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Joe Biden's new chief of staff, Ronald Klain, in 2014 said elections are 'rigged'
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Joe Biden's new chief of staff, Ronald Klain, in 2014 said elections are 'rigged'

The comment has raised eyebrows

Former Vice President Joe Biden selected Ronald Klain as his White House chief of staff on Wednesday. Within hours of Klain being named to the new position, a 2014 tweet by Klain saying that elections are "rigged" resurfaced and raised eyebrows.

Klain's tweet was a reply to a Vox.com post on Twitter linking to an article titled, "68% of Americans think elections are rigged." Klain reacted to the article by declaring, "That's because they are."

The article, which was written by Vox founder Ezra Klein, argues, "Elections are rigged in favor of incumbents. And they're basically right."

The article claims election fraud isn't the problem.

"Incumbents get a voice in gerrymandering — meaning that the politicians, in an inversion of the normal rules of democracy, get to choose their voters," Klein wrote.

The article highlights that "very few congressional elections are seriously competitive" because "reelection rates for incumbents tend to hover around 90 percent — and they occasionally get perilously close to 100 percent." Adding that the "powers of incumbency are so strong that overall congressional approval ratings barely affect congressional reelection rates."

The Vox article cited a 2014 Rasmussen poll with the headline, "68% Think Election Rules Rigged for Incumbents."

As of Thursday morning, Klain's tweet was still up, and Twitter had not slapped a warning label on it.

Klain was the general counsel to Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore during the Florida recount in the 2000 election against Republican George W. Bush. He argued against counting overseas absentee ballots, which would have "potentially thrown out the votes of hundreds of military members stationed overseas," as reported by CNN.

"The idea that people were going to vote after the election and have those votes count, that's a pretty irregular idea," Klain said in 2000.

Following a machine recount, Bush's lead stood at 327 votes. Klain called Florida a "Third World banana republic" for its handling of the 2000 recount.

Klain served as chief of staff to Gore when he was vice president between 1995 and 1999, as well as to former Vice President Biden from 2009 to 2011.

On Wednesday, Biden issued a statement on selecting Klain as his White House chief of staff:

"Ron has been invaluable to me over the many years that we have worked together, including as we rescued the American economy from one of the worst downturns in our history in 2009 and later overcame a daunting public health emergency in 2014. His deep, varied experience and capacity to work with people all across the political spectrum is precisely what I need in a White House chief of staff as we confront this moment of crisis and bring our country together again."

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