Highlights

  • Joe Biden was declared winner of the November 3 presidential election based on projections that awarded him 279 electoral votes to Trump’s 214
  • President Donald Trump had claimed victory in the middle of vote counting while at the same time declaring the process fraudulent
  • World leaders and prominent American politicians have since congratulated Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory
  • Trump has refused to concede defeat and is exploring legal options.

 

Former US president, George W. Bush has congratulated President-elect Joe Biden as President Donald Trump and his Republican Campaign team continue to claim that the outcome of the November 3 presidential election is unacceptable.

President Bush said in a phone call to Biden that, while President Donald Trump has the right to pursue legal challenges and recounts, the 2020 race was fundamentally fair and its outcome is clear.

“The American people can have confidence that this election was fundamentally fair, its integrity will be upheld, and its outcome is clear,” Bush said.

The gesture by Bush, the only living former Republican president, was a break from his party’s outgoing president, Trump, who has so far refused to concede the race.

In the statement, Bush said he had called Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Sunday.

“Though we have political differences, I know Joe Biden to be a good man, who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country,” Bush said. “The President-elect reiterated that while he ran as a Democrat, he will govern for all Americans. I offered him the same thing I offered Presidents Trump and Obama: my prayers for his success, and my pledge to help in any way I can.”

Bush also offered congratulations in the statement to Trump “on a hard-fought campaign,” acknowledging his “extraordinary political achievement” of winning the votes of more than 70 million Americans, the second-most in history behind Biden. “They have spoken, and their voices will continue to be heard through elected Republicans at every level of government,” Bush said.

As of Sunday afternoon, Trump had refused to concede, tweeting a host of unproven claims about voter fraud without offering any evidence and wrongly insisting that he had won the election. His attorneys have filed lawsuits in several states, so far without any success.

 Other former presidents

Soon after major news outlets projected on Saturday that Biden had won the presidential race, with a projected number of 279 electoral votes to Trump’s 214, former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama issued congratulatory messages to Biden.

President Jimmy Carter said in a statement:

“Rosalynn joins me in congratulating our friends President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris,” Carter said in a statement. “We are proud of their well-run campaign and look forward to seeing the positive change they bring to our nation.”

The 42nd president of America, Bill Clinton tweeted:

His wife, former first lady and democratic presidential contender against Trump in 2016, Hillary Clinton, could hardly conceal her elation in her tweet:

For the 44th president, Barack Obama, who played a major role in the campaign for the election of his former No. 2, there is no doubt that Biden will deliver. He tweeted:

“We’re fortunate that Joe’s got what it takes to be President and already carries himself that way.

“I know he’ll do the job with the best interests of every American at heart, whether or not he had their vote. So, I encourage every American to give him a chance and lend him your support,” Obama added.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama, as usual, hit the bull’s eye with her message:

 

World leaders

Several world leaders had earlier congratulated Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris following the official call of the presidential race by most major US media outlets on Saturday.

The messages to Biden and Harris from world leaders were largely complimentary of the former US vice president and subtly critical of President Donald Trump’s approach to foreign policy and his confrontational approach to working with world leaders.

This is hardly surprising as many of them have interacted before with Biden who has a long history of delving into foreign policy as a member of the US Senate from 1973 to 2009 and as vice president from 2009 to 2017.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau worked closely with Biden when he was vice president. He expressed the desire to work closely with Biden and Harris in his congratulatory tweet:

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, known to be well disposed toward Trump, described the victory of Biden and Harris as a “historic achievement”:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had a strong relationship with former president Barack Obama and Biden, sent a congratulatory note to Biden and Harris:

French President Emmanuel Macron offered words of praise for Americans that elected the duo:

Macron’s mask in his display photo is not accidental. It is a subtle message to the French people on the importance of wearing masks – something for which Trump consistently mocked Biden.

Israeli Opposition leader Yair Lapid congratulated the president-elect and vice president-elect ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

“Congratulations to my friend President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris,” Lapid said. “The relationship between our countries is based on deeply held values and critical shared interests which I know will be at the heart of your administration.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu offered his congratulations 12 hours later:

At the same time, he thanked his strong ally President Donald Trump in what looks like a farewell note:

 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia offered words of support to the new administration:

Trump’s impeachment debacle was triggered by a phone call he allegedly made to Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to help rake up dirt on Biden whom he had foreseen as a potential formidable opponent in the 2020 presidential election. The rest as they say is history.

Here’s what President Zelensky tweeted:

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India also sent words of support to the incoming administration:

Modi had a special message for Harris:

“Heartiest congratulations Kamala Harris!,” Modi added. “Your success is pathbreaking, and a matter of immense pride not just for your chittis, but also for all Indian-Americans. I am confident that the vibrant India-US ties will get even stronger with your support and leadership.”

“Chittis” is Tamil language for “aunts.” Harris has long spoken about the legacy of her late mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who was raised in Tamil Nadu, a South Indian state, before immigrating to the US in 1958.

Leaders of Africa’s biggest economies have also sent in congratulatory messages.

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria said to Biden in a message released by his media aide Garba Shehu that “your election is a significant reminder that democracy is the best form of government because it offers the people the opportunity to change their government by peaceful means.”

Buhari urged Mr Biden “to promote greater engagement with Africa”.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa tweeted his support for Biden and Harris:

 

Former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo described the victory of Biden and Harris as that of good over evil.

“I join millions in the United States of America and in the rest of the world who felicitate with you, President-Elect Joe Biden, for your victory. It is victory of good over evil and it is not victory for you and the people of America alone, but victory for most people of the world, majority of whom watch helplessly as the world that had been steadily and painstakingly built since the end of the Second World War was being pulled down’.

The former president had words for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in his congratulatory letter:

“We in Africa are proud of her success. The first African-American President of the U.S., Barrack Obama, has Kenyan DNA in him and I am reasonably sure that the first African-American female Vice President-Elect of the U.S. will have some Nigerian DNA in her as most of those taken to the Caribbean from Africa went from Nigeria of today”.

Jeb Bush, son and brother to the 41st and 43rd presidents of the United States, and former governor of the state of Florida, was among the first top US opposition party politicians to congratulate Biden.

Jeb ran an unsuccessful bid against Trump during the 2016 election cycle. He prayed for Biden in his congratulatory message:

Trump famously criticized Bush as “low energy” during the 2016 presidential race. In August, the former Florida governor called out Trump for not condemning supporters of the unfounded QAnon conspiracy theory.

 

John Kasich, who was a Republican governor of the state of Ohio, was very critical of Trump’s character and policies in the lead-up to the 2020 election. Kasich crossed party lines to endorse Biden for the presidency and called on Americans to vote Trump out of office.

He tweeted:

Kasich is considered a potential cabinet pick for the Biden administration.

 

Senators Mitt Romney (Republican) and Bernie Sanders (Democrat) also offered early words of congratulations.

Senator Romney was consistently critical of President Trump. He prayed for Biden and Harris in his tweet:

 

Senator Bernie Sanders who sought the Democratic presidential nomination, took to Twitter to congratulate Biden:

 

Sanders had accurately predicted that President Trump would declare himself winner before the end of the 2020 presidential election.

Republican Governor Phil Scott of Vermont, same state as Sanders, emailed a statement to news outlets, calling for unity in the wake of a divisive election.

“I want to congratulate President-elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris. I also want to recognize this historic moment as we see the first ever woman, and the first ever person of color, reach the U.S. vice presidency. It is my greatest hope they will be successful in uniting our country and leading us forward through these difficult times.

“And regardless of who we voted for, each of us must do all we can to heal our nation. We simply cannot go on with the level of division and polarization we’re seeing. It is preventing us from addressing our greatest challenges and strengthening adversaries who want to dim the bright light of liberty and economic opportunity that America represents in the world.”

Scott earlier said he voted for Biden over the candidate of his own party.

“As many of you knew, I didn’t support President Trump. I wasn’t going to vote for him,” Scott said after casting his ballot on Tuesday. “But then I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t enough for me to just not vote. I had to vote against. So again it’s — I put country over party, which again wasn’t an easy thing to do in some respects.”

The strong lady of US politics, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, a symbol of opposition to President Trump’s policies and character, reverted to the United States’ Latin Motto ‘E Pluribus Unum’ (Out of Many One) in her tweeted message:

Mary Trump, President Trump’s niece and one of his fiercest critics, thanked Americans for voting her uncle out of the White House:

Stacey Abrams, the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Georgia, is widely credited for mobilising Georgians to vote massively for Biden. She has devoted years to expanding the electorate and boosting turnout in the state, since she lost in her bid to become governor.

Abrams tweeted that there is still work to be done:

Maya Harris, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ sibling, tweeted an emotional salute to her sister:

Perhaps the most emotional reaction to the election of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States is that of former Obama administration official and TV talk show host, Van Jones.

Van Jones broke down in tears as he expressed his feelings.

Watch the video here:

 

More congratulations are sure to come in for soon-to-be President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris as they prepare for their inauguration on January 20, 2021.

NP/Tony Ekata/Monitored/CNN/Agency Reports

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