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NASHVILLE - Two top Tennessee Republicans, Gov. Bill Haslam and U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, are voicing alarm over GOP Donald Trump's refusal to commit to accept the results of the Nov. 8 election.
"Our democracy in this republic that's stood for [240 years] is predicated on a peaceful transfer of power," Haslam, who last week called on the billionaire businessman and former TV reality star to step aside amid another Trump controversy, told state Capitol reporters today. "And I think one of the basics of that is the acceptance of election results.
Haslam said it's one thing where there is a situation such as in the 2000 presidential election when Democrat Al Gore of Tennessee legally challenged the razor-thin Florida vote where it was "too close to call.
"It had to be played out," Haslam said. "But we had a process for playing that out. Again, the whole system is based on a peaceful transfer of power and part of that includes accepting election results."
The controversy erupted during Wednesday's night's presidential debate when Trump, who has repeatedly claimed the election is being "rigged," wouldn't give a direct answer on accepting the election results in response to a question from moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News.
"I will look at it at the time. I'm not looking at anything now. I'll look at it at the time," Trump said.
In a tweet, Trump supporter Corker, who at one point was under consideration by Trump as a running mate, tweeted "it is imperative that Donald Trump clearly state that we will accept the results of the election when complete."