More world leaders than US Republicans congratulate Biden

The world is moving forward to work with the new president-elect, Joe Biden, even as President Donald Trump refuses to concede.

Congratulations for President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill have poured in from around the world but not from US Republicans [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

More world leaders have congratulated United States President-elect Joe Biden than have Republican politicians in the United States.

Major US allies Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Germany were quick to recognise Biden’s victory and to extend congratulations. Ireland, too.

Indeed, the world is moving forward to work with the new president-elect even as President Donald Trump refuses to concede and seeks ways to undo the election in court.

Biden was declared the winner by US media organisations tracking returns on November 7 after he appeared to win enough states to garner a majority of the US Electoral College.

Biden spoke with the leaders of Australia, Japan and South Korea on Wednesday evening, Biden’s transition team said in a statement.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison discussed the challenge of containing the coronavirus and laying the groundwork for a global economic recovering, the Biden team said in a read-out of the calls.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan offered Biden his congratulations and Biden complimented Suga for his steady leadership during the recent governing transition in Japan.

Speaking with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, Biden praised Korea’s leadership in addressing the pandemic and said he looked forward to working with Moon on the challenge of North Korea.

‘I look forward to working with President Biden. Our transatlantic friendship is indispensable,’ German Chancellor Angela Merkel said [Michael Kappeler/Pool via Reuters]

A stack of messages for Biden from foreign leaders is piling up at the US State Department but the Trump administration is preventing Biden from seeing them, CNN reported, citing a source. The State Department traditionally has coordinated international contacts between incoming presidents and foreign heads of state.

Nations whose leaders had warm relationships with Trump have been slower to acknowledge Biden’s victory while the president still refuses to concede. The leaders of Russia, Brazil, Mexico, China and North Korea have yet to congratulate Biden.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he and President-elect Biden discussed a visit to the White House soon after Biden is inaugurated on January 20 [Kyodo via Reuters]

The list of prominent Republicans who have broken with President Trump to congratulate Biden is short. Only four Senate Republicans have recognised Biden as the winner and offered congratulations.

Former 2012 presidential nominee, Senator Mitt Romney was the first high-profile Republican to extend congratulations to Biden within hours of the race being called by the AP.

Romney said in a tweet that he and his wife Ann congratulated Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

“We know both of them as people of good will and admirable character,” Romney said. “We pray that God may bless them in the days and years ahead.”

Utah Senator Mitt Romney, who voted against President Trump in his impeachment trial, was the first Senate Republican to congratulate President-elect Biden. Only a few have followed his lead [File: Erin Scott/Pool via Reuters]

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski followed Romney with a statement acknowledging “Biden is the projected winner,” offering her congratulations saying she would “emphasise collaboration and bipartisanship” in seeking to work with a Biden administration.

Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska offered his congratulations to Biden in a statement. “I congratulate the next president, Joe Biden, and the next vice president, Kamala Harris,” Sasse said.

Notably, former President George W Bush gave his imprimatur to Biden’s victory with a congratulatory phone call on November 8.

“I just talked to the President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden. I extended my warm congratulations and thanked him for the patriotic message he delivered” in his victory speech, Bush said in a statement.

Maine Senator Susan Collins issued a statement on November 9, offering Biden congratulations on his “apparent victory”.

Several Republican members of the House of Representatives and Republican governors also offered congratulations. But they were exceptions. Most Republican officeholders have followed Trump’s lead in refusing to acknowledge Biden’s win.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a speech Trump should have an opportunity to challenge the outcome of the election and that process must be allowed to play out.

“The projections and commentary of the press do not get veto power over the legal rights of any citizen, including the president,” McConnell said.

Some Republicans, like Senator Lindsey Graham, who won re-election in South Carolina, are actively trying to undermine the legitimacy of Biden’s win. Graham said he would donate $500,000 in money from his political action fund to Trump’s legal efforts to overturn Biden’s victory.

Asked about the Trump administration’s failure to cooperate with Biden’s transition team, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a news conference on November 10 there would be a “smooth transition”, but to another four-year Trump administration.

Source: Al Jazeera