in Green Bay, Wis., on Monday. “So many cities are corrupt and voter fraud is very, very common.”
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican who is voting for Trump, countered that voting is “actually more secure than it’s ever been in our nation’s history.”
“Swing states like Ohio have seen the hottest fires, but we are the strongest steel in the sense of having been through this before,” said Husted. “We’ve learned from previous election cycles and built a better election system than most states have.”
Trump fired back on Twitter against Husted, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and other GOP leaders who have pushed back on the candidate’s multiple claims that the election fix is in. “Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day. Why do Republican leaders deny what is going on? So naive!” Trump tweeted.
At a Rose Garden press conference with visiting Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Obama was asked about Trump’s claims of a rigged election and how concerned he is about the potential for violence on or after Election Day.
Obama said “democracy, by definition, works by consent, not by force.”
“I have never seen, in my lifetime or in modern political history, any presidential candidate trying to discredit the elections and the election process before votes have even taken place,” he said.
“It’s unprecedented. It happens to be based on no facts; every expert, regardless of political party, regardless of ideology, conservative or liberal, who has ever examined these issues in a serious way, will tell you that instances of significant voter fraud are not to be found, that — keep in mind, elections are run by state and local officials, which means that there are places like Florida, for example, where you’ve got a Republican governor, whose Republican appointees are going to running and monitoring a whole bunch of these election sites.”
The president added that “the notion that somehow if Mr. Trump loses Florida, it’s because of those people that you have to watch out for, that is both irresponsible and, by the way, doesn’t really show the kind of leadership and toughness that you want out of a president.”
“If you start whining before the game’s even over, if whenever things are going badly for you and you lose, you start blaming somebody else, then you don’t have what it takes to be in this job because there are a lot of times when things don’t go our way or my way,” Obama continued. “That’s OK, you fight through it, you work through it, you try to accomplish your goals. But the larger point I want to emphasize here is that there is no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even — you could even rig America’s elections, in part, because they are so decentralized and the numbers of votes involved.”
“There is no evidence that that has happened in the past or that there are instances in which that will happen this time. And so I’d invite Mr. Trump to stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes.”
Obama added that if Trump got the most votes, “then it would be my expectation of Hillary Clinton to offer a gracious concession speech and pledge to work with him in order to make sure that the American people benefit from an effective government.”
“And it would be my job to welcome Mr. Trump, regardless of what he’s said about me or my differences with him on my opinions, and escort him over to the Capitol, in which there would be a peaceful transfer of power,” he added.