ABC's Karl: “The Peaceful Transition Of Power Following A Democratic Election Is The Ultimate American Tradition”

Cokie Roberts: “That He Would Just Fly In The Face Of Those 240 Years Of A Peaceful Transition Of Government Is Something Extraordinary”

From the October 19 edition of ABC's Your Voice, Your Vote:

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GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS (HOST): The news of the night has got to be when Chris Wallace asked Donald Trump the direct question, “will you accept the results of this election?” “I will look at it at the time.” Jon Karl?

JONATHAN KARL: That was an extraordinary moment. The peaceful transition of power following a democratic election is the ultimate American tradition, George. For Donald Trump to say that he would be unwilling to commit to accepting the results of the election was truly not just the moment of this debate, but maybe the moment of this election.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And Matthew Dowd, this comes after the vice presidential candidate Mike Pence and Donald Trump's own daughter said “Well, of course he's going to accept the results.”

MATTHEW DOWD: I think Donald Trump's answer on this, and I've seen a lot of this, was one of the most astounding answers I've seen in our democracy, our constitutional republic, that I've -- We've all worked and been involved and observed these. They -- every single one of them honors the results of the election, moves on, and seeks to unite the country. I remember George W. Bush winning the race, very contested race, in 2000. And obviously it went down, Al Gore wins the popular vote. He had more legitimatacy to question the votes than Donald Trump will ever have legitimacy --


DOWD: Al Gore did in this election. We win by a few hundred votes in Florida, Al Gore stood up, honored the results of the election and basically helped bring the country together. Donald Trump said he didn't know if he would do that.


COKIE ROBERTS: Starting with John Adams losing in 1800, it was the first time that you had a government thrown out and accept the verdict. And the whole world found it incredible that this little American country was ready to actually live by the constitution that it had written. And it became the hallmark of our democracy for the rest of these 240 years.

And it has been the thing that makes us so proud, when the president of the defeated party will stand on the steps of the capitol with the person who defeated him or his party and watch that person take the oath of office, as Barack Obama said he would do if Donald Trump were elected president.

And then, to have Trump say that he would just fly in the face of those 240 years of a peaceful transition of government is something extraordinary.


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