DELAWARE, OH (WCMH/AP) — Donald Trump kept floating the possibility Thursday that he’ll challenge the results of the presidential election if there’s a “questionable result,” while teasingly promising to embrace the outcome “if I win.”
The Republican presidential nominee said he would accept “a clear election result” but was reserving his right to “contest or file a legal challenge” if he loses. It was his first attempt to explain his stunning warning a day earlier in the final debate that he might not accept the results.
On Thursday, Trump brushed off the likelihood of that happening with a confident prediction that “we’re not going to lose.”
“I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters and to all of the people of the United States that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election,” Trump said. Then after letting that vow hang in the air, he added, “If I win.”
Moments before addressing a packed house at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, Trump talked with NBC4’s Colleen Marshall about the race so far.
COLLEEN: “You raised questions that the election could be rigged. We have a Republican Secretary of State who says it is virtually impossible to rig an election. Is this a dangerous message you are sending to people that the election might be rigged?
TRUMP: “Yes, he is excellent by the way I have to tell you, and maybe in Ohio it’s fine, but in many places throughout the country they do have problems, and I’m actually here to talk about it during my speech, and so I think you’ll find it very interesting.”
COLLEEN: “What is your evidence of that?”
TRUMP: “Well you have a lot of evidence of that, and I will be talking about that in my speech so you will watch.”
COLLEEN: “Ohio Senator Rob Portman is one of the people who withdrew his support for you after the Access Hollywood tape came out. How much is it hurting you that these Republican leaders are trying to distance themselves from you?
TRUMP: “Well I think they are doing themselves a tremendous disservice. We are actually up substantially in Ohio. We have tremendous support from the people. Uh, and I think they’re doing themselves a tremendous disservice. We have a couple of cases where people who aren’t supporting me. They are losing and I’m winning states, and you’ve seen that, that’s all over the place. So you know, I was very disappointed in Rob, but he is free to do whatever he has to do. We’re doing fantastically well in Ohio and Rasmussen just came out – the poll – we’re three up nationwide, and IBJ just came out and we’re one up and that was the most accurate poll of the season last year. So I think we are doing really well.”
COLLEEN: “Last night it was pointed out in the debate that your financial plan – experts say – would put America in a worse position than those of Hillary Clinton, even though she’s not getting high marks either. Do you agree with that?
TRUMP: “No I totally disagree. We’re going to lower taxes substantially for Ohio and everybody else. Our taxes were the highest taxed action anywhere in the world, so we are gong to lower taxes, very very substantially. We are also going to lower business taxes. The businesses now are leaving. They are going to Mexico and everywhere else because the taxes are so high. When we do this massive tax cut, this massive regulatory cut which is a tremendous problem, we’re going to have jobs coming back. We have a GDP of around one percent. You saw the last quarter it was around one percent which is record setting low. Almost record setting lows. Look, we are going to have a tremendous GDP. Its going to be four percent, maybe four and a half percent. If that happens, then our nation will be booming again. We have the weakest recovery in our nation since the depression since the great depression. People are looking for jobs. Look at the kind of crowds we are getting, for example right here. They are looking for help. They are looking for the jobs. Our manufacturing has been stripped out of our country. Our jobs have been taken out of our country. So my plan is lowering taxes. Hillary Clinton wants to raise taxes. They don’t like her plan very much.
COLLEEN: “But yet the experts say your plan is the one that really won’t work?”
TRUMP: “My plan will work. The experts are not really experts. They’ve been wrong so much over the years. My plan is the largest tax cut since Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan’s plan worked. Mine is similar. I think my tax cut could even be a little bit larger, but I think it going to work, and its going to be great, and its going to put people back to work, and its going to stop companies from leaving Ohio and other places.”
COLLEEN: “19 days out from the election, you’ve been labeled a racist, you’ve been called a sexist, how…”
DONALD: “Thank you very much.”
COLLEEN: “How do you respond to that?”
TRUMP: “I am the least racist person you’ve ever met.”