Biden: It's an 'embarrassment' that Trump won't acknowledge election results
President-elect Joe Biden said Tuesday it is an “embarrassment” that President Donald Trump and the White House have yet to acknowledge the results of the election, adding that it is not stopping him from moving forward with his transition.
“I think it’s an embarrassment quite frankly,” he said at The Queen in Wilmington. “How can I say this tactfully? I think it will not help the president’s legacy.”
Since Saturday, when Biden officially became president-elect, top Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have defended Trump's refusal to concede.
This hasn’t stopped Biden from announcing a COVID-19 advisory group or fielding calls from foreign leaders. Biden has spoken with President Emmanuel Macron of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Taoiseach Micheál Martin of Ireland and Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom, according to his transition team.
Like the last nine months of the campaign, the president-elect's transition team is being run out of Wilmington. Earlier in the day, he had a meeting with transition advisers at The Queen. Former U.S. Sen. Ted Kaufman, a longtime Biden confidant, is leading transition efforts.
Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris spoke Tuesday about the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. Biden called Republicans' efforts to fight Obamacare “simply cruel and needlessly divisive.”
The Supreme Court previously ruled on the Affordable Care Act in 2012 and 2015, both times upholding the legislation, perhaps President Barack Obama’s biggest domestic policy achievement.
This time, with a 6-3 conservative majority, the court will hear a challenge based on Congress’ 2017 elimination of the tax penalty intended to urge consumers to buy health insurance. The Trump administration has said this mandate is unconstitutional without any tax to enforce it.
In the final months of the campaign, Biden and fellow Democrats played up the idea of Trump and Republicans seeking to strip millions of Americans of health care insurance during the pandemic. In the four years of his presidency, Trump has talked about introducing health care legislation — but nothing ever materialized.
“Our country had a clear choice in this election,” Harris said. “Each and every vote for Joe Biden was a statement, was a vote to protect and expand the Affordable Care Act, not to tear it away in the midst of a global pandemic.”
Biden said Republicans’ efforts to dismantle the ACA is a move to “bypass” the beliefs of the Americans who voted for him. He vowed that, beginning Jan. 20, there will be a “dramatic” expansion of the Affordable Care Act and “bold” steps to reduce health care costs.
“We will not abandon you,” Biden said. “That is a promise. Not leave you to face these challenges alone.”
The president-elect said his administration will work quickly with Congress to pass these measures.
It is unclear how fast the Biden administration will be able to push through legislation, especially if the Republicans still control the Senate come January. Biden, when answering questions from reporters, said he doesn’t “see a need” for legal action regarding the General Services Administration delaying the official determination that he won the election. This comes just one day after his legal team said it was a possibility.
This determination by the federal agency results in government funding for the president-elect's transition. Biden said he believes his team can function without funding — though said it would be “nice to have.”
Biden added that he believes many in the Republican Party are "being mildly intimidated by the sitting president." When asked how he expects to work with Republicans when many are not acknowledging him as president-elect, Biden flashed his signature smile.
“They will,” he said. “They will.”
Contact Meredith Newman at (302) 324-2386 or at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MereNewman.