Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker launched into a passionate defense of mail-in voting Thursday that included fiery criticism of President Donald Trump's recent refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses this fall to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
"A huge part of this nation's allure, to the extent it exists, is the peaceful transmission of power based on the vote of people in this country," Baker said. "Mail-in balloting has been with us forever, and that peaceful transfer of power is what the people of this country rely on when they go to vote."
"It is appalling and outrageous that anyone would suggest for a minute that if they lose an election they're not going to leave -- period," he added. "I know that I speak, I am sure, for the vast majority of elected officials in the united States of America when I say that."
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When he was asked Wednesday if he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election, Trump said, "Well, we're going to have to see what happens. You know that I've been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster."
He added, "We'll want to have — get rid of the ballots and you'll have a very — we'll have a very peaceful — there won't be a transfer, frankly. There'll be a continuation."
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Trump has frequently criticized mail-in voting, but Baker said it worked extremely well in the September primary, with record-setting turnout in Massachusetts.
"People think there's a lot at stake in this election, and there is," Baker said. "Whichever state you're from, region you're from, or where you're voting up and down the ticket, one way or another people are going to speak in November. And those of us who serve in public life will do everything we can to make sure the people's will is followed through and executed on. Because that is fundamentally why we're the United States of America in the first place."
It's been an interesting week for the Republican Massachusetts governor. Long a critic of Trump, Baker took some heat for his decision to endorse GOP Maine Sen. Susan Collins. Just days later, however, he broke from Republican ranks by saying that he thought Trump and the U.S. Senate should wait until after the election to nominate and vote on a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last week.