Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine weighed in Thursday on Donald Trump’s “shocking” debate-night refusal to say that he would accept the results of the election, comparing it to the actions of military dictators and blaming it on Trump’s inability to “take responsibility” for his losses.
“I lived in Honduras as a missionary 35 years ago and it was a military dictatorship and I certainly learned that one of the central pillars of our democracy is people accepting the outcome of elections and the peaceful transfer of power,” Kaine said in a “CBS This Morning” interview. “And that Donald Trump would try to pull that pillar down after a campaign where he has insulted everybody else and now he’s gonna insult a very central premise of our democracy, was a huge shocker.”
Kaine added that he doesn’t “exactly know what it means,” but he used the statements to urge Americans to exercise their right to vote.
“Let’s send the biggest mandate we can so that his whines after the election do not attract any followers,” he said.
When asked why he believed Trump may have wanted to keep America in suspense about how he would react after Nov. 8, Kaine said he believed, like his running mate, that Trump just “doesn’t take responsibility for stuff.”
“If something doesn’t go his way, he’s not gonna say, ‘I guess I should’ve ran a better campaign, I guess I shouldn’t have been so divisive.’ He’s gonna blame it on somebody else,” Kaine said, noting Trump’s response to a Clinton jab about his reality television show’s Emmy losses. “He couldn’t resist jumping back in and said, ‘I should’ve won the Emmy that year.”’ He just doesn’t know how to take responsibility. But that is a trait that is required, frankly, to be a good president.”
Kaine went on to criticize Trump’s recent unsubstantiated allegations of “rigged” elections.
“If all he had said during the entire last two weeks is of course we’re gonna see what happens on election day, this wouldn’t be a controversy,” Kaine said. “But he’s going around again and again perpetrating a lie that the election is rigged. He’s saying that over and over and over again because he knows that he’s losing and it’s insulting to voters to look him in the face and say, ‘you guys don’t know how to conduct an election.’”
“We do know how to conduct elections,” he added. “We do it and that’s why his comment last night was so shocking.”
Kaine also discussed recent polling showing Clinton still runs a trust deficit with voters in battleground states and how he would convince those Americans that his running mate is indeed trustworthy.
“The best way to tell somebody’s character is in politics is look and see if they had a passion that showed up in their life before they ran for office,” he said, repeating a regular stump speech line. “Hillary Clinton has a passion. She’s gonna wake up every day focusing on how are families and children doing as a barometer for how is the larger society doing.”
“Donald Trump has a passion,” he added, “but the passion is himself.”