The No. 2 Democratic leader in the U.S. Senate said his party's 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is "flat-out wrong" for hypocritically encouraging 2020 nominee Vice President Joe Biden to refuse to concede the election against President Donald Trump.
"I disagree with Hillary Clinton," Democratic Minority Whip Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told ABC's George Stephanopoulos in an interview Sunday. "I respect her, I like her, but I think she's just flat-out wrong."
“I think she's flat out wrong,” Sen. Durbin tells @GStephanopoulos on Hillary Clinton saying Biden “should not conc… https://t.co/ptw8gJVCpq— ABC News Politics (@ABC News Politics)1601226125.0
In 2016 Clinton blasted Trump as a "threat to our democracy" after he would not commit to accepting the results of the election. In August 2020, Clinton changed her tune and said Biden should not "concede" the 2020 election "under any circumstances."
"Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances because I think this is going to drag out, and eventually I do believe he will win if we don't give an inch and if we are as focused and relentless as the other side is," Clinton said in an interview. She claimed Republicans are "looking toward ... messing up absentee balloting" to steal the election.
"We've got to have a massive legal operation — I know the Biden campaign is working on that," she said.
Clinton and other Democrats have repeatedly accused Republicans and President Donald Trump of sowing doubt about the integrity of the U.S. election, pointing to the president's noncommittal comments about a peaceful transition of power. They say Trump's frequent complaints about mail-in ballots suggest he will declare victory if he leads the vote on election night and refuse to leave office if he loses his lead after all the absentee ballots are counted. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has dismissed these concerns and said the president will commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses "as long as it is a fair election."
On ABC News, Durbin was asked about Republicans drawing a "moral equivalence" between Clinton's comments on Biden and Trump's comments about mail-in ballots.
"The election itself is going to be announced," Mr. Durbin replied. "The winner will be announced. It will take longer with all the paper ballots that are being cast, but at some point I hope my choice Joe Biden is elected president."
"But if we are going to maintain a democracy, peaceful transition through an election is the only way to do it," he added. "Just look at the streets of Belarus today if you want to see the alternative. We don't need that in America. Whoever the winner is, if it's clear and legal, the other party should concede."