With the election less than 3 months away, Democrats are focusing on anything that might sway public opinion about President Donald Trump.
These are three of the biggest talking points Democrats use right now:
Trump Not Stepping Down
In 2016, Democrats sounded the alarm over the possibility that Trump would not accept the results of the election, with then Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton calling Trump a “sore loser” after he refused to commit to accepting the results of the election during a debate, according to CNBC.
“What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense. Ok?” Trump said.
Clinton criticized Trump saying “to say you won’t respect the results of the election, that is a direct threat to our democracy. The peaceful transfer of power is one of the things that makes America America.”
Fast forward four years later, and both sides of the aisle are unclear about whether or not the election results should be accepted.
In an interview with Fox’s Chris Wallace, Trump said he’d have to wait and see whether he’d accept the election results.
“I have to see, look, I have to see, I’m not just going to say yes, I’m not going to say no, and I didn’t last time either.”
Wallace: “Can you give a direct answer, you will accept the election?”
TRUMP: “I have to see. Look, you – I have to see. No, I’m not going to just say yes. I’m not going to say no.” pic.twitter.com/J71BKdTQIF
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) July 19, 2020
Trump said he believes “mail-in voting is going to rig the election,” during an interview with Fox’s Chris Wallace.
In response, the Biden campaign appeared to say they will accept the election results.
“The American people will decide this election. And the United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House,” Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates told The Washington Post.
Clinton, who called Trump a “sore loser” after he said he wasn’t sure if he’d accept the 2016 results, is now encouraging Joe Biden not to concede the election, saying in an interview with her former communications director Jennifer Palmieri that Biden “will win if we don’t give an inch,” according to NBC.
“Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances, because I think this is going to drag out, and eventually I do believe he will win if we don’t give an inch, and if we are as focused and relentless as the other side is.”
Clinton alleged Republicans are going to try to “mess up absentee balloting” to claim fraud, per the same report.
In another interview, Clinton said Democrats need to be prepared for Trump refusing to accept the election results.
“Well, I think it is a fair point to raise as to whether or not, if he loses, he’s going to go quietly or not,” Clinton said during an interview with The Daily Show host Trevor Noah. “And we have to be ready for that. But there have been so many academic studies and other analyses, which point out that it’s [Trump’s claim that voter fraud is legitimate] just an inaccurate, fraudulent claim.”
Other Democrats have jumped on the bandwagon, with Democratic Sen. Cory Booker saying he would “sooner die” than let Trump refuse to concede if he loses the election.
“I would sooner die. And I mean that very seriously, I would sooner die than to see my nation’s constitutional tradition of peaceful transfers of power to be vacated by a demagogue who won’t humble himself,” Booker said during an interview SiriusXM’s The Clay Cane Show.
“The President has already shown his willingness to trample constitutional norms.”
Former presidential candidate and Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders also expressed concern that Trump won’t accept the results, tweeting:
“Let us work hard to deliver Joe Biden an overwhelming victory on election night. But, we must also stay vigilant, and do everything possible to prevent Trump from staying in power if he loses. Nothing less than our democracy is at stake.”
We must do everything we can to ensure @JoeBiden wins by the largest possible margin. We also must consider what happens if Trump loses but refuses to abide by the results and does everything he can to hold onto power.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 4, 2020
The Unconfirmed Atlantic Story
Using four, unconfirmed sources-a journalistic move often avoided due to its unreliability-The Atlantic published a story alleging Trump refused to visit a French cemetery for American soldiers because “it’s filled with losers.”
The report also claims Trump criticized the late Republican Sen. John McCain.
“We’re not going to support that loser’s funeral,” Trump reportedly said. The article also claims the President became enraged when he saw flags lowered to half-staff. “What the f**k are we doing that for? Guy was a f**king loser.”
Biden wasted no time critiquing the unconfirmed comments, calling them a “disgrace.”
“If it’s true, and based on everything he’s said I believe the article’s true, I’d ask you all the rhetorical question: How do you feel? How would you feel if you had a kid in Afghanistan right now? How would you feel if you lost a son, daughter, husband, wife? How would you feel, for real?” he said, according to CNN.
“I’ve never been as disappointed in my whole career with a leader I’ve worked with–president or otherwise. It is absolutely damnable. It is a disgrace.”
Former Democratic presidential candidate and veteran Pete Buttigieg also slammed Trump’s alleged comments while on Fox News.
“He must think we’re all suckers, and the amazing thing to me is how little respect he has for the intelligence of his own supporters.”
Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a veteran, also tweeted her disgust with the supposed comments, writing:
“When our Black Hawk went down in Iraq, my buddies risked their lives to carry my body to safety-even though they thought I was dead. Because in the US military, NO ONE is left behind. This Coward in Chief doesn’t deserve to be the commander of the world’s greatest military.
When our Black Hawk went down in Iraq, my buddies risked their lives to carry my body to safety—even though they thought I was dead.⁰⁰Because in the US military, NO ONE is left behind.⁰⁰This Coward in Chief doesn’t deserve to be the commander of the world’s greatest military. pic.twitter.com/Pn6jRupKtP
— Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) September 5, 2020
In a clear attempt to rally a voting base among military supporters, Democrats have taken these alleged comments at face-value, assuming the President is guilty until proven innocent, pushing aside one of the core principles of this nation.
Mail-In Voting And The Postal System
Democrats claim that Trump is actively trying to dismantle the United States Postal Service (USPS) due to his fears of mail-in voting issues, which Democrats repeatedly claim are unfounded, baseless and nonsensical.
New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney criticized the appointment of Louis DeJoy to Postmaster General, saying the move was done too close to an election season.
“You don’t come in with proposals that slow down the mail, right in the middle of a pandemic when people are more dependent on mail than ever for their medications and other deliveries in front of a very important presidential election that we just have every four years,” Maloney told Gothamist.
Meanwhile, Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez expressed fear that Trump was dismantling the system to delegitimize mail-in voting, according to Gothamist.
“There’s just an enormous amount of incentives that not only makes this appointment corrupt, but also when you layer it on top of the fact that the President wants to essentially de-legitimize mail-in voting. The way that you do that is by dismantling the Postal Service,” she said. “I won’t lie to you all, I am extremely, extremely concerned about what will happen to one of our most beloved public services and agencies between now and November.”
DeJoy announced in August that the USPS would not make any changes to the service until after the election following public outcry.
In August, Trump appeared to say that he didn’t support giving money to the USPS as part of the coronavirus relief package while speaking on “Mornings with Maria.”
“[Democrats] want $3.5 billion dollars for something that’ll turn out to be fraudulent. That’s election money basically.”
Sanders charged that Trump was purposely making mail-in voting difficult by preventing funds, while speaking on CNN.
“What this is about is not complicated. Trump may be crazy, but he’s not stupid. And he looks at polling. He is behind. And I think what he and his friends believe (is) that if they can suppress the vote–make it harder for people to vote– they have a better chance to win the election.”
While Democratic politicians and some media outlets push the claim that mail-in voting isn’t susceptible to fraud, the facts show otherwise. (RELATED: Michigan Rejects More Than 10,000 Absentee Ballots, Including Some From Voters Who Died)
Georgia is investigating 1,000 voters who illegally double voted after having voted both in-mail and in-person.
New York rejected more than 80,000 mail-in ballots during their primary election, prompting a federal judge to rule thousands of voters were disenfranchised due to the procession of ballots.
Wisconsin tossed out 23,000 mail-in ballots because they were improperly filled out, or because they arrived too late.
California rejected more than 100,000 ballots due to similar issues.
The bottom line is that while the malicious voter fraud that Trump warns of might not necessarily be the case, there is a legitimate claim that mail-in voting does pose some serious issues to the integrity of the election, a point Democrats gloss over.