During a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Tuesday, Obama was asked about the rigged election accusations and whether he was concerned that Trump supporters might not accept the results of the election if the GOP nominee loses to rival Hillary Clinton.
“One of the great things about America’s democracy is we have a vigorous, sometimes bitter, political contest. And when it’s done, historically, regardless of party, the person who loses the election congratulates the winner, reaffirms our democracy, and we move forward,” Obama replied. “That’s how democracy survives, because we recognize that there is something more important than any individual campaign.”
Obama said Trump’s attempts to discredit the election process are “unprecedented” and “based on no facts,” adding that the candidate’s “irresponsible” claims about voter fraud further prove he’s unfit to be president.
“It doesn’t really show the kind of leadership and toughness that you’d want out of a president,” Obama said. “If you start whining before the game is even over, if whenever things are going badly for you and you lose you start blaming somebody else, then you don’t have what it takes to be in this job.”
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Trump has ramped up his rigged election claims on Twitter and at rallies in recent weeks as his campaign continues to be plagued by scandal after scandal.
His accusations could come with dangerous consequences. Matt Viser and Tracy Jan of The Boston Globe reported that some Trump supporters believe his claims and have spoken about starting a violent revolution or assassinating Clinton if she is elected president.
Obama concluded his comments Tuesday with some advice for Trump: “Stop whining” and try to win votes instead.
And if Trump does win the majority of Americans’ votes, Obama promised to fulfill his duty to welcome the GOP nominee to the White House — “regardless of what he’s said about me or my differences with him on my opinions.”
“That’s what Americans do,” he said. “That’s why America is already great.”