Pence refused to say what he would do if Donald Trump refused to leave office after losing the presidential election.
When asked at Wednesday's vice presidential debate what he'd do if Donald Trump "refuses to accept a peaceful transfer of power," Mike Pence obfuscated — refusing to even think about the possibility that voters will toss Trump out after one term.
Pence was asked the question after Trump refused to say at last week's presidential debate if he'd accept the results of the November presidential election if he lost and commit to a peaceful transition. Instead, Trump falsely claimed the election will be rife with fraud.
And Pence refused to say he'd be a check on Trump and help coax him into peacefully leaving office if the pair lose the election.
Instead, in a more than two-minute-long response to the simple question, Pence rattled off Trump's favorite false talking points about the administration. He falsely said Trump rebuilt the military and passed tax cuts that "revived our economy" before pivoting to the Russia investigation — in which Pence falsely said Trump's campaign was spied on. Pence then echoed Trump's lies that mail-in voting creates voter fraud and said the only way Trump will lose is if there
"So let me just say, I think we’re going to win this election," Pence said. "President Trump and I are fighting every day in courthouses to prevent Joe Biden and Kamala Harris from changing the rules and creating this universal mail-in voting that’ll create a massive opportunity for voter fraud. And we have a free and fair election — we know we're going to have confidence in it. And I believe in all my heart that president Donald Trump's going to be reelected for four more years."
Experts have raised concerns about Trump's refusal to say he'd leave office peacefully if he loses.
Trump has been trying to sow doubt in the fairness of the election with lies and misinformation about voting by mail. He's tried to egg his supporters on to intimidate voters at polling sites in heavily Democratic areas such as Philadelphia, and even said he needs Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett to take the bench so that she can be part of the court's conservative majority that will help overturn the election results that he says he'll challenge.
This all comes as Trump faces grim odds at reelection.
Trump is losing badly in both national and state-level polls, he's behind in the fundraising race, he's being outspent on campaign ads in the swing states he needs to win, and the focus of the race is now on Trump's failed coronavirus response, thanks to the White House becoming a COVID-19 hotspot.
And Trump has little time to turn things around, as now more than 5.6 million votes have already been cast in the election, according to a tally by the U.S. Elections Project, with that number growing by the day as states send out absentee ballots and begin early in-person voting.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.