Add Rubio to the List of GOP Invertebrates Who Won’t Say if They’d Certify 2024 Election Results

Sen. Marco Rubio is the latest Republican potential vice presidential pick who refused to commit to certifying the election results. Aaron Schwartz/CNP/ZUMA

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Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.)—all of whom are among the possible candidates, NBC News reported last week—have all failed to answer “yes” when television hosts have asked them if they will commit to accepting the results no matter who wins. Their responses have ranged from simply insisting Trump will be the next president, to spreading election misinformation, to falsely claiming that Democrats are trying to sabotage free and fair elections.
Today, one more lawmaker joined their ranks. When Kristen Welker, host of NBC’s Meet the Press, put that question to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)—who is also reportedly on the shortlist—he replied: “No matter what happens? No. If it’s an unfair election, I think it’s going to be contested by either side.”
In his approach to undermining a lynchpin of US democracy, Rubio opted to take the Stefanik approach and attack Democrats. He noted, “I think you’re asking the wrong person. The Democrats are the ones that have opposed every Republican victory since 2000, every single one. Hillary Clinton said the election was stolen from her and that Trump was illegitimate.” 
“But she conceded,” Welker replied. 
“She said that Trump was illegitimate. She said that the election had been stolen,” Rubio went on. “Kamala Harris agreed. By the way, there are Democrats serving in Congress today who, in 2004, voted not to certify the Ohio electors because they said those machines had been tampered with.”
To be clear: Those Democrats said they were not aiming to change the outcome of the election but to draw attention to voter disenfranchisement, CNN reported at the time. A report released by Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee the following year concluded that there were “numerous, serious election irregularities in the Ohio presidential election, which resulted in a significant disenfranchisement of voters,” particularly minority and Democrat voters.
But Rubio was on a roll and undeterred by facts. “And you have Democrats now saying they won’t certify 2024 because Trump is an insurrectionist and ineligible to hold office,” he went on. “So you need to ask them.”

WATCH: Will you accept the results of the 2024 no matter who wins? @kwelkernbc asks.@SenMarcoRubio (R-Fla): “No matter what happens? No, if it’s an unfair election.”
Welker: “Senator, no matter who wins.”
Rubio: “I think you’re asking the wrong person.”
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) May 19, 2024

Welker reminded Rubio that he voted to certify the 2020 election results. She then reminded him of his own apparently long-forgotten position on the matter four years ago, when he said, “Democracy is held together by people’s confidence in the election and their willingness to abide by its results.”

Trump, meanwhile, continues to deny the legitimacy of his loss and has sowed doubt about whether he’ll accept the result of a free and fair election. Earlier this month, he took a preemptive attack and zeroed in on a single state, suggesting that he may not accept the 2024 presidential results from Wisconsin when asked in an interview with a local newspaper.
“If everything’s honest, I’ll gladly accept the results. I don’t change on that,” Trump told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, in a state where he recently appeared at a rally. “If it’s not, you have to fight for the right of the country.”
Referring to Trump’s continued questioning of the election results, Welker asked Rubio, “By your own definition, are Donald Trump’s claims undermining Americans’ confidence in democracy?” Rubio refused to respond directly. Instead, he parroted unfounded claims about election fraud and falsely claimed NBC News did not cover controversies surrounding Hunter Biden. 
“I’m telling you that if it’s unfair, we are going to do the same thing Democrats do,” Rubio asserted. “We’re going to use lawyers to go to court and point out the fact that states are not following their own election laws.”
His desperate defense of Trump’s election denial—despite his own certification of the 2020 election results—comes as a major shift for Rubio, who Trump used to deride as “Little Marco” during the 2016 GOP primary when they both vied for the nomination. As my colleague Pema Levy reported then, during that contest Rubio called Trump a “con artist,” a “lunatic,” not to mention, “rude and obnoxious and offensive.” He also questioned Trump’s ability to spell and…the size of his hands. Yet, when it came time to cast his ballot, he still voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020. 
While Rubio spewed a lot of lies today, there’s one thing he’s said about Trump on the campaign trail in 2016 that is worth remembering, given that Trump is currently ensnared in his first criminal trial. “Friends do not let friends vote for con artists,” Rubio told his supporters.