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Pence refuses to discuss a peaceful transfer of power: "I think we're going to win this election"

Breaking down the vice presidential debate
Breaking down the 2020 vice presidential debate 18:08

Vice President Mike Pence was asked during the lone debate between him and Senator Kamala Harris what he would do if President Trump refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the 2020 election. The president has declined to do so in the past, notably during a White House press conference last month, stating that he didn't think he would lose. 

Pence answered similarly at Wednesday's debate. "First and foremost, I think we're going to win this election," the vice president said. He added that the Americans who voted for Mr. Trump the first time likely would vote for him again.

"I have every confidence that the same Americans that delivered that historic victory in 2016, they see this president's record... and I think that movement of Americans has only grown stronger in the last four years," Pence added. He then accused the Democratic party of "trying to overturn the results of the last election."

On September 23, Mr. Trump said he would "see what happens" when pressed about a peaceful transition of power. "There won't be a transfer, frankly," Mr. Trump then said, adding, "There'll be a continuation."

Some GOP lawmakers chose to dismiss Mr. Trump's remarks. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indirectly referenced them in a tweet.

"The winner of the November 3rd election will be inaugurated on January 20th," McConnell wrote. "There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792."

GOP Senator Ben Sasse told reporters that "the president says crazy stuff," but "we've always had a peaceful transition of power."

Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, was asked a similar question about the peaceful transition of power during the debate. Citing bipartisan support from the likes of Colin Powell and Cindy McCain, Harris said "[Joe Biden and I] believe in the American people."

"We believe in our democracy and here's what I'd like to say to everybody: Vote," Harris answered.

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