Obama Criticizes Trump's 'Rigged' Election Claims Alongside Italian Leader

Oct 18, 2016
Originally published on October 18, 2016 6:44 pm
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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

President Obama mocked Donald Trump today for suggesting the U.S. election might be rigged. The Republican presidential nominee has complained on the stump and on Twitter about large-scale voter fraud. Obama insists that claim is not backed up by the facts.

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PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I'd advise Mr. Trump to stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes.

MCEVERS: Obama says he'll accept the results of the election whoever wins, and he suggested Trump should do the same. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Obama warned reporters he was likely to be more subdued talking about Trump in the formal surroundings of the White House Rose Garden than he might be on the campaign trail, but the president quickly set aside that caution when he was asked about Trump's charge that the November election might be stolen.

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OBAMA: That is both irresponsible and, by the way, doesn't really show the kind of leadership and toughness that you want out of a President.

HORSLEY: Obama pointed out that swing states like Florida are run by Republican governors who aren't likely to cook the results in favor of Hillary Clinton. He said it's unprecedented for Trump to try to explain away a loss before the first votes are even counted.

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OBAMA: You start whining before the game's even over. If whenever things are going badly for you and you lose you start blaming somebody else, then you don't have what it takes to be in this job.

HORSLEY: Obama said he's rarely surprised by Trump anymore, but he did question other Republicans who are supporting the nominee, especially those who've traditionally been critical of Russia, a country Trump wants to see more cooperation with.

The president spoke to reporters after a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. That included a discussion of the European economy. Obama warns slow economic growth in Europe is fueling opposition to globalization and immigration. Some of those same populist impulses which the president calls less constructive are helping to drive Trump's campaign here at home. Scott Horsley, NPR News, the White House. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.