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DeWine Refuses To Acknowledge Trump's Role In Undermining Election

President Donald Trump stands with gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine as he speaks during a rally, at the IX Center, in Cleveland, Monday, Nov. 5, 2018.
Carolyn Kaster
/
Associated Press
President Donald Trump stands with gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine as he speaks during a rally, at the IX Center, in Cleveland, Monday, Nov. 5, 2018.

Gov. Mike DeWine is assuring Ohioans that the state's elections are fair and secure, seemingly in response to President Trump's comments undermining the validity of the election. DeWine also spoke out against white supremacy, after the president refused to denounce hate groups during this week's debate.

However, DeWine continues to refuse to criticize Trump by name.

"We'll continue to speak out against anything that disrupts the fairness of an election," DeWine said at his press conference Thursday. "We'll continue to speak out against hatred and violence. That's what my job is, my job is not, every single day, to critique the president of the United States."

DeWine is the honorary co-chair for the Trump campaign in Ohio, and said on Twitter that Trump did a "great job" during the debate. Now, however, DeWine says the hosting was good but "the debate itself was not our country’s finest hour or even our country’s finest 90 minutes."

Trump was criticized for declining to specifically denounce the Proud Boys white supremacist group during or after the event. Without specifically naming the president, DeWine condemned white supremacy and anti-Semitism, adding that "we cannot let these fringe groups of the right or left divide us."

And while DeWine made assurances that voting was secure, and that the election results would be accepted, he refused to acknowledge the president's role in causing misinformation and concerns about a potential peaceful transition of power.

"It's important on both sides – let's not presuppose we're going to have a problem when we have both parties who have a vested interest in a fair election," DeWine said.

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Trump also called on his supporters to go into polling locations and "watch carefully." But under Ohio law, no one is allowed within 100 feet of polling locations unless they're voters, poll workers, specially-designated observers, or journalists. DeWine says these laws are in place so voters can "feel safe."

When pressed on DeWine's ready to stand against either Trump or Joe Biden if a potential constitutional crisis arises, DeWine responded, "absolutely."

"No governor of the state is going to stand up here and say or have any intention, I would hope, that we're not going to follow the constitution," DeWine said. "The will of the people will prevail in the state of Ohio, the electoral votes will be cast for whoever gets the most votes in the state of Ohio. I will guarantee you that."

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.