How past election losers are reacting to Trump's "rigged" claims

  • John McCain, the Republican nominee in 2008

    Barack Obama and John McCain participate in a presidential debate at Hofstra University on October 15, 2008 in Hempstead, New York. GARY HERSHORN/AFP/Getty Images

    Arizona Sen. John McCain, who lost the 2008 presidential election as the Republican nominee, slammed Trump's behavior Thursday, penning a lengthy statement that never once mentioned his party's candidate.

    "All Arizonans and all Americans should be confident in the integrity of our elections," McCain said in a statement Thursday. "Free and fair elections and the peaceful transfer of power are the pride of our country, and the envy of much of the world because they are the means to protecting our most cherished values, the right to liberty and equal justice."

    "There have been irregularities in our elections, sometimes even fraud, but never to an extent that it affected the outcome. We should all be proud of that, and respect the decision of the majority even when we disagree with it. Especially when we disagree with it," he added.

    McCain went on to discuss the results of the 2008 election.

    "I didn't like the outcome of the 2008 election," he said. "But I had a duty to concede, and I did so without reluctance. A concession isn't just an exercise in graciousness. It is an act of respect for the will of the American people, a respect that is every American leader's first responsibility.

    "Whatever our differences we owe each other that respect, which we express by defending the democratic values and practices that protect us all," he said. "I don't know who's going to win the presidential election. I do know that in every previous election, the loser congratulates the winner and calls them, 'my president.' That's not just the Republican way or the Democratic way. It's the American way. This election must not be any different."

    McCain took back his endorsement of Trump following the publication of the reality television star's lewd 2005 tape, where Trump can be heard boasting about his unwanted sexual advances on women.