COLUMBUS, Ohio — White House press secretary Josh Earnest is dismissing questions about whether the presidential election is “rigged” for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
He specifically cited Mike Pence’s recent comments, prompting the Republican vice presidential nominee to refute Earnest during campaign rallies in Ohio. “The President’s press secretary doesn’t speak for me,” Pence says.
“Truth is there’s a lot of talk about rigged elections,” Pence said to a crowd of around 700 gathered in Mason, Ohio. Pence’s running mate Donald Trump has been warning Americans along the campaign trail that the system is “rigged” for Clinton. Pence continued, “and I have no doubt the national media is trying to rig this election with their biased coverage.”
Earnest told press during the Monday briefing that the White House is “not at all” concerned with voter fraud. “Neither is Mike Pence, who is the second-highest ranking official of the Trump campaign,” Earnest continued.
The reporter that questioned Earnest cited reports out of Colorado of “dead people voting, and ballot box stuffing, and people voting for family members, and people who are not eligible to vote somehow casting ballots for years.” Earnest deflected to speak of seven “battleground states” with Republican governors twice when the reporter asked specifically about Colorado, governed by Democrat Gov. John Hickenlooper.
But at his Monday rally in Columbus, Ohio, Pence repeated what he said in Mason, “I’ve got a news flash for you, the President’s press secretary doesn’t speak for me.”
They’re not worried about it because they deny it’s happening, I’m not worried about it because I know the American people are not going to let it happen.” He then told all of those gathered that after they go out and tell somebody about his and Trump’s message, he said he wanted them to go out and “respectfully participate to ensure the integrity of our democracy.
He again strongly encouraged the crowd to volunteer at the precinct level.
In Mason, Pence said, “If you’re here at a rally and you’ve not yet volunteered to participate in the electoral process, by respectfully providing accountability at a polling place come election day, then you haven’t yet done all that you can do.” He added that he’s served as Indiana’s governor and a congressman, but the first office he was elected to was precinct committeeman.
“The right to vote is the bedrock of our democracy. It has been bought at two high a price. Voter fraud cannot be tolerated by anyone in this nation because it disenfranchises Republican, Independents, Democrats, conservatives and liberals in America,” said Pence, “do all you can to respectfully participate in the process and ensure the outcome, the outcome we can all be proud of.”
“We need to recognize the vigilance is the price of freedom in an honest democracy,” Pence said to hundreds more in Columbus, Ohio, just hours after speaking in Mason. “There’s a lot of talk about voter fraud, whether voter fraud happens out there anymore and the truth is, voter fraud is a violation of the right of every American, conservative, liberal, Republican, Democrat, Independent.”
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