On Sunday, former President George W. Bush publicly congratulated presumptive President-elect Joe Biden on winning the 2020 presidential election. Biden's victory has been projected by The Associated Press and most other major news outlets, though the president himself is still contesting it. Around noon, the second last Republican president before Trump weighed in.
"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," Bush wrote. "I also called Kamala Harris to congratulate her on her historic election to the vice presidency. 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."
Bush adds: “President Trump has the right to request recounts and pursue legal challenges, and any unresolved issues will be properly adjudicated.” pic.twitter.com/Sl8B514lfP— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) November 8, 2020
Bush made direct references to Biden's victory speech on Saturday night, sometimes addressing the same ideas but from the opposite angle. He seemed to reach out to Republican voters and Trump supporters, calling on them to accept Biden and look for common ground.
"The President-elect reiterated that while he ran as a Democrat, he will govern for all Americans," he wrote. "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. 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."
Bush also tackled the ongoing issue of Trump's denial of the election results and his legal challenges to various elected officials. He advised the nation at large to let these election results play out, but seemed to suggest that he didn't believe they would bear fruit for Trump.
"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," he wrote. "No matter how you voted, your vote counted. 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."
There remain many votes to be counted and recounts in some states, along with the Trump campaign's legal challenges. However, contrary to Trump's statements, there is no evidence of voter fraud whatsoever, and there is nothing to suggest that any of these measures will earn Trump the number of electoral college votes needed to change the results of the election.