Former President George W. Bush said that former Vice President Joe Biden won the 2020 election but asserted that President Trump has the “right” to pursue perceived issues in the election process.
Bush issued his statement on Sunday, saying he had called Biden and congratulated the Democratic presidential candidate on his election victory. Notably, the election results have not yet been certified in a number of battleground states that are either too close to call or until legal issues being pursued by the Trump administration are resolved.
“I just talked to the President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden. I extended my warm congratulations and thanked him for the patriotic message he delivered last night. I also called Kamala Harris to congratulate her on her historic election to the vice presidency,” Bush said. “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. 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.”
“I want to congratulate President Trump and his supporters on a hard-fought campaign,” Bush added. “He earned the votes of more than 70 million Americans – an extraordinary political achievement. They have spoken, and their voices will continue to be heard through elected Republicans at every level of government.”
He went on to say that Trump should pursue legal challenges and recounts to restore trust in the electoral process and ensure that voters felt that their votes counted and that they were not cheated out of an election.
“The fact that so many of our fellow citizens participated in this election is a positive sign of the health of our democracy and a reminder to the world of its strength. No matter how you voted, your vote counted,” Bush said. “President Trump has the right to request recounts and pursue legal challenges, and any unresolved issues will be properly adjudicated. The American people can have confidence that this election was fundamentally fair, its integrity will be upheld, and its outcome is clear.”
“The challenges that face our country will demand the best of President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris – and the best of us all. We must come together for the sake of our families and neighbors, and for our nation and its future,” he added. “There is no nation that will not yield to the gathered will of the free people. Laura and I pray for our leaders and their families. We ask for God’s continued blessings on our country. And we urge all Americans to join us in wishing our next President and Vice President well as they prepare to take up their important duties.”
NEW: President George W. Bush on the 2020 election pic.twitter.com/GXp3iimEa9
— Kelly O'Donnell (@KellyO) November 8, 2020