Democrats congratulate Biden; many Republicans haven't extended their hands

Allan Smith
·5 min read

Democrats across the spectrum celebrated Saturday after media organizations projected that Joe Biden is now the president-elect. Many Republicans kept mum and some attacked, while others congratulated the Democratic presidential nominee.

"In this election, under circumstances never experienced, Americans turned out in numbers never seen," former President Barack Obama said in a statement. "And once every vote is counted, President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris will have won a historic and decisive victory. We're fortunate that Joe's got what it takes to be President and already carries himself that way."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said that Saturday "marks the dawning of a new day of hope for America."

"A record-shattering 75 million Americans cast their ballots to elect Joe Biden President of the United States — a historic victory that has handed Democrats a mandate for action," she said.

"In President-elect Joe Biden, Americans elected a leader ready on Day One to finally begin to crush the coronavirus so we can safely reopen our economy and schools," she added. "And in President-elect Biden, they have elected a unifier who values faith, family and community, and who will work tirelessly to heal our nation."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., tweeted: "The long dark night in America is over, and a new dawn is coming."

In a lengthier statement, Schumer said: "President-elect Biden will be a great president for all Americans, and Senate Democrats are going to do everything we can to help him get things done to help the American people — most immediately by gaining a majority in the Senate."

So far, Biden holds a 279-214 lead over Trump in the Electoral College, with several states still outstanding, NBC News projects, giving him enough votes to secure the presidency. Biden also leads Trump by more than 4 million votes in the popular vote.

But Republicans made gains in House races, chipping away at the Democratic majority, and now all eyes are on what NBC News projects will be runoffs in two special Senate elections in Georgia in January that are likely to decide control of the Senate.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, was one of the only major Republican lawmakers to comment in the hour after the race was called for Biden, tweeting about making sure Biden didn't have his own party to work with in control of the Senate: "A Democratic majority in the Senate would cinch the radical agenda of the left."

"They must be stopped on January 5th in Georgia," he said, citing the day of the runoff elections.

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, the only Republican to vote in favor of Trump's conviction in the impeachment trial, tweeted that he and his wife, Ann, "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," he added. "We pray that God may bless them in the days and years ahead."

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., stopped short of congratulations, tweeting: "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," he said.

Other Republicans made it clear that they didn't accept Biden as their president-elect.

"The media do not get to determine who the president is," Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., tweeted. "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 eLeCtiOn IsNt OvEr UnTiL aLL tHe VoTeS aRe CoUnTed," Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., tweeted.

Some other Republicans, including Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who ran against Trump in 2016, offered Biden well-wishes.

"Congratulations to President-elect Biden," Bush tweeted. "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."

Democrats came out Saturday to congratulate Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.

"I want to congratulate all those who worked so hard to make this historic day possible," Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., tweeted. "Now, through our continued grassroots organizing, let us create a government that works for ALL and not the few. Let us create a nation built on justice, not greed and bigotry."

The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, tweeted: "The voters have spoken, and they have chosen @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris to be our next president and vice president. It's a history-making ticket, a repudiation of Trump, and a new page for America. Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen. Onward, together."

Former President Bill Clinton wrote: "America has spoken and democracy has won."

"Now we have a President-Elect and Vice President-Elect who will serve all of us and bring us all together," he added. "Congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on your momentous victory!"

Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., offered congratulations to Biden and Harris. Clyburn was instrumental in helping Biden win the South Carolina primary, which began his path to the presidency.

"Congratulations to the 46th President, Joe Biden. Your victory marks a new chapter for our country," he tweeted. "As we face unprecedented challenges, Americans have chosen you to lead us out of the chaos and to build a stronger community. Today, I am hopeful for a brighter future."

"Kamala Harris has made history as the first woman and first person of color to be elected Vice President of the United States," he added. "Now more than ever, our country's leadership is more reflective of our diverse and dynamic country. Congratulations Madam Vice President-elect!"

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., tweeted that Harris is now set to make history.

"I feel like our ancestors are rejoicing," he wrote. "For the first time, a Black and South Asian woman has been elected Vice President of the United States. My sister has made history and blazed a trail for future generations to follow. We love you, @KamalaHarris."