9 Nov 2020

Donald Trump should not concede US election yet, Republican strategist says

From Checkpoint, 6:13 pm on 9 November 2020

US President Donald Trump is remaining defiant, refusing to concede defeat while continuing to use Twitter to target what he calls the "lamestream" media for calling the US election against him. 

That is despite high profile Republicans including former President George W. Bush congratulating President-elect Joe Biden, while saying the race was fundamentally fair and its outcome is clear.

In a statement, Bush also offered congratulations to Trump "on a hard-fought campaign".

But the 45th President of the US keeps claiming widespread election fraud, without producing any evidence.  

Republican Strategist and commentator Dee Dee Bass Wilbon told Checkpoint the race was not over yet for Donald Trump.  

"There hasn't been a decision, news outlets don't actually make decisions on elections, so until it's been announced and all the votes are completely tallied and everything, right now we don't know, as far as I know he's still the President of the United States, and that's where we stand," she said.

President Donald Trump returns to the White House from playing golf in Washington, DC.

 President Donald Trump returns to the White House from playing golf in Washington, DC, following the election result. Photo: AFP

Wilbon doubted there was much chance of a Trump victory, but she said she did not think he should concede the presidency right now. 

"I think he and Vice President Pence have done an outstanding job. But right now, the way that it stands, no I don't think that he does [need to concede].

"No news outlet can say, 'this individual won' or 'this individual lost' until the decision has been made that all the states have reported all of their totals, and we get those numbers completely done. 

"Right now I think [Trump's] strategy and the Republican Party strategy is to wait for all the legitimate votes to be counted. And once that's done, then a decision will be made." 

Wilbon said she had not looked at Trump's Twitter feed, where he has been alleging voter fraud, with absolutely no evidence. She had just been looking at the positive elements from the election.

"We celebrated the 100th anniversary of women having the right to vote in the United States, and that's been an amazing thing, we've had so many people to vote this year.  

"And in this election alone President Trump received more votes from minority voters than any president since 1960.  

"My 18-year-old son had an opportunity to vote, so there are a lot of positive things that have come out of this election. And I like to focus on those things rather than focusing on the negativity." 

She said black male votes for Trump rose from 13 to 20 percent in the election, but black women were largely voting for the Democrats.  

Wilbon doubted Trump's behaviour would undermine confidence in the US democratic system.  

"The American people - they've seen the lines, they've seen the number of people, they've seen people in their own families, like I was saying with my 18-year-old son, they've seen so many people participating in the process of voting this time, so I don't think that will undermine any of that. 

"We have this thing at our firm Bass Public Affairs - we attack policy not people. We don't condone bad behaviour or anything like that, so I'm not going to say that President Trump has misbehaved, I'm going to say that I would like for him to continue to focus on the numbers and to focus on those legitimate votes. 

"And once those legitimate votes are confirmed, if it is in fact true that Biden and Kamala Harris have won the election, then I'm sure that he will do exactly what he should do as a president of the United States and as a decent human being." 

She said she was not paying attention to what other Republicans were saying, but was supporting Trump for the results he had produced in the past four years.

"I support all that they've done for minority communities, and for America as a whole. So if George Bush wants to congratulate Vice President Biden on a hard fought election, that is totally his decision to do so.

"I'm an HBCU graduate, he has given a tremendous amount of money and support to HBCUs, and HBCUs historically black colleges and universities here in America, more than any president has," she said. 

"I am pro-life, I support those choices, I also support opportunity zones for underserved communities that he has been a huge champion of.  

"There are so many things that he and Vice President Pence have done over the last four years that we should focus on and be excited about in the term that they've shared with us. 

"And if in fact that term is over, then we will move forward to the next president of the United States." 

She was expecting Trump in his final two months to continue the "great work" his administration had done so far, she said.  

"He's not a loser by any stretch of the imagination. Neither he nor Vice President Pence, they're extreme winners and very good at what they do. 

"It's not over till it's over, and again once all of those votes have been counted, completely counted and tallied and totals done, once that's done then yes, I will move forward to the next president. Until then, no."