WILMINGTON, Del: Vowing “to get right to work,” President-elect Joe Biden shrugged off President Donald Trump’s fierce refusal to accept the election outcome as “inconsequential,” even as Democrats elsewhere warned that the Republican president’s actions were dangerous.
Trump made unreasonable claims in support of voter fraud, prevented the incoming president from receiving intelligence reports, and withheld federal funds designed to help facilitate the transfer of power. Trump’s boycott, with the support of senior Republicans in Washington and across the country, may also prevent background checks and security checks by prospective staff, nor will it prevent federal agencies from discussing transition plans.
When some Democrats and former Republican officials warned of serious consequences, Biden tried to lower the national temperature while speaking to reporters at the temporary transitional headquarters near his home in downtown Wilmington on Tuesday.
He described Trump’s position as little more than an “embarrassing” mark on the outgoing president’s legacy, while predicting that Republicans on Capitol Hill would eventually accept the reality of Biden’s victory. The Republican resistance, Biden said, “does not change the dynamic at all in what we’re able to do.”
Biden added that more intelligence briefings “will be useful”, but “we don’t see anything slowing us down.”
Biden is prepared to face dueling national crises. Regardless of political debates, these crises are actively threatening the health, safety and economic security of millions of Americans. These comments are methodical. Coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths have surged, the economy is facing the possibility of long-term destruction, and the country’s political and cultural divide may be increasing.
Biden is betting that his low-key attitude and bipartisan contacts-very different from the style of the current president-will help him to govern effectively on the first day. But just 71 days before Trump’s inauguration, Trump and his allies seemed determined to make Biden’s transition as difficult as possible.
Trump once again made the unfounded claim of “large vote abuse” on his Twitter account on Tuesday, and predicted that he will eventually win the game he has already lost. His allies on Capitol Hill, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, encouraged the president’s baseless accusations. Social media networks quickly marked Trump’s tweets as controversial claims about election fraud.
American allies are beginning to admit that Trump will not.
French President Emmanuel Macron met with Biden through a teleconference. German Chancellor Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, six leaders of the entire world, congratulated him on his election to Biden.
“I look forward to strengthening the partnership between our countries and to working with him on our shared priorities — from tackling climate change, to promoting democracy and building back better from the pandemic,” Johnson wrote on Twitter. “Build back better” is a slogan that Biden and the British government have in common.