Trump officials mocked Democrats in 2016 as 'sore losers' for not accepting election results
Posted November 11, 2020 9:00 p.m. EST
CNN — Top Donald Trump campaign and White House officials continue to baselessly assert there was widespread election fraud in the 2020 election and refuse to acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden's victory, but four years ago, those close to Trump mocked Democrats who didn't accept his victory as "sore losers."
In 2016, Trump's allies routinely attacked recount efforts that they said were "based on no evidence" and were designed to "delegitimize" his 2016 victory. They also commended President Barack Obama and administration officials for accepting the results of the election.
The comments were made in response to protests against Trump's victory, recount efforts sponsored by the Green Party and candidate Jill Stein, and efforts to persuade Electoral College voters to vote against Trump.
"You have people trying to delegitimize the President-elect of the United States right now," Kayleigh McEnany, then a CNN contributor, said in November 2016. "You have people out there that are calling for recounts that are unsubstantiated based on no evidence."
In one instance, Rudy Giuliani, who is today leading the charge to challenge the election results, called protesters against Trump's election "a bunch of spoiled crybabies," and added it was "really not the right thing in a democracy."
Matt Schlapp, a top Trump ally who has pushed baseless claims of voter fraud, said on Fox Business Clinton was on a "sore loser tour," saying, "She needs to get over it. She lost. Get out of the way and let Donald Trump be President." Clinton conceded the 2016 election to Trump on the morning after the election.
And, Jason Miller, another Trump spokesman, called recount efforts in 2016 "ridiculous" and attempts to "delegitimize" Trump's victory.
See 2020 election results
Many of those same allies are now bolstering Trump's baseless and dangerous claim that the election is being stolen out from under him, despite no evidence of widespread voting fraud.
The aides continue to feed into Trump's delusion about winning the election and continue to work on his behalf to file longshot legal and recount efforts, despite a widening vote count in key battleground states in favor of Biden.
CNN's KFile reviewed statements from officials and allies. Here's what they said in 2016:
Conway, now the President's adviser and then-campaign manager, hit Democrats over recount efforts when speaking with "Meet the Press" in late November 2016.
"There's a respect there. And there is a respect for the process and the peaceful transition of power, which is why this recount by Jill Stein and now the Hillary (Clinton) people just is so confounding and disappointing. Their president, Barack Obama, is going to be in office for eight more weeks," Conway said. "They have to decide whether they're going to interfere with him finishing his business, interfere with the peaceful transition, transfer of power to President-elect Trump and Vice-President-elect Pence, or if they're going to be a bunch of crybabies and sore losers about an election they can't turn around."
Speaking on Hannity several days later, Conway said Democrats "can't accept the election results." She had previously called those protesting Trump's win "cry babies" and "precious snowflakes," in a November appearance on "Justice with Judge Jeanine."
McEnany attacked people who called for recount efforts as trying to delegitimize the President-elect on CNN Tonight in late November 2016.
"You have people trying to delegitimize the President-elect of the United States right now," McEnany said, adding that Trump won the Electoral College. "You have people out there that are calling for recounts that are unsubstantiated based on no evidence."
On the same day, McEnany commended Obama for accepting the results of the 2016 election and working with President-elect Trump during the transition, even calling Obama a "hero."
"We're commending the people who have put feelings aside and done what's for the betterment of the country and that's President Obama," she said. "Who put out a statement when this all was going on saying, 'Look, we believe the vote represents the voice of the American people.' And he has acted like a gracious, really hero in all of this, the way he's accepted this and moved on."
In December 2016, McEnany said it was "inexcusable" to "question the legitimacy of the election" after Obama said there was no widespread fraud, and it was a legitimate election.
Speaking on Fox Business Network in December 2016, Jason Miller, a spokesman for Trump, attacked Democrats trying to "delegitimize" Trump's victory.
"News flash for many of the partisan Democrats and those in the mainstream media who continue to try to delegitimize President-elect Trump's massive and historic win last month -- the election's over. Hillary Clinton lost," Miller said. "Now, President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Pence are focused on going to work for the American people."
"And whether it was this nonsense about the recount or nonsense about the popular vote, you have to win 270 electoral votes to be elected president and President-elect Trump actually got 306," he added. "This is all really just an effort to try to delegitimize the win."
In November, Miller told reporters on a conference call that the recount effort was "ridiculous" and no chance of overturning the election results.
"I really do think it's ridiculous that so much oxygen has been given to the recount effort when there's absolutely no chance of any election results changing. This election's been decided," Miller said.
The former New York City mayor and personal attorney to Trump called anti-Trump protesters "a bunch of spoiled crybabies" in November 2016 after Trump's victory.
"The reality is they are a bunch of spoiled crybabies. And -- and somebody said -- I think I heard somebody said we're bringing up a generation of spoiled crybabies. Most of the kids aren't crying. Most of the kids are going to class," he said on Fox News.
On ABC News, Giuliani later called on Obama and Clinton to "say something about this" to anti-Trump protesters because it is "really not the right thing in a democracy." He further suggested that some might be "professional protesters."
Schlapp, the Trump ally who is chairman of the American Conservative Union, said in early December 2016 on Fox Business that Clinton was on her "sore loser tour" and that she needed to "get out of the way" to allow Trump to become president.
"Hillary is on her sore loser tour. It started at Harvard where the Hillary campaign blamed everybody for Hillary's lost. And now we have her going through recounts. You know what she needs to do? She needs to get over it. She lost. Get out of the way and let Donald Trump be President," Schlapp said.
Clinton conceded the 2016 election to Trump on election night and delivered a concession speech the following day.
Guilfoyle, then a Fox News-host and now a senior adviser to the Trump campaign, criticized people protesting the election results just days after the 2016 election.
"This is America. We live in a democracy. Everybody, when they woke up in the morning, was registered to vote, could go choose. So how about respecting the majority that also live here, and their vote should count," Guilfoyle said on Fox News.
She then mocked "this intellectual, pseudo-intellectual minority of people that didn't support him" for protesting and believing "their vote should count more than everybody else who went out there?"
"That makes no sense to me. Give somebody a chance," she said.
As the national spokesperson for the Donald Trump 2016 presidential campaign and now a senior adviser to his 2020 campaign, Pierson attacked any recount efforts in the 2016 election.
In November 2016, she tweeted, "Recount Ridiculousness! A generation of sore losers whines for a do-over." On a Fox News appearance in late November 2016, Pierson called a recount effort from Stein "sinister" and "suspect" because Stein was "nowhere close to even winning in any of these states."
Schlapp, who is now a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign, said on Fox Business in December 2016 that Democrats couldn't accept Trump's victory and were throwing a "tantrum."
"I have to tell you, I believe the Democrats are behaving like the Grinch of Christmas," she said.
"It's a fascinating group of these Democrats who can't seem to realize that it is time to move on. It is time to accept the fact that Trump will be the next President of the United States," she added. "And one of the key points of stability in our nation... is ensuring that we have a peaceful transition of power. And that at some point, Trump is pushing for this message of unity for all Americans. And unfortunately, the Democrats, they just want to throw a tantrum, which I think is hurtful for their party."