Joe Biden in speech after Electoral College win: Must respect ‘will of the people’


President-elect Joseph R. Biden said Monday that public officials must abide by the “will of the people” as he accused Republicans of engaging in an unprecedented “assault on our democracy.”

“Respecting the will of the people is at the heart of our democracy, even when we find those results hard to accept,” Mr. Biden said in a speech in Wilmington, Delaware. “But that’s the obligation of those who have taken on a sworn duty to uphold the Constitution.”

Mr. Biden spoke shortly after the Electoral College officially affirmed his victory over President Trump in the 2020 election.

He pointed out that as vice president in 2017, he announced the congressional tally of the presidential election results that affirmed Mr. Trump’s win over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“I did my job,” he said.

Mr. Biden said courts rejected “dozens and dozens” of legal challenges filed by Mr. Trump and his team and that recounts in Georgia and Wisconsin affirmed Mr. Biden’s win in those battleground states.

The president-elect also slammed a Texas lawsuit that sought to invalidate the election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, saying it represented “a position so extreme we’ve never seen it before.”

Mr. Trump, more than a dozen state attorneys general, and more than half of the Republicans in the U.S. House had supported the lawsuit, which was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The court sent a clear signal to President Trump that they would be no part of an unprecedented assault on our democracy,” Mr. Biden said.

The lawsuit from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had said those four states had illegally expanded mail-in voting without proper sign-off from their legislatures.

Mr. Biden defeated Mr. Trump by a 306-232 tally in the Electoral College and won the popular vote by more than 7 million votes. It takes 270 electoral votes to clinch the presidency.

He said Mr. Trump touted his own projected 306-232 electoral victory in 2016 as a “landslide.”

“By his own standards, these numbers represented a clear victory then, and I respectfully suggest they do so now,” he said.

Mr. Biden thanked local election officials and decried some of the threats they’ve faced during a heated election and post-election period.

“It is my sincere hope we never again see anyone subjected to the kind of threats and abuse we saw in this election. It’s simply unconscionable,” he said.

Mr. Biden said it’s now time to turn the page and work together on combating the coronavirus pandemic, getting vaccines out, and passing additional COVID relief.

“The United States of America has always set the example for the world for a peaceful transition of power,” he said. “We’ll do so again.”

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