Joe Biden is dismissing President Donald Trump’s refusal to say he’d accept the results of the election if he loses as a “typical Trump distraction” and predicted that voters will understand that those comments are designed to make them “wonder whether or not the election will be legit.”
“I don’t think it’s going to go anywhere. I think the American people are on to this guy,” Biden said in an interview with NBC News’ Stephanie Ruhle, excerpts of which were released Friday,
Ruhle’s full interview with Biden will air as part of the L’Attitude national business conference. MSNBC will have full coverage of the conference Saturday on “Weekends with Alex Witt,” starting at noon ET.
Biden, responding to questions about Trump’s multiple refusals to agree to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses, said, “the American people aren’t going to be shut down in this election.”
“They’re going to vote in large numbers, and they’re just not going to be denied, and it’s going to be clear from the beginning exactly where this is going,” he said, calling the comments “a typical Trump distraction” from the public health and economic crises stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I’m confident all the irresponsible, outrageous attacks on voting, we’ll have an election in this country as we always have had, and he’ll leave,” Biden said.
“I don’t think he’s going to get the FBI to follow him or get anybody else to enforce something that’s not real,” he added.
Trump has repeatedly assailed mail-in voting as widely fraudulent, but he and his campaign have released no evidence to prove it. Even though the president and first lady Melania Trump have voted by mail and his campaign and Republicans have encouraged voters in key swing states to request ballots, his campaign is suing multiple states over mail-in voting rules.
The president made light Friday of the transfer-of-power concerns, downplaying the issue and criticizing media coverage at a campaign event in Atlanta to unveil a proposal on economic opportunities for Black Americans.
“You know, you can’t joke because if you joke, they take it away,” Trump said. “You know, a lot of times you have a little sarcasm and you joke but you’re being serious and then you start laughing afterwards, but they always cut it before the laugh. They cut it, so that they think he’s serious, he wants 12 more years, they start shouting out 12 more years.”
Asked how he might respond to a scenario in which the votes aren’t fully counted the day after the election and people “take to the streets,” Biden said he was “not anticipating that happens.”
“The last thing we need is the equivalent of a coup,” he said. “This is not who we are, and no one’s going to back him when that occurs, if that were to occur.”
Caroline Vakil contributed.