Long Island Republican Reps. Pete King and Lee Zeldin said their party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, should have answered the Wednesday debate question on whether he will accept the outcome of the Nov. 8 election differently.
Some Republicans and most Democrats criticized Trump for undermining the tradition of peaceful and cooperative transfer of power after a presidential election by saying he would wait to see the results first.
“I will keep you in suspense,” Trump said.
“First of all, he should have said yes,” King (R-Seaford) said in a phone interview, though King added that voting fraud could be an issue.
Trump, King explained, should have said, “I certainly want to accept it, and I expect to unless there are exceptional irregularities” in the voting.
Zeldin said in an email, “The answer to that question could have been delivered differently and would have been better.”
But Zeldin didn’t detail what Trump should have said.
State Sen. Jack Martins (R-Old Westbury), who is running for the House in Long Island’s 3rd Congressional District, didn’t address Trump’s response directly.
Instead, his aide emailed a statement that said, “I believe in democracy and the integrity of the system.”
King, Zeldin and Martins were responding to Trump’s debate response before the candidate spoke Thursday morning in Ohio, and elaborated on his assessment of the election outcome.
“I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters, and to all of the people of the United States, that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election,” Trump said and paused before adding, “if I win.”