Check out Thursday’s newsletter!
From The Reporter’s Notebook
While Donald Trump’s refusal to say he would accept the outcome of the presidential debate stunned political observers from across the ideological spectrum, a select group of Republicans came to his defense. MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough argued that Trump saying he would wait to “look at” the results first was not the same as saying flat out that he might not concede the race. As TPM’s Allegra Kirkland points out, no other presidential candidate has felt the need to say they would “look at” the results first, and Scarborough’s argument implies that there might actually be voting irregularities that Trump would need to look into, but voter fraud is exceedingly rare in the United States.
Agree or Disagree?
Josh Marshall: “The substance of the debate came down to two things. Clinton was able to deliver a handful of stinging blows against Trump, going so far as to call him a ‘puppet’ of Vladimir Putin. This was preceded by a brutal recitation of evidence that Trump is willingly going along with a foreign power trying to interfere in a US election. Later in the debate she went after him on his very long history of saying he was cheated or contests were ‘rigged’ when he’s simply losing. These runs focused attention on Trump’s most dangerous qualities. He could do little to rebut them and he shot back, quaking with angry jabs here and there like ‘such a nasty woman.’ Far more important however were the statements Clinton and Chris Wallace provoked from Trump. The biggest one of course was his repeated refusal to accept the result of a democratic election. When Wallace first asked Trump said: ‘I will look at it at the time.’ When Wallace pressed him again he said: ‘I’ll keep you in suspense, okay?’ That kind of ‘suspense’ is precisely what makes democratic polities collapse.”
“He as the presidential candidate said tonight that he will take a wait and see approach.”
– Pence stood by Trump’s refusal to commit to accepting the election results, despite saying just hours before the debate that he was confident Trump would accept the outcome in November.
BUZZING: Today in the Hive
From a TPM Prime member: “A major candidate for the Presidency refused to say he would accept the results of an American election. “I’ll look at it.” And then he says his opponent “should never have been allowed to run for President.” Anything else that has been said since that moment has gone completely past my ears. This narcissist does not respect democracy. Period.”
Related: Following the debate, conservatives condemned Trump’s refusal to commit to accepting the November election results.
Have something to add? Become a Prime member and join the discussion here.
What We’re Reading
The desperate gamble of Trump’s most loyal surrogate. (GQ)
The Great Barrier Reef isn’t dead yet. (The Huffington Post)