It should come as no surprise to anyone that Donald Trump was one of the topics of discussion at President Obama’s Tuesday morning press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Specifically, it wasn’t Trump himself that the president was asked to weigh in on, but rather the GOP candidate’s claim that the upcoming election is going to somehow be rigged to prevent him from winning.
The question came from Reuters correspondent Ayesha Rasco, who noted that Trump is telling his supporters that the election is going to be fixed against him, then asked,
“How concerned are you for the potential of violence and what about after election day? Are you worried the results of the election may be distrusted?”
Trump has faced increasing criticism from a variety of sources for his continuing insistence that if he loses it won’t be because he was beaten fair and square. Some of that criticism has come from his own party, including Senators Pat Toomey and Marco Rubio, both of whom are locked in tight re-election battles. But President Obama’s response to Rasco’s question is one for the ages.
After praising the strength of American democracy (you know, the one your right-wing friends have been telling you for eight years that Obama hates), the president notes that after each of our elections, the loser congratulates the winner, regardless of party, and the country moves on. Then he chides Trump, saying,
“That is how democracy survives because we recognize that there is something more important than any individual campaign, and that is making sure the integrity and trust in our institutions sustains itself because 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. It is unprecedented.”
A strong rebuke, to be sure. But the president wasn’t finished. He goes on to note that every credible person who has looked at the right’s charges of voter fraud has found it to be so small that it has certainly never influenced the outcome of a national election. Obama continues by explaining that elections are decentralized in the U.S., making some sort of “fix” of a national election virtually impossible. And he echoes Senator Rubio’s observation that in places like Florida, Republican governors put other Republicans in charge of overseeing elections.
Then the president calls out Trump for exactly what he is — a big crybaby who knows he is about to lose, and who certainly doesn’t have the toughness it takes to be president.
“If you start whining before the game is even over. If whenever things start 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.
“So I’d advise Mr. Trump to stop whining, and go try to make his case to get votes.“
Here are the president’s complete remarks:
Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images