WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald Trump is now praising the Electoral College after previously criticizing the system — and even says he could have won the popular vote if he campaigned differently.
In a series of tweets Tuesday morning, Trump said he would have won the populous states of Florida, New York and California if he had spent more time campaigning there.
“If the election were based on total popular vote I would have campaigned in N.Y. Florida and California and won even bigger and more easily,” Trump tweeted.
Trump won the battleground state of Florida, which had been carried by President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, but he failed to carry the loyally blue states of New York and California.
Hillary Clinton leads Trump with the popular vote and could be the first candidate since Al Gore to win the popular vote but lose the general election. The last Republican to win the popular vote was George W. Bush in 2004.
Trump went on to praise the Electoral College as “genius.”
“The Electoral College is actually genius in that it brings all states, including the smaller ones, into play. Campaigning is much different!”
This is a change in tone for Trump. Back in 2012, shortly after then-Republican nominee Mitt Romney lost to Obama, Trump called the electoral college “a disaster for democracy” in a tweet.
Trump reiterated this stance once again on Sunday during an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes.”
“I’m not going to change my mind just because I won,” Trump told CBS’ Lesley Stahl. “But I would rather see it where you went with simple votes. You know, you get 100 million votes and somebody else gets 90 million votes and you win.”