Republican nominee Donald Trump’s stubborn refusal to accept the democratic results of this year’s presidential election has become the major story from tonight’s third and final debate in Las Vegas. Fox News anchor Chris Wallace did a surprisingly good job moderating the debate, and asked what will become the fateful question of 2016’s unusual election, twice. Will Donald Trump accept the election results as fair? Trump replied:
“I will tell you at the time, I will keep you in suspense.”
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s response was immediate, and she spoke for every single American: “That’s horrifying.”
Trump’s answer is going to loom over the next three weeks until the Republican concedes that his campaign has lost this year’s election. It’s going to even overshadow his boldest lie of the debate, claiming tonight that he’s never met Putin, when this video CLEARLY shows him bragging about his “relationship” with the Russian dictator. America has never had a major party presidential candidate, EVER, who hasn’t committed to accept the results of a fair election in our country.
Even Mitt Romney’s former campaign manager, Republican consultant Steve Schmidt said on MSNBC that refusing to accept the results is nothing less than, “an attack on a foundational level on the institutions of democracy.”
“He hit himself on the head,” said ultra-conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt commenting about Trump’s stubborn refusal to accept the election results on MSNBC, “and knocked himself out. Contingent talk about results is not within our political norms.”
This is an issue which will not go away, and it’s an entirely self-made strategic disaster by Donald Trump. It’s not a cliffhanger, and it’s not a comment he’ll ever be able to “walk back” as politicians say. Shamefully, Trump’s refusal to conform to the only foundational part of American politics was the probably his most truthful moment of the night too.
Even his own Republican running mate Mike Pence solidly said before the debate, that he would – of course! – accept the results, which he surely anticipates will end with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton earning the historic mantle of becoming America’s first female President.
Republican nominee Donald Trump’s politically blasphemous answer to Fox News’ Chris Wallace will forever live in infamy.
God help us all.
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) October 20, 2016
From Fox’s Charles Krauthammer, re: Trump’s answer on election: “This was political suicide.”
— Michael D. Shear (@shearm) October 20, 2016
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition