Democrats will either be staunch defenders of the sanctity of US elections, who believe the loser in November’s presidential vote must bow out graciously to protect democracy, or they will brace to fight possible defeat in court.
It all depends on who apparently wins on election night.
Former US Vice President Al Gore, who narrowly lost the controversial 2000 election to Republican George W. Bush, told Reuters on Tuesday that President Donald Trump would be forced from office next Jan. 20 if he doesn’t leave willingly because military and security forces would answer to the new president at that point. “It’s not really up to him,” Gore said.
Gore’s comments came just hours after an interview of Hillary Clinton was released, with the 2016 election loser offering a dramatically different take.
Clinton said Trump will undermine mail-in voting and that Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden should not concede defeat “under any circumstances.” Democrats must prepare to mount a massive legal offensive if Biden appears to be a narrow loser on election night, she said.
Those comments were in stark contrast to Clinton’s own warnings in 2016, when she was polling ahead of Trump as the November election drew near. Back then, she said Trump was “threatening our democracy” by not pledging to accept the apparent results of voting on election night.
Gore, who retracted his concession call on election night 2000 to force a recount of the Vote in Florida, said Trump has signaled that he will challenge this year’s election result.
“He seems to have no compunctions at all about trying to rip apart the social fabric and the political equilibrium of the American people, and he’s strategically planting doubts in advance to try to undermine people’s confidence in the election,” Gore said. He called the strategy “despicable.”