Biden hits out at Trump over his refusal to commit to peaceful transition, if loses

Biden hits out at Trump over his refusal to commit to peaceful transition, if loses

US Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has hit out at President Donald Trump over his refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power and relinquish his office should he lose in the November presidential election.

Asked if he loses this year’s election to Biden, will he accept the results and commit to a peaceful transition, Trump said, “We’re going to have to see what happens.”

The president, instead cast doubt on the reliability of election infrastructure.

In response to Trump’s controversial remarks, Biden said that he doesn’t “know what to say.”

"What country are we in?” Biden said Wednesday. “I'm being facetious. I said, what country are we in? Look, he says the most irrational things.”

The president also continued his criticism over states where ballots are mailed automatically to registered voters.

Trump has repeatedly claimed that mail-in ballots lead to mass voter fraud.  

Trump won't commit to a peaceful transition of power after US election

Experts, however, say there is no evidence of meaningful fraud in vote by mail. Several studies have also found voter fraud to be exceedingly rare in the US.

Democrats, Republicans sharply react

Trump’s remarks have drawn reactions from his rank, with Republican senator Mitt Romney saying in a tweet on Wednesday night that the peaceful transition of power is “fundamental to democracy.”

“Any suggestion that a president might not respect this Constitutional guarantee is both unthinkable and unacceptable,” Romney, wrote without directly addressing Trump.

Democratic lawmaker Adam Schiff of California also reacted to Trump’s remarks, saying, “This is how democracy dies.”

“A president so desperate to cling to power that he won’t commit to a peaceful transition of power,” Schiff wrote on Twitter.

“That he seeks to throw out millions of votes. And a Republican Party too craven to say a word. But we will fight back. America belongs to the people,” he added.

Democratic senator Tom Udall also responded: “The peaceful transfer of power is the very foundation of our democracy and our constitutional system. This is not a joke. It’s chilling.”

“Republicans in Congress need to speak up now — for the sake of our democracy,” he added.

Another Democratic lawmaker, Elissa Slotkin said Trump was laying the groundwork since July to reject the election results.

Slotkin said she had been seeking assurance from Pentagon officials that they’d ensure the transfer of power if Trump loses and refuses to concede.

She was referring to Trump’s similar remarks in July when he refused to pledge a smooth transition.

Trump said back then that he would “have to see” how things went.

“No, I’m not going to just say yes. I’m not going to say no, and I didn’t last time, either,” he said.

Trump has one suggested to postpone the election due to the coronavirus pandemic, though he is not constitutionally empowered to change the election date.

Even his party members dismissed the suggestion as off the table.

Trump argued that large numbers of mail-in ballots amid the virus outbreak might mean “you never even know who won the election.”

“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” Trump wrote on Twitter back then.

“It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”

Joe Lockhart, a former spokesman to President Bill Clinton, suggested that every Democratic member of Congress send a letter to the president “demanding he commit to the peaceful transition of power in writing. If he won't, impeachment is a viable option.”

National polls currently show Trump trailing Democratic nominee Joe Biden although surveys of electoral battleground states are tighter.

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