Stating that the American presidential election was “fundamentally fair” and its “outcome clear”, former US President George W Bush extended “warm congratulations” to President-elect Joe Biden.
Bush also congratulated President Donald Trump on a “hard-fought” campaign and an “extraordinary political achievement” of earning the votes of more than 70 million Americans. He said Trump has the right to request recounts and pursue legal challenges.
In a statement issued by Bush’s presidential center, the two-term Republican President said, “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. 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. The President-elect reiterated that while he ran as a Democrat, he will govern for all Americans. 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,” he added.
Further, he stated, “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.”
On the vote, he said, “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. 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.”
Bush urged Americans to come together. “The challenges that face our country will demand the best of President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris – and the best of us all. We must come together for the sake of our families and neighbors, and for our nation and its future.”
Meanwhile, US first lady Melania Trump has told Trump to accept the loss, according to a source, quoted by CNN.
Also, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has approached him to concede, two sources told CNN. The first lady, according to a separate source familiar with the conversations, has privately said the time has come for him to accept the election loss, the report said.
In a statement, Trump said the election is “far from over” and Biden is “rushing to falsely pose as the winner”.
“We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed. The simple fact is this election is far from over,” Trump said.
“I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands,” he added.