Rubio, a Trump V.P. Contender, Won’t Commit to Certifying 2024 Results - The World News

Rubio, a Trump V.P. Contender, Won’t Commit to Certifying 2024 Results

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who has been floated as a possible running mate for former President Donald J. Trump, on Sunday refused to commit to accepting the results of the 2024 presidential election and repeated conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.

Asked in an interview on NBC News’s “Meet the Press” whether he would accept the outcome this year “no matter what happens,” Mr. Rubio replied: “‘No matter what happens?’ No, if it’s an unfair election, I think it’s going to be contested by each side.”

He deflected follow-up questions — including when the interviewer, Kristen Welker, rephrased the question to “no matter who wins” — by falsely claiming that Hillary Clinton had denied her loss in 2016 and by referring to a small group of Democrats in Congress who objected to certifying George W. Bush’s victory over John Kerry in Ohio in 2004. Mrs. Clinton conceded, and the objections in 2004 were not endorsed by Mr. Kerry or his campaign.

Ms. Welker noted that Mr. Rubio had voted to certify the 2020 results and played a clip of him saying at the time, “Democracy is held together by people’s confidence in the election and their willingness to abide by its results.” She then asked whether he could reconcile those comments with Mr. Trump’s refusal to admit his loss — including, in recent days, his false claim that he won Minnesota.

Mr. Rubio responded by repeating Mr. Trump’s false claims of “illegal drop-box locations” and ballot harvesting. At one point, he repeated an allegation from the right-wing film “2000 Mules” that unnamed groups had paid for ballots, citing “places like Georgia where liberal groups are paying people $10 per vote.” The organization behind that claim admitted this year that it had no evidence to back it up.

He said he had voted to certify the 2020 results “because at that stage in the process, you have no options.”

The interview was one in a long stream showing Republicans — especially those vying for the vice-presidential slot — as they circle the wagons around Mr. Trump and his denial of the 2020 election results. Many, including Senators Tim Scott of South Carolina and J.D. Vance of Ohio, have refused to commit or hedged on committing to accepting the 2024 results. Others, including Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, have refused to say whether they would have certified the 2020 results if they had been the vice president on Jan. 6, 2021.

Mr. Trump has also refused to commit to accepting the results of this year’s election and, in a recent interview, did not rule out the possibility of political violence if he lost.

Mr. Rubio’s interview on Sunday also highlighted his transformation on another issue. After working with Democrats years ago on immigration reform legislation and calling mass deportations unrealistic, he endorsed Mr. Trump’s plans to round up millions of immigrants and hold them in detention camps before deporting them.

“The issue has completely changed,” he said, referring to the increasing number of people crossing the border, after Ms. Welker played clips of him as he rejected mass deportations in the past. He added: “This is not immigration. You asked me about immigration. This is mass migration, mass migration. This is an invasion of the country, and it needs to be dealt with dramatically.”

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