Donald Trump's disregard for our transition rituals threatens democracy
Have you noticed. This is not normal. The president openly trying to say only the votes for him should count talking about sailing election. No legal path to succeed. We've been reporting on how those michigan republicans were welcomed at the white house after being shamed in their own home state for what they were doing. And donald trump is also taking petty moves that basically delay or mess with aspects of the transition. They won't mess with the transfer of power. All of this. We want to show tonight with. The evidence is a radical break from a longstanding. Bipartisan approach to the peaceful transfer of power in america that look forward to talking to the president so honored that he was attended with hospitality to me. And my wife. Yesterday didn't need to do this. And i am most grateful that He would do so good morning last night. I had a warm conversation with president. Elect barack obama. I congratulated him and senator biden on their impressive. Victory told the president-elect he can count on complete cooperation for my administration as he makes the transition to the white house. My number one priority. In the coming two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures dental is successful. We turned presidential historian. Michael beschloss what contrast you see from there to now well once again are a donald trump tonight as a category of his own. Go all the way back to john adams who lost to the guy who was at that time as you know his political enemy. Thomas jefferson. Adams was angry about being defeated by jefferson. And he didn't hang around for the inauguration that tradition adopted established yet so adams got an a stage coach and went back to massachusetts before jefferson was born in but it began this tradition. That even when you have an incumbent president who is angry at the guy who beat him for reelection. Herbert hoover in one thousand nine hundred ninety three and franklin roosevelt over to the white house to talk about how they should transfer power even when they rolled up to the capital roosevelt and hoover sat in the back of an open car. They shared a lap robe. If you could believe it didn't talk much. But that's a tradition. And as you say the tradition is running alongside both the rules constitutional requirements and the norms that much abuse a framework or term in the last four years That provide a buffer a provide a context all this. We just showed the outgoing president's michael stays with us. We want to show michael. And our viewers the other cases where we have seen the candidates as mentioned who lost just conceding with some eye on their place in history john mccain making what for him was a painful concession to barack obama in two thousand and eight hillary clinton in that loss that shocked so many including many in the republican party. She got up the next morning and gave that speech pledging cooperation to president-elect trump and sixteen we've seen presidents who lost reelection like trump did face the music the people of the united states that made the choice and of course. I accept that decision. But i have to admit not with the same enthusiasm that i accepted the decision for years ago. People have spoken. And we respect the majesty of the democratic system. I just called governor clinton over in little rock and offered my congratulations. he did run a strong campaign. I wish him well in the white house. You know michael you deal with facts and evidence you have a rigorous process between where you start and publishing one of your history books. How do you measure class. Because what i see there is something. That's hard to prove. But i feel it inside which is across ideology in parties. We've just seen many different presidents showing a type of class or even grace that is absent right now at the white house. We're going to ari. I've got two sons who are now in their twenties but they used to play a little league and every time they played a game even if they lost they would shake hands with the winning team and say good game. That was assumed this. That's that's american. What is not. American is to claim when you didn't win to be a poor loser you try to be out of keeping with the tradition of all those guys you just showed even richard nixon who is not thought of in history as a particularly gracious winner. Nineteen sixty gets beaten by john kennedy. He was very angry about it and it was very sad about it but he goes out and tells us supporters in los angeles in america. Once a decision is made we unite behind the candidate who was elected that was even before the final results were. Yeah that's great a great example. You're given off as we say off the top of the dome michael We have one more for you. And that is al gore. Who did have this tight legal challenge. Everyone remembers frustrating. For both sides in the run up to it and then of course frustrating for the person losing so narrowly having won more votes overall total across america. Al gore take a look now the. Us supreme court has spoken. Let there be no doubt while. I strongly disagree with the court's decision. I accept it. I accept the finality of this outcome. Which will be ratified next monday. In the electoral college and tonight for the sake of our unity as a people and strength of our democracy. I offer my concession. If i may be a little optimistic here at the end of the week michael ask you to guide us. What would you as someone who cares deeply about america. What would you tell citizens both parties neither party whatever. What is incumbent upon the rest of us to do if we never get that concession from this president. What do we do from here together. We just say the. Donald trump is a gross aberration. Get him out out the door. The door doesn't hit him on the way out on the twentieth of january and say we demand our leaders that they do. What all those other candidates that you show tonight did show some graciousness and understand that democracy is more important. Listen to what al gore said. He didn't say. I agree with the supreme court decision in bush v gore. He says for the sake of our democracy. I offer my concession. Most canada's most presidents love democracy want to unite the country. Donald trump is a gross aberration and exception to that tradition. Soon he'll be gone. Michael beschloss gets the word on that. Thank you sir.