Political News

Pence says GOP ticket will 'absolutely' accept vote outcome

Posted October 16

— Mike Pence said Sunday he and Donald Trump will abide by "the will of the American people" on Election Day, and suggested that Trump's claim of a 'rigged" election stems from his belief the media is ganging up on him.

"We will absolutely accept the results of the election," Pence said in television interviews. He said Trump's complaint, articulated from the campaign stage and across Twitter but without evidence, reflects fatigue with "the obvious bias in the national media. That's where the sense of a rigged election goes here."

Not long after Pence said that, Trump partly undermined his comments.

"The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary - but also at many polling places," Trump tweeted. "SAD."

Pence's words were the latest attempt by Trump's surrogates to attempt to explain that some things the GOP presidential nominee has said and tweeted are not what he meant.

Much of that cleanup duty has fallen to Pence little more than three weeks before the Nov. 8 vote. Trump is struggling to shift the focus away from mounting accusations that he sexually assaulted women in ways similar to what he is recorded describing on a recently released video. Trump says all of the accusations are fabricated.

Several of Trump's unfounded claims — such as the one Saturday that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was on drugs at the most recent debate and his call for drug testing before the next — also overshadowed the release over the weekend of more emails hacked from accounts of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

Some showed the campaign worrying whether Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., might endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders in the party's primary, and wrestling with how to respond to revelations about Clinton's private email use. The emails also show aides lining up materials to respond to fresh accusations from a woman who accused Bill Clinton of raping her decades ago. The former president denied the accusation, which was never adjudicated by a criminal court.

Amid the intensity, Trump reiterated this weekend that a conspiracy is responsible for the FBI declining to prosecute Clinton for mingling private and official business on a homebrew email server so that she might compete in a fraudulent election.

"Hillary Clinton should have been prosecuted and should be in jail. Instead she is running for president in what looks like a rigged election," Trump tweeted to his 12 million followers on Saturday.

Threatening to jail a political opponent and fueling public distrust of a popular election — to explain his loss, should that happen — was a striking breach of faith in American democracy. He has repeatedly claimed, without offering evidence, that election fraud is a serious problem and encouraged his mostly white supporters to "go and watch" polling places in certain areas to make sure things are "on the up and up."

It was left to Pence and another Trump surrogate, former New York City Rudy Giuliani, to explain on national television what their own candidate meant.

"When he talks about a rigged election, he's not talking about the fact that it's going to be rigged at the polls," Giuliani said. "''What he's talking about is that 80 percent to 85 percent of the media is against him."

Pence, at a campaign event last Tuesday, waved away a woman's call for a revolution if Clinton wins. By Sunday he was saying explicitly: "We'll accept the will of the American people."

The Indiana governor also distanced himself from Trump on a pair of other issues.

Pence acknowledged that evidence points to Russia being behind the hacking of Democratic emails. "I think there's more and more evidence that implicates Russia and there should be serious consequences," he said.

He also refused to join Trump's call for Clinton to be drug tested before Wednesday's third and final presidential debate.

He vice presidential nominee was asked whether he, like Trump, wants Clinton drug tested.

"All I know for sure is that Donald Trump is going to be ready for the debate on Wednesday night," Pence replied.

Pence appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press" and "Fox News Sunday." Giuliani was on CNN's "State of the Union."


Associated Press writer Jill Colvin contributed to this report.


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  • Sam Nada Oct 16, 8:40 p.m.
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    You can't really be that confused. These are the types of people you need to be worried about, and they're Trump followers:



    Trump is the one who suggested gun owners might "stop Clinton". Trump is the one who said Clinton would be put in jail when he's elected. Trump is the one who's saying he can only lose if the election process is corrupt and the other side cheats. This is outrageous, unprecedented, and beyond dangerous rhetoric.

  • Stacie Hagwood Oct 16, 4:38 p.m.
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    Pence sold his soul to the devil when he joined that ticket.

  • Barney Gravel Oct 16, 3:25 p.m.
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    BTW Tony, Mrs. Clinton has always been on the government dole.

  • Barney Gravel Oct 16, 3:24 p.m.
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    But, how will Mrs. Clinton supporters act if she wins. I suspect there will be open hatred against certain groups of people.

  • Tony Biancardi Oct 16, 11:19 a.m.
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    I thought Republicans only want to drug test people on welfare.

  • Pete Muller Oct 16, 10:19 a.m.
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    It is Sunday. There is barely anybody working the website at WRAL. Unfounded is the correct characterization for almost all of the claims the Donald makes. Why would the newest claim be an exception? He pulls stuff out of thin air and adds: " believe me, people." As if that adds any credibility coming from a man with the lowest truth rating of all candidates incl. the primaries.

  • Lamario Kelly Oct 16, 10:14 a.m.
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    Tracy you seem to be the only one with sense. It dumb founds me that ppl in NC are really voting for this guy. No political experience, a bigot, and most of all; he is dividing American's...then ppl have the nerve to bring up EMAILS, oh and Benghazi, oh btw if ppl did research they would know it was GOP ran Congress soooo guess who were the real decision makers in that room...I'll fill you in, it was Republicans. Trump has his supporters brain washed and it's sad. I'm not a fan of either, but I have eyes and ears so and I can see Trump has know political experience and let alone I personally think he has some kind of mental issues. (My Personal Opinion) I want ppl to think about this bc these are the same ppl supporting this guy Trump. Why were some of you ready to burry Bill Cosby when he had allegations of rape and wanting his show cancelled, etc..but have the nerve to support Trump. Shows this world is too divided!!

  • Ronald Smith Oct 16, 9:53 a.m.
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    Media bias kills me - notice how WRAL uses the word "unfounded" to throw off readers. Where was that word in reporting all these women who "allegedly" were victims of sexual assault by Trump?

  • Morris Vobserv Oct 16, 9:48 a.m.
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    Why can't this news outlet even create a story title about Trump without sounding biased? The word 'unfounded' is unnecessary and shows liberal leaning ideas.

  • Ron Coleman Oct 16, 9:12 a.m.
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    Typical WRAL anti Trump headline that has his words skewed. I did not see in the article anywhere Trump said she was on drugs, he did say that at the beginning of the debate she was "all pumped up" which could mean anything except to the media when reporting on Trump . Good job as usual WRAL.