Headlines: Trump’s Refusal To Say He’ll Accept Vote Goes Global

Nobody can quite believe that Trump hinted he might not accept the outcome of the presidential election on November 8

Donald Trump is surrounded by his family after the last debate. — REUTERS
Oct 20, 2016 at 5:23 AM ET

Donald Trump overshadowed an uncharacteristically calm final presidential debate Wednesday by refusing to say whether he will respect American democracy and accept the results of the presidential election.

The front pages of the international news media, including conservative publications, provided the earliest evidence that Trump’s words had shocked the world. The U.S., as a democracy, prides itself on respecting the outcome of elections, and peacefully handing over power to the chosen candidate.

Trump made his controversial remarks after moderator and Fox News anchor Chris Wallace asked whether he would accept the results of the election on November 8, just as his running mate Mike Pence pledged last week. Wallace raised the question because Trump has repeatedly claimed that his opponent has rigged the election in her favor. In response, Trump declined to provide a straight answer, stating instead, “I will look at it at the time. I’m not looking at anything now … What I’ve seen, what I’ve seen is so bad.”

The New York Times, The Washington Post, The LA Times, and even the right-leaning Washington Examiner led with stories about Trump’s remarks overnight Wednesday. The New York Post led with an opinion piece describing Trump’s comments as “a shocking and cravenly irresponsible thing to say.” Trump’s words earned significant coverage in the international media, too: The Guardian, France’s Le Monde, and The Age, an Australian paper that is part of Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp publishing empire, featured his remarks prominently on their front pages.

Trump initially referenced the “dishonest” and “corrupt” media as reasons why he believes the election is rigged. But he went on to claim: “If you look at your voter rolls, you will see millions of people that are registered to vote. Millions. This isn’t coming from me, this is coming from Pew report and other places. Millions of people that are registered to vote that shouldn’t be registered to vote.” Trump was citing a 2012 Pew Charitable Trust report incorrectly, discovered.

Even after Wallace pointed out that there is a history of a “peaceful transition of power” in U.S. presidential elections, Trump still declined to say whether he would comply with the outcome of the election. “What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense,” he said.