Al Cardenas, who chaired Florida's Republican Party during the contested 2000 general election, called GOP nominee Donald Trump's assessment he election is rigged "damaging" to the process.
"This is pure nonsense," Cardenas, also a former chairman of the American Conservative Union, told CNN's Carol Costello of Trump's claims. "Shame on any American who believes that this election is rigged."
He urged Americans to remember the worlds of then-Democratic candidate Al Gore, who admitted he was disappointed with the Supreme Court's eventual ruling George W. Bush had won the election, but he would accept the decision.
"Al Gore's words were just right," Cardenas said. "He and Joe Lieberman never once during that 37-day endless episode to ascertain who would become president of the United States, never once alleged fraud, never once challenged the integrity of the process in America, and then when they lost, your audience just heard his words. That's what we expect in America."
Cardenas said he has been an observer in several elections abroad, including in Ukraine, because people feared the process would not be transparent, and would not be fair, and "there was fear in the eyes of the voters that their will would not be heard."
"We do not want that in America," Cardenas said. "We do not want a crisis. We want America to believe in the integrity of what we are all about and words like this frankly inflame me, upset me. We as Americans have to respect the electoral process."
Further, he said, there has never been "one iota of fact ever" in America's history suggesting fraud was an outcome in a presidential election.
"We have a history of hundreds, 200-plus years of elections," Cardenas said. "No one has ever said before an election that there was fraud involved. You got to love your country before yourself, and that's what I expect of anybody running for the office."
Cardenas said he does not know what is in Trump's heart when he says the election is rigged in favor of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, as "that's for a higher authority to ascertain," but he still considers the statements damaging to the country and how the world views it.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.