Bernie Sanders appeared on Rachel Maddow Thursday night after delivering his first speech since dropping out of the 2020 presidential race. In his speech earlier in the day (posted below), Sanders had warned that “this is an election between Donald Trump and democracy – and democracy must win.”
His message to Rachel Maddow and MSNBC viewers was no less dire.
Said Sanders: “I am worried and have been worried for a long time that we have a president who will refuse to leave office if he loses the election. And what I believe we have got to do is listen carefully to what he says. I know there are people out there, ‘Oh, Trump’s crazy, he says this, he says that don’t take him seriously.’ Take him seriously! He says that he’s not sure if he will leave the presidency if he loses the election. He says that the only way, Rachel, the only way that he can possibly lose is that the election is rigged, no other way. And if that is what he believes and he loses, that means the election is rigged, and he is not going to leave office.
“And right now, as you know, he is mounting a massive assault on so-called ‘voter fraud,'” Sanders added. “Only problem is, study after study has shown we have virtually no voter fraud in the United States. That’s something that his attorney general confirmed today, Benjamin Ginsburg. You may remember that name. He was the lead Republican election official during the 2000 Gore versus Bush recount in Florida. This is the lead Republican guy on these issues. He said voter fraud in America is virtually non-existent.”
“So, why is Trump doing all of this?” Sanders continued. “And here’s the answer. For whatever reason, and we don’t have to discuss why, it turns out that Republicans are far more likely to walk into a polling booth and vote than Democrats. Democrats are far more likely to use mail-in ballots. So, what could very well happen is on election night, when you’re sitting there moderating the show, it appears that Trump is winning in Michigan and Wisconsin and Florida. People see it, ‘oh my goodness, Trump is ahead.’ And then at 10:00 at night, Trump announces, ‘I won the election!’ And, by the way, my attorney general has told me this massive fraud with the mail-in ballots. And we got to stop counting those ballots. ‘Thank you, America, I won. Have a good night.'”
“And then the mail-in ballots keep coming in, and Trump’s lead disappears, and Biden becomes the leader, and then you have massive chaos and conspiracy theories. And that is the nightmare that I worry about.”
Earlier in the day, Sanders delivered his first speech since dropping out of the 2020 election.
“What I am going to talk about is something that, in my wildest dreams, I never thought I would be discussing,” said Sanders. “And that is the need to make certain that the President of the United States, if he loses this election, will abide by the will of the voters and leave office peacefully.”
“This is not just an election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden,” Sanders added. “This is an election between Donald Trump and democracy – and democracy must win.”