2020 Latest: Romney congratulates President-elect Biden
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the presidential campaign (all times local):
Sen. Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, is congratulating President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
The Utah Republican tweeted Saturday that he and his wife know Biden and Harris “as people of good will and admirable character.” He says, “We pray that God may bless them in the days and years ahead.”
Romney, President Donald Trump’s most vocal critic within the Republican Party, said Friday that Trump was “damaging the cause of freedom” and inflaming “destructive and dangerous passions” by claiming, without foundation, that the election was rigged and stolen from him.
Trump has so far refused to concede and is promising unspecified legal challenges.
Romney had said earlier in the year that he wasn’t voting for Trump. He didn’t say for whom he did vote, however.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:
Democrat Joe Biden has defeated President Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States. He won Pennsylvania on Saturday to exceed the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House. Biden also carried Nevada, Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan on his path to making Trump the first incumbent since George H.W. Bush to lose his bid for a second term.
— Biden wins White House, vowing new direction for divided US
— Harris becomes first Black woman, South Asian elected VP
— Joe Biden: Stumbles, tragedies and, now, delayed triumph
— Trump defied gravity; now falls back to earth, future TBD
— EXPLAINER: Why AP called the 2020 election for Joe Biden
WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer jointly called President-elect Joe Biden to congratulate him on a “tremendous” victory.
That’s according to a senior Democratic aide who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private conversation.
The aide described it as a “happy call.” Biden’s wife, Jill, also joined the conversation Saturday.
The aide says Pelosi and Schumer look forward to working with the new Democratic administration to achieve “great things” for the American people. The two did not get along with President Donald Trump.
Another senior Democratic aide says Schumer was celebrating on the streets of Brooklyn during the call and held up his phone so Biden could hear the crowds cheering for his “historic victory.” The aide also spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private call.
— By AP writer Lisa Mascaro
The highest-ranking Black member of Congress says he specifically advised President-elect Joe Biden to pick a Black woman as his running mate if he wanted to win the White House.
House House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn told CNN on Saturday, “I said to him in private that I thought that a lot of the results would turn on whether or not there would be a Black woman” on the ticket.
Of selecting California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate, Clyburn said, “I think it cemented his relationship to the Black community.”
Clyburn’s pivotal endorsement of Biden ahead of South Carolina’s early Democratic primary, the first in which Black voters played an outsize role, helped Biden develop the momentum that propelled him to successes in other primary and caucus contests, and ultimately to the Democratic nomination.
Leaders of the United States’ traditional Western allies are offering their congratulations to the incoming Joe Biden administration.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement Saturday that the U.S. is the United Kingdom’s “most important ally” and added that he looks “forward to working closely together on our shared priorities, from climate change to trade and security.”
Johnson also singled out Vice President-elect Kamala Harris for “her historic achievement” as the first woman, first Black woman and first person of South Asian descent to win national U.S. office.
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that “we have a lot to do to overcome today’s challenges. Let’s work together!”
And Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he’s eager to start “tackling the world’s greatest challenges together.”
All three men have had complicated and at times strained relationships with President Donald Trump.
Biden comes to the presidency with extensive foreign policy experience and said throughout his campaign that he’d immediately work to shore us U.S. relationships with traditional allies.
Former President Barack Obama says he “could not be prouder” to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
In a statement Saturday, Obama says Biden has “got what it takes to be President and already carries himself that way,” because he will enter the White House facing “a series of extraordinary challenges no incoming President ever has.”
Acknowledging that the election revealed the nation remains bitterly divided, Obama said, “I know he’ll do the job with the best interests of every American at heart, whether or not he had their vote.”
He adds: “I encourage every American to give him a chance and lend him your support.”
Biden served as Obama’s vice president for two terms.
Two former Democratic presidents are offering their congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Bill Clinton tweeted that “America has spoken and democracy has won.” The 42nd president also predicted Biden and Harris would “serve all of us and bring us all together.”
Jimmy Carter, the 39th president, said in a statement Saturday that he and his wife, Rosalynn, are “proud” of the Democrats’ “well-run campaign and seeing the positive change they bring to our nation.”
Neither Clinton nor Carter mentioned President Donald Trump in their congratulatory remarks.
Biden was a young Delaware senator when Carter served as president from 1977 to 1981. Biden had risen in the ranks to Senate Judiciary Committee chairman by Clinton’s presidency in the 1990s and led confirmation hearings for Clinton’s two Supreme Court nominees: Justice Stephen Breyer and the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The Trump administration has yet to formally begin the transition to President-elect Joe Biden.
A spokesperson for the General Services Administration said early Saturday afternoon that the administrator, Emily Murphy, has not formally ascertained that Biden is the “apparent winner” of the race. The Associated Press declared Biden the victor of the race late Saturday morning.
The formal ascertainment frees up millions of dollars and opens doors at federal agencies to Biden transition staffers to begin implementing transition plans.
The spokesperson says, “GSA and its Administrator will continue to abide by, and fulfill, all requirements under the law.”
For his part, President Donald Trump is not conceding the race and is promising unspecified legal challenges seeking to overturn the outcome of the race.
President-elect Joe Biden is planning to address the nation on Saturday night.
His presidential campaign announced that Biden and his wife, Jill, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff will appear at a drive-in rally outside the convention center in Wilmington, Delaware.
Biden clinched the White House over President Donald Trump late Saturday morning with a victory in Pennsylvania, the state where he was born. He later added Nevada to his column for a total of 290 electoral votes with three states uncalled.
The outdoor stage in Wilmington features projections of the Biden-Harris logo, colored lights and a line of towering American flags. Outside the security fence, people were already arriving with Biden campaign signs and chanting, “Joe! Joe!” and yelling, “We did it!” Cars in the area honked.
Across the country, there were parties and prayer after Democrat Joe Biden won the presidency.
In New York City, spontaneous block parties broke out Saturday. People ran out of their buildings, banging on pots. They danced and high-fived with strangers amid honking horns.
People streamed into Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House, waving sings and taking cellphone pictures.
In Lansing, Michigan, Donald Trump supporters and Black Lives Matter demonstrators filled the Capitol steps.
The lyrics to “Amazing Grace” began to echo through the crowd, and the Trump supporters put their hands on a counterprotester and prayed.
Hillary Clinton is congratulating the “history making ticket” of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris upon their victory over President Donald Trump.
Clinton, who lost to Trump in 2016, called the election “a repudiation of Trump, and a new page for America.”
Harris will become the first woman to hold national office. Clinton was the first woman to be a major party nominee for president. She won almost 3 million more votes than Trump but fell short in key battleground states to lose the Electoral College.
The Biden-Harris ticket was able to flip several of those states, including Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump is a “mandate for action.”
The Democratic leader said in a statement Saturday: “Today marks the dawning of a new day of hope for America.”
Pelosi called Biden’s vote tally a “historic victory.” She says President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will have a strong Democratic House majority “by their side.”
Biden clinched the White House with a victory in Pennsylvania, the state where he was born. He also won Nevada on Saturday.
Democrat Joe Biden has won Nevada, adding to his Electoral College victory over President Donald Trump.
Biden clinched Nevada on Saturday afternoon, shortly after he won the presidency by taking Pennsylvania.
Trump had made a strong play in Nevada, holding several rallies there in the final stretch of the campaign. Democrat Hillary Clinton narrowly won Nevada in 2016, and Republicans saw an opening to expand their electoral map.
The pandemic has pummeled Nevada’s tourism-dependent economy, especially, hampering Trump’s ability to make inroads in the state.
Nevada is also home to a large Hispanic population, a voting bloc that typically leans Democratic.
The last Republican presidential candidate to win Nevada was George W. Bush in 2004.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris says she and President-elect Joe Biden have a lot of work to do.
Harris made the comments in a tweet Saturday, shortly after Biden clinched the presidency by winning Pennsylvania.
She says, “This election is about so much more than Joe Biden or me. It’s about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it. We have a lot of work ahead of us.”
The California senator makes history with her election as vice president. She is the first woman, the first Black person and the first person of South Asian descent elected to the office.
President-elect Joe Biden says it’s time for America to “unite” and to “heal.”
Biden said in a statement Saturday, “With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation.”
“We are the United States of America,” he wrote. “And there’s nothing we can’t do, if we do it together.”
Biden made no mention of his opponent, President Donald Trump, who has not conceded the race.
Biden clinched the White House with a victory in Pennsylvania, the state where he was born. He will be the 46th president of the United States.
President Donald Trump is not conceding to President-elect Joe Biden, promising unspecified legal challenges seeking to overturn the outcome of the race for the White House.
Trump said in a statement that “our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.”
Trump was at his Virginia golf course when the presidential race was called for Biden on Saturday. Biden clinched his victory with a win in Pennsylvania, the state where he was born.
In recent weeks, Trump has alleged — without evidence — widespread fraud and misconduct in the election.
His comments have drawn bipartisan rebuke from election officials and lawmakers as dangerous attempts to undermine public confidence in the vote.
People cheered and pumped their fists along the Wilmington, Delaware, waterfront as the news that the presidential race had been called for the state’s former senator arrived on their cellphones.
The waterfront is just steps from the outdoor stage that Democrat Joe Biden erected on Election Day to celebrate victory.
On the water late Saturday morning, two men on a kayak yelled to a couple paddling by in the opposite direction, “Joe won! They called it!” as people on the shore whooped and hollered.
Biden’s campaign had not yet scheduled a victory celebration, but he was expected to take the stage for a drive-in rally after dark.
During a speech late Friday night, Biden said he would be declared the winner very soon, adding, “I hope to be talking to you tomorrow.
Democrat Joe Biden has won Pennsylvania, surpassing the 270 electoral vote threshold to take the White House and become the 46th president of the United States.
Biden also carried Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan on his path to the presidency, flipping states that President Donald Trump won in 2016.
Pennsylvania was a must-win state for Trump.
The 77-year-old Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and sought to contrast his working-class roots with the affluent Trump’s by casting the race as “Scranton versus Park Avenue.”
Biden’s victory came after more than three days of uncertainty as election officials sorted through a surge of mail-in votes that delayed the processing of some ballots.
Trump is the first incumbent president to lose reelection since Republican George H.W. Bush in 1992.
States are still counting votes in the presidential election, Democrat Joe Biden is on the verge of victory and President Donald Trump is at his Virginia golf club for the first time since the end of September.
Trump left the White House on Saturday morning and had on golf shoes, a windbreaker and a white hat.
The White House isn’t immediately responding to questions about the president’s possible golfing partners.
There were a few people with Biden flag banners outside the club entrance when Trump arrived.
Trump also has spent the morning tweeting about his unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud and illegal voting. Twitter hid four of the president’s tweets behind a warning label that they may contain disputed or misleading statements about the election.