RENO, Nevada — Speaking to hundreds gathered for a rally in Reno, Nevada on Thursday, Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence echoed the words of running mate and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump made earlier that day that the two would, of course, honor a “clear election result,” but they reserved the right to contest questionable results.
“In my own state of Indiana our state police just recently uncovered intentional acts of voter fraud that were perpetrated by a PAC established by your very own Senator Harry Reid,” Pence told the lively crowd.
The statement was met with boos directed presumably at the voter fraud and perpetrators that Pence described.
“The right to vote is the bedrock of our democracy and it has been bought at too high a price to for us to take lightly,” said Pence who, as he has at many rallies before, urged the crowd to “become involved in the electoral process.” As a former precinct committeeman, Pence encouraged the crowd to “respectfully participate in ensuring the integrity of the vote.”
“The American people deserve a fair and honest election,” said Pence. “And Donald Trump and I intend to see that they get it.”
He continued, “As Donald Trump said earlier today in Ohio: Of course we will accept a clear election result…but we also reserve the right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of questionable results. We will follow and abide by the rules and the traditions of many candidates who have gone before.”
During Wednesday night’s debate, moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump if he would accept the results of the election. Trump responded, “I will look at it at the time” and went on to speak of the “corrupt media” and voter fraud. Pressed further on the idea of one candidate conceding to another, Trump said, “What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense. OK?”
Just hours after that final presidential debate of the 2016 general election Thursday in Delaware, Ohio, Trump quipped with a smile, “I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters and to all of the people of the United States that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election, if I win.”
“If Al Gore or George Bush had agreed three weeks before the election to concede the results and waive their right to a legal challenge or a recount then there would be no Supreme Court case,” Trump continued. “I’m being asked to waive centuries of legal precedent designed to protect the voters.”
Trump went on to clarify his own words, “Of course I would accept a clear election result, but I would also reserve my right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of a questionable result.”
Trump and Pence have been speaking of the election being “rigged” along the campaign trail and pointing to the national media’s reporting as part of that rigging, suggesting that it heavily favors Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Pence told the afternoon rally crowd gathered in Reno, “So let this election day be a victory for our movement, a victory for our team, and let it be a victory for American democracy.”
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