During the final presidential debate in Las Vegas, FOX News moderator Chris Wallace asked Donald Trump whether he would “absolutely accept the results of this election.”
Critics of the GOP nominee took to Twitter after the debate to criticize Trump for responding, “I will look at it at the time. What I’ve seen … it is so bad. First of all, the media is so dishonest and so corrupt … it’s so dishonest and they poison the minds of the voters, but unfortunately for them I think the voters are seeing through it.”
“Like most Americans I have confidence in our democracy and election system,” South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted. “During this debate Mr. Trump is doing the party and country a great disservice by continuing to suggest the outcome of this election is out of his hands and ‘rigged’ against him.”
My thoughts on a 'rigged' presidential election. pic.twitter.com/075n83NXMH
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 20, 2016
“If he loses, it will not be because the system is ‘rigged’ but because he is a failed candidate,” Graham concluded.
Arizona Senator Jeff Flake tweeted that Trump’s remark is “beyond the pale.”
.@realDonaldTrump saying that he might not accept election results is beyond the pale
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) October 20, 2016
Trump went on to point out a 2012 Pew Research Center study that found that about 24 million voter registrations in the United States are no longer valid or are significantly inaccurate.
“If you look at your voter rolls you will see millions of people that are registered to vote, millions — this isn’t coming for me, this is coming from Pew report and other places — millions of people that are registered to vote that shouldn’t be registered to vote,” Trump said.
Wallace pressed on with the question, stating that the peaceful transfer of power following an election is a “tradition in this country” and asking if Trump is “not prepared now to commit to that principle?”
“I will keep you in suspense,” Trump responded.
Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton reacted to his response, calling it “horrifying” and “denigrating.”
“Chris, let me respond to that because that is horrifying,” Clinton said. “This is a mindset; this is how Donald thinks … it just shows you’re not up to doing the job. And let’s be clear about what he is saying and what that means. He is denigrating. And I for one am appalled that someone, the nominee of one of our two major parties, would take that kind of position.”