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Five Times Obama as a Presidential Hopeful Questioned the Validity of the Election Process

President Barack Obama accuses Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump of “whining,” after his repeated statements on the upcoming presidential election being “rigged.”

At a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Obama says:

The notion that somehow if Mr. Trump loses Florida, it’s because of those people that you have to watch out for, that is both irresponsible and, by the way, doesn’t really show the kind of leadership and toughness that you want out of a president. If you start whining before the game’s even over, if whenever things are going badly for you and you lose, you start blaming somebody else, then you don’t have what it takes to be in this job because there are a lot of times when things don’t go our way or my way.

However,  as a presidential candidate Obama expressed concerns about the validity of U.S. elections. On numerous occasions before being sworn in as commander-in-chief, Obama decried flaws in the American election system, which included voter ID laws, rhetoric from Bush administration Justice Department officials and the agency’s traditional handling of voter fraud investigations. In 2008, shortly before the general election, Obama even had acknowledged that elections had been “monkeyed” with in the past.

1) October 20, 2006 – Barack Obama in a joint press release with Rep. John Lewis and then-Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) accused the Georgia State Board of Elections of a “cynical attempt” to influence elections when a letter was inadvertently sent out telling voters to bring “proper government-issued photo identification” to the polls shortly after a Georgia Superior Court judge ruled the requirement violated the state constitution.

Partial press statement:

Today Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), and Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Barack Obama (D-IL) sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez requesting federal investigation of an action taken by the Georgia State Board of Elections. The elections board sent out over 200,000 letters informing voters in mainly Democratic districts that they may not have the proper government-issued photo identification required to vote in the November 7th election. That letter would have been appropriate had a Superior Court judge in Fulton County not ruled last month that the Georgia photo-ID law violated the state constitution.

A prominent GOP member of the elections board contended the letters were slated for delivery before the judge’s ruling, but evidence released from the secretary of state’s office reveals the letters were sent to the post office after the judge issued his decision. Former Gov. Roy Barnes has filed a lawsuit against the state over the matter, and Rep. Lewis joined Senators Dodd and Obama requesting a federal investigation of the mailing to determine whether voting rights laws were broken.

“This seems like nothing more than a cynical attempt to influence elections by discouraging people to vote,” Sen. Obama said. “It’s crucial that we vigorously defend American citizens’ right to vote, and this matter should be thoroughly investigated as soon as possible.”

2) September 28, 2007 – Then-Sen. Barack Obama address gives remarks at the Howard University convocation in Washington, DC. In the speech to the audience at the HBCU, Obama vowed to scale back voter-fraud investigations in black and Latino districts and pursue investigations into voter suppression if elected president.

Remarks:

Like Katrina did with poverty, Jena exposed glaring inequities in our justice system that were around long before that schoolyard fight broke out. It reminds us of the fact that we have a system that locks away too many young, first-time, non-violent offenders for the better part of their lives – a decision that’s made not by a judge in a courtroom, but by politicians in Washington. It reminds us that we have certain sentences that are based less on the kind of crime you commit than on what you look like and where you come from. It reminds us that we have a Justice Department whose idea of prosecuting civil rights violations is trying to rollback affirmative action programs at our college and universities; a Justice Department whose idea of prosecuting voting rights violations is to look for voting fraud in black and Latino communities where it doesn’t exist.

We know these inequities are there. We know they’re wrong. And yet they go largely unnoticed until people find the courage to stand up and say they’re wrong. Until someone finally says, “It’s wrong that Scooter Libby gets no jail time for compromising our national security, but a 21-year-old honor student is still sitting in a Georgia prison for something that wasn’t even a felony. That’s wrong.”

From the day I take office as President, America will have a Justice Department that is truly dedicated to the work it began in the days after Little Rock. I will rid the department of ideologues and political cronies, and for the first time in eight years, the Civil Rights Division will actually be staffed with civil rights lawyers who prosecute civil rights violations, and employment discrimination, and hate crimes. And we’ll have a Voting Rights Section that actually defends the right of every American to vote without deception or intimidation. When flyers are placed in our neighborhoods telling people to vote on the wrong day, that won’t only be an injustice, it will be a crime.

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