In his first speech after officially winning the Electoral College, Joe Biden forcefully tried to put election conspiracy theories still being pushed by President Donald Trump and his allies to bed.
“This election now ranks as the clearest demonstration of the true will of the American people — one of the most amazing demonstrations of civic duty we’ve ever seen in our country. It should be celebrated, not attacked,” Biden said in a nationally televised speech from Delaware.
“Once again in America, the rule of law, our Constitution, and the will of the people have prevailed. Our democracy — pushed, tested, threatened — proved to be resilient, true, and strong,” he said.
It was Biden’s most explicit and detailed rebuttal yet of Trump’s claims of election fraud and the dozens of unsuccessful lawsuits that have been launched by the president’s campaign and Republicans to challenge his win.
“Every avenue was made available to President Trump to contest the results. He took full advantage of each and every one of these avenues. President Trump was denied no course of action he wanted to take,” he said, adding that the president had unsuccessfully taken his election challenge to Republican governors, secretaries of state, state legislatures, and Republican-appointed judges.
“Respecting the will of the people is at the heart of our democracy — even when we find those results hard to accept — but that is the obligation of those who have taken a sworn duty to uphold our Constitution,” Biden said.
Biden pointed out that he won the same number of electoral votes that Donald Trump won in 2016.
“At the time, President Trump called his Electoral College tally a landslide. By his own standards, these numbers represented a clear victory then, and I respectfully suggest they do so now,” he said.
Biden condemned the intimidation tactics the president and his supporters used in recent weeks to try to convince state and local officials not to certify Biden’s wins. He praised those officials from across the political spectrum for “demonstrating absolute courage,” adding that “they could not and would not give credence to what they knew was not true.”
“They knew the elections they oversaw were honest and free and fair. They saw it with their own eyes, and they wouldn’t be bullied into saying anything different,” he said. “It was truly remarkable because so many of these patriotic Americans were subjected to so much: enormous political pressure, verbal abuse, and even threats of physical violence.”
“I hope we never again see anyone subjected to the kind of threats and abuse we saw in this election. It is unconscionable,” he added. “We owe these public servants a debt of gratitude. They didn’t seek the spotlight, and our democracy survived because of them.”
He went on to address the lawsuits brought by Trump and Republicans — dozens of cases that have failed to change the reality that Biden won.
On Friday, the Supreme Court rejected the Trump-hyped case brought by the state of Texas to challenge Biden’s win in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
Biden called the Texas lawsuit “an effort by elected officials in one group of states to try to get the Supreme Court to wipe out the votes of more than 20 million Americans in other states.”
“It’s a position so extreme we’ve never seen it before, a position that refused to respect the will of the people, refused to respect the rule of law, and refused to honor our Constitution. Thankfully, a unanimous Supreme Court immediately and completely rejected this effort. The court sent a clear signal to President Trump and his allies that they would be no part of this unprecedented assault on our democracy,” he said.
After Electoral College members met on Monday, Biden won 306 total electoral votes to Trump’s 232. He also defeated Trump in the popular vote by a margin of more than 7 million — with a historic number of Americans, more than 81 million, voting for Biden.
“The integrity of our elections remains intact. Now it is time to turn the page as we’ve done throughout our history,” he said.