Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) on Thursday clearly acknowledged that President-elect Joe Biden won the presidential election amid most Republicans’ reluctance to do so, as President Trump refuses to concede and attempts to delegitimize the election process.
“We need to consider the former vice president as the president-elect,” DeWine said during an interview on CNN Thursday morning. “Joe Biden is the president-elect.”
However, DeWine also told CNN on Thursday morning that Trump has a right to go to court.
“I’m a former prosecutor,” DeWine told CNN on Thursday morning. “I’m a great believer in the ability to have your courts and go in to make your case and they have every right to do that and that looks like what they are trying to do.”
DeWine had initially congratulated Biden for his election victory in a statement issued Monday, but appeared to echo Trump and the President’s allies in their efforts to launch legal battles as they continue waging baseless claims of widespread voter fraud.
After congratulating Biden on Monday, DeWine — who served as the co-chair of Trump’s re-election committee in Ohio, which the President has been projected to win by 8 percentage points — said “when lawsuits have concluded and election results are certified, it is important for all Americans to honor the outcome.”
DeWine’s clear acknowledgment of Biden’s victory starkly contrasts with the messaging of his state’s Republican Party, which backs Trump’s legal challenges in battleground states that he is projected to lose as he baselessly alleges that Democrats are conspiring to “STEAL” the election.
With many legal challenges to vote counts still to come, it was premature and irresponsible for the news media to declare Biden the winner of the presidential election. The president has every right to bring legal challenges where he thinks fraud has occurred, & we support him!
— Ohio Republicans (@ohiogop) November 9, 2020
DeWine’s latest remarks also come amid many Republicans on Capitol Hill having yet to weigh in on Trump’s refusal to concede, while some continue to egg on the President’s unfounded voter fraud allegations.
Only a handful of Republicans have come out of the woodwork to gently suggest that Trump finally concede. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) are the only other Republican governors thus far to congratulate Biden on his overall victory.
Watch DeWine’s remarks below:
JUST NOW: "Joe Biden is the President-elect."
Those words from Republican @GovMikeDeWine of Ohio. @NewDay pic.twitter.com/SUUpC43Hou
— John Berman (@JohnBerman) November 12, 2020