Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said during a rally in Delaware, Ohio, on Thursday he would accept the results of the presidential election this November, with one caveat.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I want to make a major announcement today. I would like to promise to all of my voters and supporters and to all of the people of the United States that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election,” he said.
“If I win.”
Trump addressed a crowd of more than 1,000 supporters at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in central Ohio during his first campaign stop following the last 2016 presidential debate. Many of his remarks covered topics that were touched on during that debate.
“Of course, I will accept a clear election result,” he said. “But I would reserve my right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of a questionable result.”
Trump also addressed the topic of voter fraud, discussed during Wednesday night’s debate, outlining his concern of fraudulent votes being cast, either by non-U.S. citizens or cast in the name of deceased people.
“We want fairness in the election,” he said. “This is having nothing to do with me, but having to do with the future of our country. We have to have fairness.“
Trump said it was unfair to ask him to concede the election “in advance,” if he lost, without a recount or U.S. Supreme Court case, referencing Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court case that followed the 2000 presidential election.
Ohio, specifically, was brought up several times, with the Republican candidate stressing his goals of bringing manufacturing jobs back to the state, as well as to neighboring Michigan.
“My plan for the economy can be summed up by three words,” he said. “Jobs, jobs, jobs.” Later in the speech, he told supporters, “Your companies won’t be leaving Ohio under a Trump economy.”
Marty Comstock, a 61-year-old Ohio State Alumni Association member from Marion, Ohio, said he was glad to see the nominee in the Buckeye State just after the debate. He said he wasn’t too concerned about Ohio only being addressed in brief.
“I like that he focused in, on Ohio. But he needs Ohio,” he said. “If he fixes the nation, Ohio will be fixed too.”
Trump’s stop in Delaware County, just north of Columbus, follows a flurry of recent campaign visits to central Ohio, including, most recently, Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine in Upper Arlington on Wednesday, Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence in Columbus on Monday, and former President Bill Clinton in Delaware County on Friday.
Trump has stopped in the capital city several times this campaign, once in March, again in August and, most recently, holding a private event at the Columbus Renaissance Downtown Hotel one week ago. In September, his campaign scheduled, then promptly cancelled, a visit to OSU’s Schottenstein Center.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton addressed students and supporters on the South Oval on Oct. 10.
Trump drew a cacophony of “boos” from the crowd after saying the Clinton campaign paid people “to incite absolute, total bedlam” during his rallies. He added that the Clinton campaign is one that “will do anything to win.” Trump also called the Democratic nominee dishonest, citing her use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state.
“Hillary Clinton is the most corrupt, dishonest person ever to seek the Office of the President,” he said.
Trump reiterated many points made during the previous evening’s debate against Clinton, including intentions to appoint U.S. Supreme Court justices that align with his views on the Second Amendment and abortion.
He also promised the biggest tax cut since former President Ronald Reagan held office, as well as defense of religious liberties.
Trump reassured the crowd of his intentions to propose building a wall along the southern border of the United States, and bragged of the support he has received from Border Patrol officers and the union that represents Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.
Former OSU quarterback Stanley Jackson spoke before Trump hit the stage, encouraging the crowd to vocally support the Republican candidate and break the taboo of not discussing politics in the workplace or over the dinner table.
“Not this year. You’re going to talk about it,” Jackson said. “You’re going to talk about the things that are important to you every chance you get, because there are a lot of folks that are on the fence. And the simple reality is, we need change.”
He said he is on board with Trump for the long haul, and encouraged the crowd not to lose faith in the face of fluctuating polling numbers.
“First quarter is not an indicator of what the final score is going to be,” he said. “We’ve got a responsibility to get the train back on the tracks.”
Trump ended the rally by saying his campaign was a rejection of the “cynicism and elitism” of the political establishment and asked the crowd: “Is there any better place to be than a Trump rally?”
“We will make America wealthy again. We will make America strong again. We will America safe again,” he said.
“And we will make America great again.”
For more on this election, check out Lantern TV’s special, “Race to the Presidency,” here: