On eve of Georgia Senate vote, Biden says races will 'chart course' of 'next generation'

Adam Edelman

President-elect Joe Biden made his final pitch Monday to Georgia voters to give him a Democratic Senate to work with in Washington, asking them to elect Democrats Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock in Tuesday’s runoff elections.

“Folks, this is it, it’s a year new, and tomorrow can be a new day for Atlanta, for Georgia and for America,” Biden said a drive-in rally in Atlanta.”

Referring to the fact that his own victory in Georgia was the first time a Democrat carried the state in a presidential race since 1992, Biden told voters that “we need you to vote again in record numbers.

“Georgia, the whole nation is looking to you,” he said. “One state can chart the course not just for the next four years, but for the next generation.

President Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a rally in Dalton on Monday night to boost support for incumbent Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue.

The dueling speeches come a day after audio of an hour-long phone call between Trump and Georgia's secretary of state surfaced in which the president unsuccessfully pressured the official to overturn his state's election results, which Biden won by just under 12,000 votes.

Biden did not make a direct reference to the call, but said that “politicians can not take, assert or seize power.”

“Power is given, granted by the American people alone,” he said. “The will of the people must prevail.”

“I don’t know why he wants the job,” Biden said a moment earlier about Trump. “He doesn’t want to do the work.”

Biden slammed Loeffler and Perdue on Monday as “senators who think their loyalty is to Donald Trump, not to Georgia.” Only Loeffler will be in a position to vote on Wednesday when a group of Republican senators intend to object to presidential election results, part of a futile effort to overturn Biden's win.

Biden acknowledged that large chunks of his policy agenda hang in the balance of the two critical races that will determine control of the Senate. If Democrats win both, they will take control of the chamber.

“With their votes in the Senate, we’ll be able to make the progress we need,” Biden said, referring to policy areas like jobs, health care and the environment. He added that a Democratic Senate majority could ensure sending out $2,000 stimulus checks to qualifying individuals and easing the obstacles to getting the Covid-19 vaccine distributed.

If Democrats retake control of the Senate, Biden will be more likely to accomplish more of his agenda since Democrats also hold the House. If at least one of the two Republican incumbents wins, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will have a say over Biden's legislative agenda, top administration personnel and judicial appointments.