By QUINN SCANLAN, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — Former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said President Donald Trump’s false claim that the only way he will lose the 2020 election is if it’s rigged is “an attack on America” and “bad for democracy across the world.”
“Since when do you preemptively call into question the legitimacy of an election that you say, by definition won’t be legitimate unless you win? You gotta understand — that’s not just an attack on the Democratic Party. That’s an attack on America,” Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said on ABC’s Good Morning America Tuesday.
He continued, “When the president of the most consequential democracy on Earth in the last 2,000 years does something like that, that’s bad for democracy around the world.”
Trump has taken aim at Democrats as they try to expand access to mail-in voting amid the pandemic, claiming, without any evidence, that it will lead to massive fraud. On Monday, he escalated his attack on the upcoming election.
“The only way we’re going to lose this election is if the election is rigged. Remember that. That’s the only way we’re going to lose this election,” the president claimed while campaigning in Wisconsin, where the Democratic National Convention was originally supposed to be held before it became a virtual event.
“President Trump has realized that if the American people vote,” Buttigieg said.
He also responded to the president’s tweet targeting former first lady Michelle Obama over her speech during the first night of the convention.
“Somebody please explain to @MichelleObama that Donald J. Trump would not be here, in the beautiful White House, if it weren’t for the job done by your husband, Barack Obama,” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning.
“I guess when we go high he goes low,” Buttigieg said, playing off the first lady’s motto from 2016 that was resurrected Monday night.
Buttigieg said the messages during the first night of the convention were “powerful,” and while “there’s always going to be internal jostling” within the party, he said Monday night’s event presented a unified message: “We’ve got to vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for the sake of the country.”
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.