President-elect Joe Biden’s victory lap after the Electoral College affirmed his win on Monday touted the preservation of democracy amid President Trump’s fruitless legal battles centered on bogus voter fraud allegations and the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed more than 300,000 Americans thus far.
In a short series of remarks, Biden commended election officials who stood their ground and made clear that there shouldn’t be any doubt that he is headed to the White House after he clinched the votes needed from the Electoral College to do so.
“In America the rule of law, our Constitution and the will of the people prevail,” Biden said. “Our democracy pushed, tested, threatened, proved to be resilient. True and strong.”
The Electoral College votes that affirmed his victory “respect the fact that even in the face of a public health crisis, people voted,” Biden said.
The President-elect stressed that this year’s record-breaking voter turnout is “the clearest demonstration of the true will of the American people.”
“One of the most amazing demonstrations of civic duty we have seen in our country,” Biden said. “It should be celebrated not attacked.”
Biden pointed out that both he and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris earned 306 electoral votes — the same amount Trump and Vice President Mike Pence scored in 2016.
The President-elect then jabbed Trump for calling the electoral votes he received in 2016 a “landslide” — a bit of punditry cast in a new light now that the sitting President has still refused to concede and vowed to keep waging his legal battles to contest the election results.
“By his own standards these numbers represented a clear victory then,” Biden said. “And I respectfully suggest they do so now.”
After saying that “the flame of democracy” couldn’t be extinguished — even during a pandemic or through an “abuse of power” — Biden praised elections officials and poll workers for their “deep and unwavering faith in, and the commitment to, the law.”
“They knew this election was overseen — was overseen by them — and honest and free and fair,” Biden said. “They saw with their own eyes, and wouldn’t be bullied into saying anything different. It was remarkable.”
Biden pointed to Trump’s failed lawsuits, the Supreme Court’s rejection of Texas attorney general Ken Paxton’s (R) lawsuit attempting to overturn election results in four battleground states and Trump’s attacks against his fellow Republicans who refused to do his bidding as reasons why there shouldn’t be any more doubt about his victory.
Biden also reflected on his term as vice president during the Obama administration, when it was his duty to announce the tally of the electoral votes of the joint session of Congress that elected Trump.
“I did my job. I’m pleased but not surprised a number of former Republican colleagues in the Senate acknowledged already the results of the electoral college,” Biden said. “I thank them. And I’m convinced we can work together for the good of the nation.”
Towards the end of his speech, Biden emphasized that “democracy prevailed,” the votes are in and that “the integrity of the election remains intact.”
“Now it’s time to turn the page as we have done throughout history. To unite and heal,” Biden said. “As I said in the campaign, I will be President for all Americans. I will work just as hard for those who didn’t vote for me as I will for those who did. There’s urgent work in front of us.”
Biden also addressed a grim milestone the country had recently passed: 300,000 COVID-19 fatalities, which Trump has not publicly remarked on thus far.
“My heart goes out to each of you. In this dark winter of the pandemic. About to spend the holidays and the new year with a black hole in your hearts,” Biden said. “Without the ones you loved at your side. My heart goes out to all of you who have fallen on hard times through no fault of your own.”
Biden quoted the prayer of St. Francis as he concluded his remarks by thanking “all those who stand watch over our democracy.”
Watch Biden’s remarks below: