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The Guardian - US
The Guardian - US
Victoria Bekiempis

Marco Rubio says he would not accept 2024 election results ‘if it’s unfair’

Senator Marco Rubio
Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, says: ‘If it’s an unfair election, I think it’s going to be contested … by either side.’ Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Republican Florida senator Marco Rubio said on Sunday he would not commit to accepting the 2024 presidential election results, insisting that “if it’s unfair” his party will “go to court and point out the fact that states are not following their own election laws”.

Rubio’s statements on Meet the Press come as he is considered among Donald Trump’s top candidates for vice-president. The former president has continuously said falsely that the 2020 election was stolen.

Those claims spurred the 6 January 2021 insurrection, during which participants stormed the Capitol building as lawmakers were in the midst of certifying the election results. Trump is facing a variety of charges related to alleged election meddling.

When asked by host Kristen Welker: “Will you accept the election results of 2024, no matter what happens, senator?” Rubio replied: “No matter what happens? No.

“If it’s an unfair election, I think it’s going to be contested … by either side.”

Welker kept pushing Rubio to answer whether he would contest the results “no matter who wins”.

“Well, I think you’re asking the wrong person,” Rubio said. “The Democrats are the ones that have opposed every Republican victory since 2000, every single one.”

Welker repeatedly pointed out that Democrats who had issues with election results nevertheless conceded. Rubio, in turn, asked repeatedly whether Welker had asked Democrats this same question.

Rubio – who did certify the 2020 election results, and said on that day that “democracy is held together by people’s confidence in the election and their willingness to abide by its results” – would not directly respond to whether Trump’s unwillingness to accept election results served to undermine confidence in democracy.

He also refused to criticize Trump for his comments on Florida’s six-week abortion ban, during which Trump called the law a “terrible thing, a terrible mistake” – despite also repeatedly claiming credit for overturning the federal protection for abortion.

“I support any bill that protects unborn human life, but I don’t consider other people in the pro-life movement who have a different view to be apostate,” said Rubio, who has long pushed for strict limits on abortion. “They just have a different view about the best way to approach this issue. We are not like the Democrats where, unless you are in favor of their bills that basically say, ‘Let’s just put in all this fancy language, but it’s not meaningful in terms of any restrictions.’”

He played coy about whether he would agree to be Trump’s running mate in the 2024 presidential election, saying he had not discussed the possibility with Trump, but adding: “I think anyone who’s offered that job, to serve this country in the second highest office, assuming everything else in your life makes sense at that moment, if you’re interested in serving the country, it’s an incredible place to serve.”

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