McCain: Accepting Election Results Is ‘American Way’
John McCain has come out against Donald Trump, stating that the proper thing to do is to accept presidential results, regardless of whether you win or not.
The Hill reports:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Thursday slammed Donald Trump for saying he may not accept the outcome of the presidential election.
“I don’t know who’s going to win the presidential election. I do know that in every previous election, the loser congratulates the winner and calls them ‘my president,’ ” McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, said in a statement.
“That’s not just the Republican way or the Democratic way. It’s the American way,” he said, adding that Americans should “respect the decision of the majority even when we disagree with it. Especially when we disagree with it.”
McCain didn’t mention Trump by name in the statement. But it comes one day after the 2016 GOP nominee refused to say during the third presidential debate that he would accept the results of the election.
“I will look at it at the time. I’m not looking at anything now,” Trump said at the Las Vegas debate.
With Democratic Hillary Clinton leading in most national polls, Trump is doubling down on his allegations of widespread voter fraud ahead of the Nov. 8 election, which he says will be “rigged” against him.
McCain rejected Trump’s argument Thursday, stressing while there have been “irregularities” or fraud, they’ve never impacted the outcome of an election.
He added that whoever loses the 2016 election has a “duty to concede,” like he did to Barack Obama after losing the 2008 election.
“I did so without reluctance. A concession isn’t just an exercise in graciousness,” he said.
“It is an act of respect for the will of the American people, a respect that is every American leader’s first responsibility. … This election must not be any different.”
Trump’s rhetoric has drawn backlash from some of his supporters, who argue he is going too far, but many are standing by Trump.
His running mate Mike Pence called for “vigilance” against voter fraud during a campaign rally in Ohio on Monday.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) — Trump’s first Senate supporter — separately said that “there is an attempt to rig the presidential election” because the media is unfairly biased toward Clinton.
Democrats have pounded on Trump’s remarks, arguing Republicans who refuse to denounce their party’s nominee are backing “dangerous attacks” on democracy.
“It is still shocking that these candidates stood, and even still stand, with a man who questions the legitimacy of our elections and the very foundation of our democracy,” said Sadie Weiner, the communications for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
“Their silence in the wake of his claims of a rigged election are both irresponsible and unacceptable.”
Senate Republicans have largely avoided commenting on Trump’s rhetoric. But GOP senators facing reelection this year — including Sens. Pat Toomey (Pa.), Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Ron Johnson (Wis.) as well as McCain — have tried to distance themselves from Trump’s questioning the validity of the election.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr.