By Brenda Flanagan
“They even want to try to rig the election at the voting booths. And believe me, there’s a lot going on,” said Donald Trump.
Trump claims millions of illegal votes will game the presidential election, but that’s not what he actually means, according to various surrogates — including Gov. Chris Christie. The governor didn’t take questions after today’s town hall in New Providence, but yesterday Christie told NBC that the problem’s not intentional or mechanical fraud — but rather the media’s rigged news coverage. He says mainstream media ignores Hillary Clinton’s Wikileaked documents, but focuses instead on Trump’s alleged sex scandals.
The GOP candidate’s said as much: “The media’s trying to rig the election by giving credence — and this is so true — by giving credence to false stories that have no validity… and they make it front page news because they want to poison the minds of the voters.”
“He’s talking about media bias. And there may be some evidence of that, but there’s no evidence of any rigged election, meaning the clerks of this state are somehow in somebody’s pocket. That’s not true in New Jersey and I don’t think it’s true nationally,” said Assemblyman Jon Bramnick.
Bramnick warned accusations of rigged elections undermine the public’s faith and that Trump the businessman perhaps doesn’t realize the political implications.
“If you lose an election and you say it was stolen — meaning something was done that was illegal or there was fraud — that’s a message to your constituents that the result is unfair. And in this country, historically the transition of power from Democrat to Republican, from Republican to Democrat, is a model for the world,” Bramnick said.
President Obama today called Trump’s attempt to discredit the election before votes are even cast “unprecedented”.
“He started whining before the game’s even over? If whenever things go badly for you and lose, you start blaming somebody else, then you don’t have what it takes to be in this job,” Obama said.
Multiple studies and lawsuits have uncovered little evidence of deliberate voter fraud. Christie told NBC Trump would abide by the voters’ decision but, “It’s the candidate’s campaign. It’s not my campaign. It’s not Jeff Sessions’ campaign. It’s not Rudy Giuliani’s campaign. We’re surrogates. And I’m proud of everything I’ve said. And that’s all I can control,” Christie said.
The third and final presidential debate is tomorrow night — but early balloting is already underway in many states. Politicians on both sides of the aisle say it’s critical that people believe their votes are fairly counted.