Now that we’re all (mostly) over the major breaking news to come out of the Vice Presidential debate on Wednesday - the fly that settled into Mike Pence’s skull-hugging white coif for two solid minutes - it’s time to assess the more substantial aspects of what transpired during the VP debate. And that means talking about what was perhaps the most worrisome response from Pence when he followed the lead of his boss and refused to stand by the Constitution and unequivocally state that he and Trump would relinquish power if they lose the election in November.
As John and Yasmin Khan discuss in this clip from The Damage Report, this message from Trump and Pence - that they ain’t leavin’ - is now being echoed by others in the Republican Party, specifically Utah Senator Mike Lee, who tweeted out that, quote, “We’re not a democracy” and that democracy isn’t the objective, “liberty, peace and prospefity is” (he presumably meant “prosperity”). John says that while Lee may be using more obscure language, he’s essentially saying the same thing: that if Trump seeks to retain power even after losing the election, that’s OK with him. Yasmine, meanwhile, points out that while Trump’s rhetoric about challenging election results was similar in 2016, the difference is that back then he didn’t have the weight of the federal government behind him to potentially impose his will, against the will of the people.
“This is not just some sort of weird hypothetical,” John says. “They're prepping to do something and everyone needs to be ready.”