Marco Rubio
Marco Rubio Marc Nozell / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

There is only one way in which talk show hosts should react to Republicans refusing to say that if they will accept the result of this year’s election: End the interview and never invite them again.

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Even when the mainstream media does something kinda right, it does it wrong.

In recent weeks, the hosts of the Sunday talk shows (and other news anchors) have asked Republicans, especially those in the running to be on the GOP ticket this fall, a very simple question: “Will you abide by the results of the 2024 election if Donald Trump loses?”

Obviously, that’s a legitimate line of inquiry since Trump, and a growing number of Republicans, have spent the past four years trying to undermine US democracy and shake their voters’ faith in the outcome of any election they don’t win.

That is why none of them gave the only acceptable answer, which is: “Of course.” You can even add something about “fair and square,” but the question implies that this would be the result after litigation… just in case the loser wants to file (and lose) 60 lawsuits.

No Republican has been willing to make such a declarative statement.

Instead, the answers they gave were equally stunning and not at all surprising, which seems like a contradiction at first.

But it is not, considering that, in today’s GOP, appeasing Trump is more important than declaring any sort of faith in an election system that has, while imperfect, withstood the test of time.

Instead, these prominent Republicans all evaded the question or flat-out stated, without evidence, that something fishy was going on in 2020.

The latest lawmaker who refused to give a straight answer was Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who was a guest on NBC’s Meet the Press.

“I think you’re asking the wrong person,” he responded when asked if he would accept the outcome of the upcoming election no matter who wins. “The Democrats are the ones that have opposed every Republican victory since 2000, every single one.”

He then lamented that only Republicans get asked that question.

Well, the reason for that might be that their presumptive nominee attempted a coup after the last election and that whole “the entire party is undermining faith in elections” thing.

If President Joe Biden were to lose and then, after losing dozens of lawsuits challenging the results, were to stage his own coup, then this is a question every Democrat should have to answer going forward.

To her credit, host Kristen Welker pushed back against all of Rubio’s false equivalencies after he rattled off a bunch of supposed (and litigated) “irregularities.”

You know what’s an irregularity? That the candidates who got the most votes lost the 2000 and 2016 elections. But those are the rules… just like mail-in ballots.

So how is this a media fail?

That’s easy.

Because the GOP has so firmly established itself as the anti-democracy party, any interview with a Republican should begin with that simple question.

And, if they can’t give a straight answer, then the host should end the interview right away and play some clips of Trump’s insurrection and the attack on the Capitol.


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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