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Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Some elected Republicans are breaking ranks with President Trump to acknowledge that President-elect Biden won the 2020 presidential election.

Why it matters: The relative sparsity of acknowledgements highlights Trump's lasting power in the GOP, as his campaign moves to file multiple lawsuits alleging voter fraud in key swing states — despite the fact that there have been no credible allegations of any widespread fraud anywhere in the U.S.

Senators:
  • Sen. Susan Collins (Maine): "I would offer my congratulations to President-elect Biden on his apparent victory. ... I urge people to be patient. The process has not failed our country in more than 200 years, and it is not going to fail our country this year."
  • Sen. John Cornyn (Texas), when asked by reporters if Biden would be the next president: "I haven't seen anything that would change the outcome."
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska): "I congratulate President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris and will be ready to work with their administration when it takes office."
  • Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah): "Ann and I extend our congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. We know both of them as people of good will and admirable character. We pray that God may bless them in the days and years ahead."
  • Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), when asked by reporters about a new national intelligence director in the incoming Biden administration: "That'll be the president-elect's decision."
  • Sen. Ben Sasse (Neb.): "Today in our house we pray for both President Trump and President-Elect Biden, that both would be wise in the execution of their respective duties during this important time in our nation."
  • Sen. Pat Toomey (Pa.) congratulated Biden and said: "President Trump has exhausted all plausible legal options to challenge the result of the presidential race in Pennsylvania. ... To ensure that he is remembered for these outstanding accomplishments, and to help unify our country, President Trump should accept the outcome of the election and facilitate the presidential transition process."
  • Sen. Bill Cassidy (La.): "With Michigan’s certifying it’s results, Joe Biden has over 270 electoral college votes. President Trump’s legal team has not presented evidence of the massive fraud which would have had to be present to overturn the election. I voted for President Trump but Joe Biden won."
  • Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.): "Since it seems apparent that Joe Biden will be the president-elect, my hope is that President Trump will take pride in his considerable accomplishments, put the country first and have a prompt and orderly transition to help the new administration succeed. When you are in public life, people remember the last thing you do.”

Partial acknowledgments:

  • Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio) called for the General Services Administration to release funds for the Biden transition: "Based on all the information currently available, neither the final lawful vote counts nor the recounts have led to a different outcome in any state. In other words, the initial determination showing Joe Biden with enough electoral votes to win has not changed."
  • Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (W.V.): "I have been clear that President Trump like any candidate for office has the right to request recounts and to raise legal claims before our courts. However, at some point, the 2020 election must end. … If states certify the results as they currently stand, Vice President Joe Biden will be our next president and Senator Kamala Harris will be our next vice president.”
Governors:
  • Gov. Charlie Baker (Mass.): "I congratulate President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris on their victory. This has been a long and divisive campaign, but now it is critical for us all to focus on the very real and immediate challenges facing this nation."
  • Gov.-elect Spencer Cox (Utah): "Abby and I wish a heart-felt congratulations to @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris on the election call today. Thank you for your commitment to unite us all."
  • Gov. Mike DeWine (Ohio): "Joe Biden is the president-elect."
  • Gov. Larry Hogan (Md.): "Congratulations to President-elect Biden. Everyone should want our president to succeed because we need our country to succeed."
  • Gov. Asa Hutchinson (Ark.): "I expect Joe Biden to be the next president of the United States. It was good, actually, to see President Trump tweet out 'he won.' I think that’s the start of an acknowledgment."
  • Gov. Phil Scott (Vt.): "I want to congratulate President-elect Biden ... we must do all we can to heal our nation."
  • Gov. Chris Sununu (N.H.): "Joe Biden is the president-elect."
  • Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey: "I've said several times Arizona is a good-government states. I trust our election system. There's integrity in our election system. Joe Biden did win Arizona. I think it's a 10,300-vote margin or approximately three-tenths of a percent..." he said during an interview with KTAR radio in Phoenix.
Representatives:
  • Rep. Don Bacon (Neb.): "I believe the handwriting is on the wall that Joe Biden has been elected as the next President."
  • Rep. Will Hurd (Texas): "More unites us than divides us; we can find common ground. I hope the president-elect can embody this."
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.): "Sofia and I extend our congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Our nation deserves two competing parties who can work together when possible, and compete honorably when not."
  • Rep. Paul Mitchell (Mich.): "Congratulations to President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris. This election was hard-fought by both candidates and ultimately the voters chose them for the job."
  • Rep. Tom Reed (N.Y.): "We must continue to transparently count and certify all of the American people's votes to its complete conclusion. ... However, out of respect and in deference to the moment, I extend my congratulations to President-elect Biden."
  • Rep. Denver Riggleman (Va.): "Christine and I extend congratulations and well wishes to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris."
  • Rep. Francis Rooney (Fla.): "Congratulations to [President-elect] Biden on a successful campaign. All Americans need to come together to support [President-elect] Biden. Our nation will only be successful if the new admin is."
  • Rep. John Shimkus (Ill.): "Even though I supported his opponent, I wish President-elect Joe Biden well."
  • Rep. Fred Upton (Mich.): "I am raising my hand and committing to working with President-elect Biden and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in Congress."
  • Rep. Don Young (Alaska) wished Biden well, adding: "I call on President-elect Biden to listen carefully to those who did not vote for him."
  • Rep. John Curtis (Utah): "Until a judicial decision determines wrongdoing, Joe Biden should be acknowledged as the President-Elect."
  • Rep. Dusty Johnson (S.D.): "I supported the President’s right to make his case to the courts. These efforts have not been successful, and it’s time for the administration to begin the transition process."
  • Rep. Steve Stivers (Ohio): "President Trump has exhausted the due process offered to all candidates.  I offer my congratulations to President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris."

Of note: Non-elected Republicans that have acknowledged Biden as the next president include former President George W. Bush, former House Speaker Paul Ryan, former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and the late Arizona Sen. John McCain's wife, Cindy McCain.

  • Former Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said she believes Biden and Harris "will prevail," while former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale acknowledged his former boss has lost.

This post will continue to be updated with additional comments.

Go deeper

The week the Trump show ended

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Donald Trump was eclipsed in media attention last week by President Biden for the first time since Trump took office, according to viewership data on the internet, on social media and on cable news.

Why it matters: After Trump crowded out nearly every other news figure and topic for five years, momentum of the new administration took hold last week and the former president retreated, partly by choice and partly by being forced off the big platforms.

Jan 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy
Scoop

White House plots "full-court press" for $1.9 trillion relief plan

National Economic Council director Brian Deese speaks during a White House news briefing. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Biden White House is deploying top officials to get a wide ideological spectrum of lawmakers, governors and mayors on board with the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The broad, choreographed effort shows just how crucially Biden views the stimulus to the nation's recovery and his own political success.

Young people want checks on Big Tech's power

Data: Generation Lab; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The next generation of college-educated Americans thinks social media companies have too much power and influence on politics and need more government regulation, according to a new survey by Generation Lab for Axios.

Why it matters: The findings follow an election dominated by rampant disinformation about voting fraud on social media; companies' fraught efforts to stifle purveyors of disinformation including former President Trump; and a deadly Jan. 6 insurrection over the election organized largely online.

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