On Friday, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris posted new fundraising ads on social media, and commenters were appalled. The requests said that the Biden-Harris team needs help funding the presidential transition while President Donald Trump refuses to cooperate with the process. Americans all along the political spectrum thought that this was unpresidential behavior from Biden.
Trump's refusal to concede the 2020 presidential election is now showing real-world consequences, impeding both his and Biden's teams from responding to the coronavirus pandemic effectively. Typically, the incumbent president would facilitate a smooth transition, allowing his staffers to work with their successors to keep the government running smoothly. Without this help, Biden's burgeoning team may not be prepared to accept its new responsibilities in January.
Typically, the funds Biden needs for the transition process would be released by the General Services Administration (GSA), but since Trump has not conceded to Biden's victory, that money remains in limbo. Sources close to GSA head Emily Murphy told CNN that she feels like she is in "a no-win situation" when it comes to certifying the election results and releasing the funds.
However, even staunch supporters of Biden were put off by the new fund-raising push, wondering if asking for small-dollar donations was a practical or necessary solution. Some thought that the Biden team was over-estimating Americans' panic about Trump's refusal to concede.
Others aimed their ire at Trump, calling on him to act mature and release the funds as usual. However, Trump continues to promote unfounded conspiracy theories about widespread voter fraud on a scale that could impact the election results, with no evidence whatsoever.
All in all, Biden's fund-raising call seemed to strike the wrong chord with Americans on both sides of the election. Here is a look at what the responders had to say.
Where's your billionaire sugar daddies at— 🌃🌆 Neph, who is on vacation 🌌🌠 (@nephrastar) November 21, 2020
why you asking me pic.twitter.com/hndXPkeHro— Anarchist Jurisdiction CEO (@koush) November 20, 2020
Critics suggested that Biden and Harris should ask lobbyists for help with the transition before the American people themselves. Some pointed out interest groups that had invested in the campaign whose motives they thought were dubious.prevnext
OH NO! Seriously? @SenKamalaHarris this is a bad road to start out on!— Sherri Henry (@SherriHenry66) November 21, 2020
I am 100% Biden blue but you all better take this one back. The Constitution provides ways and means for this issue. It’s called CONGRESS! I can appreciate compassion but Trump needs to be charged!
Many of the most genuine responses came from earnest supporters of Biden and Harris, who could see from a long way off that this kind of fundraising would get backlash. They questioned why the president-elect would resort to this tactic so quickly.prevnext
This is pure BS.— 🌊Sheryl Lynne 💛 #GeorgiaOnMyMind (@shossy2) November 21, 2020
This has never happened in our history - an incumbent blocking a transition all because he's a petulant spoiled toddler who wants revenge on those that spoke out against him & proved he was the #WorstPresidentEver. @GSAEmily needs to release the funds NOW! https://t.co/4nKkxub33S
Many directed their outrage not at Biden, Harris or even Trump, but at the U.S. General Services Administration head Emily Murphy, who is technically responsible for releasing the transition funds to Biden. They called on Murphy to release the funds in spite of her protest of pressure from within the Trump administration.prevnext
Since you and Joe are married adults with no dependents, your 80 million voters should contribute $0.000075 each. That should get you $6000 per year apiece, same as you offered low-income families for the LIFT act. https://t.co/SvnCYUOPZK— Obeah Man from Moore Town (@andraydomise) November 21, 2020
Some critics reached deep into Biden and Harris' legislative history to suggest that they get the same kind of financial aid they've approved for the American people in the past.prevnext
Translation: Aye man I’m gonna start this new job in January. Let me hold something till then I’ll pay you back with my first pay check. https://t.co/6g6bVoDljt— Kevín (@KevOnStage) November 21, 2020
Some also joked that the request sounded familiar, likening it to a friend of family member that frequently asks to borrow money. They joked that Biden just needs a little support until he starts his new job in January.prevnext
You have billionaires, lobbyists from top most profitable insurance companies, and Wall Street banks on your team. Why are you asking voters still waiting on stimulus relief for money?— TaRiQ 4 Assange🌹🎰🧬 (@Tee_Alkhazin) November 20, 2020
Nope. This country had plenty of money. We have miles of people waiting in lines who aren’t eating. We are not paying for it and don’t ask again. I thought you were different— Jeannette Sarpola (@zsazu) November 21, 2020
Many critics were quick to remind Biden that the American people have been waiting on a second stimulus bill since May, while other countries around the world have already sorted their coronavirus responses out. They said that they could not give him money while they were in such dire straits.prevnext
Didn't you raise $1 billion? Is it all gone? Will you be reimbursed once Trump's stunt ends? Will you pay donors back? Do you take us for fools?— Margaret Kimberley (@freedomrideblog) November 20, 2020
Finally, critics noted that under usual circumstances, the American people would not be asked to fund the transition out of pocket, so they wondered if Biden planned to repay donors once the appropriate GSA funds were released. If that wasn't part of the plan, they were not eager to donate.prev