Biden responds to Trump’s refusal to commit to peaceful transfer of power

The president 'says the most irrational things,' Biden maintained, campaigning to replace him.

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On Wednesday, President Donald Trump would not commit to a peaceful transition of power if he were to lose the 2020 presidential election in November. 

“We’re going to have to see what happens, you know, but I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. The ballots are a disaster,” Trump told White House reporters, referring to the increase of absentee and mail-in voting amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Get rid of the ballots, and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation,” Trump said. “The ballots are out of control. You know it, and you know who knows it better than anyone else? The Democrats know it better than anyone else.”

Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks after a recent tour of Jerry Alander Carpenter Training Center in Hermantown, Minnesota. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

His Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, responded, when questioned by the press: “What country are we in?” 

He contended that while he was being “facetious,” asking that question, the president, “says the most irrational things.” Biden added, “I don’t know what to say.” 

Read More: President Trump could find ways to get around a Biden win in the election

That Trump will not commit to a conflict-free transfer of power from his presidency to the next is a warning sign for many, even within his own party. 

“Fundamental to democracy is the peaceful transition of power; without that, there is Belarus,” wrote Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, a Republican presidential candidate in 2008 and 2012. “Any suggestion that a president might not respect this Constitutional guarantee is both unthinkable and unacceptable.”

Read More: Trump expands ban on anti-racism training to federal contractors

Romney’s comment on Twitter got a reply from Maya Harris, sister of Democratic vice-presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris, who tweeted, “Yeah, we know that. Looking for someone to do something about it.” 

Trump maintains that mail-in voting is akin to voter fraud, despite all evidence to the contrary. All 50 states have seen an increase in absentee ballot applications amid the coronavirus pandemic as people stay home to avoid catching or spreading the highly transmissible disease. 

The Brookings Institute has prepared a scorecard of state-by-state mail-in voter readiness. Alabama ranks last with an F, while most western states have an A rating. 

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