As United States President-elect Joe Biden celebrates his projected victory and President Donald Trump promises to litigate the outcome of vote counts in various states, some Republicans are breaking with Trump and coming forward to congratulate Biden.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who lost to Trump in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, told Biden he would be “praying for you and your success”.
Congratulations to President-elect Biden. I have prayed for our President most of my adult life. I will be praying for you and your success. Now is the time to heal deep wounds. Many are counting on you to lead the way.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) November 7, 2020
Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney, who has sparred with Trump throughout his presidency, congratulated Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Ann and I extend our congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. We know both of them as people of good will and admirable character. We pray that God may bless them in the days and years ahead.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) November 7, 2020
Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander said, “it is important to respect and promptly accept the result. The orderly transfer or reaffirming of immense power after a presidential election is the most enduring symbol of our democracy”.
After counting every valid vote and allowing courts to resolve disputes, it is important to respect and promptly accept the result. The orderly transfer or reaffirming of immense power after a presidential election is the most enduring symbol of our democracy.
— Sen. Lamar Alexander (@SenAlexander) November 7, 2020
Larry Hogan, the Republican governor of Maryland, and Republican Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker both congratulated Biden on his projected victory, as well.
I congratulate President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris on their victory.
This has been a long and divisive campaign, but now it is critical for us all to focus on the very real and immediate challenges facing this nation.
— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) November 7, 2020
Congratulations to President-elect Biden. Everyone should want our president to succeed because we need our country to succeed. We have great challenges ahead of us as a country. Now more than ever, we need to come together as Americans.
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) November 7, 2020
Some Republicans are sticking with Trump, however, saying the election is not over just because US media outlets have projected a Biden victory.
Historically, once a winner is projected, the losing candidate eventually concedes to mark the symbolic beginning of a peaceful transfer of power.
Breaking with tradition, Trump said after the race was called that “the simple fact is this election is far from over”.
“Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor,” Trump said in a statement.
Louisiana US Representative Steve Scalise, who as US House Minority Whip is the second highest ranking member in House Republican leadership, said, “There are still serious legal challenges that have been made, and until that process is resolved, the election is not final.”
The election isn’t over until all legal votes are counted and certified. There are still serious legal challenges that have been made, and until that process is resolved, the election is not final.
The American people deserve a fair and transparent process.
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) November 7, 2020
Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley echoed Trump, saying “the media do not get to determine who the president is. The people do. When all lawful votes have been counted, recounts finished, and allegations of fraud addressed, we will know who the winner is”.
The media do not get to determine who the president is. The people do. When all lawful votes have been counted, recounts finished, and allegations of fraud addressed, we will know who the winner is
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) November 7, 2020
US Representative Jodey Arrington of Texas said it is “unwise to accept any outcome before recounts are final and it has been examined by the courts and determined to be fair and accurate”.
(1/3) As much as the country would like to move on from this election, it would be unwise to accept any outcome before recounts are final and it has been examined by the courts and determined to be fair and accurate.
— Rep. Arrington (@RepArrington) November 7, 2020
It is worth noting that Trump’s 2016 victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton was celebrated by Republicans shortly after his victory was projected on election night.
That is despite the fact that vote counts remained close in several key states when Trump was projected to have won that election – and some of those razor-thin results eventually led to recounts and legal disputes.
Arrington was one of the people who congratulated Trump that night in November 2016, just minutes after he was projected as the winner:
Congratulations to @realDonaldTrump, our next President!
I look forward to working with him to return power back to WE THE PEOPLE!
— Jodey Arrington (@JodeyArrington) November 9, 2016