Gov. Phil Bryant: Presidential election is rigged

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Gov. Phil Bryant

Rogelio V. Solis, AP

Gov. Phil Bryant

Gov. Phil Bryant, mirroring comments made recently by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, said “the election is rigged” when talking to a Mississippi talk radio host Monday morning.

Bryant, a Trump surrogate who has stumped for the candidate in multiple states and raised millions of dollars for the candidate, shared his thoughts on the presidential election with Paul Gallo on Supertalk radio.

“The election is rigged,” Bryant said. “Any Republican has to have an overwhelming majority of the vote. And, of course, as it has been designed, as we look at the states where the more liberal voting population may be in cities in New York and California and some of the other areas, all you have to do is win those particularly large states.

“You can forget about flyover country. That doesn’t seem fair to me at all,” Bryant said.

Trump and his surrogates have pushed the “rigged election” narrative the past week, reviving the claim Trump initially made in August. When asked Tuesday about whether he believed the election would be stolen from him, Trump replied, “Ask Obama,” seemingly referring to a comment presidential candidate Barack Obama made in 2008 when asked himself about the potential of a rigged election.

“I tell you what helps in Ohio,” Obama said at the time, “we’ve got Democrats in charge of the machines.”

Obama added: “Whenever people are in power, you know, they have this tendency to try to tilt things in their direction. That’s why we’ve got to have, I believe, a voting rights division in the Justice Department that is non-partisan and that is serious about investigating cases of voter fraud, serious about making sure that people aren’t being discouraged to vote.”

Bryant’s relationship to Trump, by all accounts, is a close one. Republican political consultants in the state say Bryant has single-handedly raised close to $2 million for the Trump campaign.

Bryant has visited Trump’s New York office at least twice in the past three months, and the governor has campaigned for Trump numerous times in Mississippi and once in Louisiana. Trump has visited Mississippi twice since announcing his candidacy – once for a Madison rally and once for a Jackson rally and fundraiser.

Donald Trump Jr. spoke briefly at the Neshoba County Fair in July to thousands of Trump supporters.

On Thursday, the governor will join the Mississippi Federation of Republican Women at a “Women for Trump” rally at the Mississippi Capitol. Republican National Convention committeewoman Jeanne Luckey is scheduled to speak.