Prominent Donald Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani on Sunday defended the Republican presidential nominee's call for vigilante election monitors at polling places to stop voter fraud, arguing that only inner-city Democrats commit this type of offense.
"There are a few places where they have been notorious for stealing votes — Pennsylvania, Chicago; there have been places where a lot of cheating has gone on over the years," the former New York City mayor told CNN's Jake Tapper. "You want me to tell you the election in Philadelphia and Chicago is going to be fair? I would have to be a moron to say that. I would have to dislearn everything I learned in 40 years of being a prosecutor."
Tapper challenged Giuliani, pointing to an investigation of alleged voter fraud in 2012 in inner-city Philadelphia, where Barack Obama shut out his GOP rival, Mitt Romney, in 59 precincts. In many of those precincts, Obama's sweeping victory could be seen as a byproduct of people in a strongly Democratic and black area voting for the first black president.
"I can't sit here and tell you that they don't cheat," Giuliani responded. "And I know because they control the polling places in these areas. There are no Republicans. It's very hard to get people there who will challenge votes."
"You're saying only Democrats cheat," Tapper said before the segment shifted to a break.
"I found very few situations where Republicans cheat," Giuliani said. "They don't control the inner cities the way Democrats do. Maybe if Republicans controlled the inner cities they would do as much cheating as Democrats."
Merriam-Webster defines the term "inner city" as "the central section of a large city where mostly poor people live." "Inner cities," in the dog-whistle sense that Giuliani uses the term, refers to predominantly black neighborhoods that lean largely Democratic. Nonetheless, the Republican Giuliani was twice elected mayor of New York City, which, of course, includes many inner city neighborhoods. Several Twitter posters picked up on this:
"Inner City" is so obvious a dog-whistle, I'd have thought even Giuliani could do better. https://t.co/yFeDVcpgXU
— Melissa Jo Peltier (@MelissaJPeltier) Oct. 17, 2016
Giuliani says Dems cheat more in elections bc they "control inner cities" I'd call that racist dog whistle, but more like racist fire alarm
— Elizabeth Spiers (@espiers) Oct. 16, 2016
Earlier this month, Trump encouraged rally goers in Pennsylvania to organize and "go over and watch" polling stations in November.
"You’ve got to go out, and you’ve got to get your friends. And you’ve got to get everybody you know, and you gotta watch the polling booths," Trump urged. "I hear too many bad stories, and we can’t lose an election because of — you know what I’m talking about."