President Barack Obama said this week “no serious person” would believe the presidential election could be rigged. The President, at a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, went on to attack GOP nominee Donald Trump by saying, “I’ve never seen in my lifetime or in modern political history any presidential candidate trying to discredit the elections and the election process before votes have even taken place.” In 2008, however, then candidate Obama was singing a very different tune.
Speaking at a campaign stop at Kent State University in Ohio, Senator Obama said elections in the past had been rigged when he was asked by a supporter, “I would just like to know what you can say to reassure us that this election will not be rigged or stolen?”
As the crowd cheered, Obama answered, “Well, I tell you what it helps in Ohio, that we got Democrats in charge of the machines.” The crowd cheered again.
Democrats, including Secretary of State John Kerry, also believe Republicans “rigged” the 2004 election in Ohio.
“But look, I come from Chicago,” Obama continued, “so I want to be honest, it’s not as if it’s just Republicans who have monkeyed around with elections in the past. Sometimes, Democrats have, too.”
At the 2008 rally, Senator Obama went on to say, “Whenever people are in power, they have this tendency to try to, you know, tilt things in their direction.”
Obama continued, “That’s why we’ve got to have, I believe, a voting rights division in the Justice Department that is nonpartisan, and that is serious about investigating cases of vote fraud. Is serious about making sure that people aren’t being discouraged to vote. That’s why the voting rights legislation that was passed a couple of years ago to help county clerks make sure that the machines were in place that were needed, are important. That’s why we need paper trails on these new electronic machines so that you actually have something that you can hang on to after you’ve punched that letter – make sure it hasn’t been hacked into. Those are all part of the process of making sure that our democracy works for everybody.”