U.S. President-elect Joe Biden delivered a blistering rebuke of Donald Trump as Biden spoke after 306 electors confirmed his victory in the 3 November election.
He blasted Trump and some of his Republican backers for mounting an “extreme” and “unprecedented assault on our democracy.”
And he expected him to turn the page after exhausting all the avenues to upturn the election.
“In America, politicians don’t take power — the people grant it to them,” Biden said, in a speech in which he constantly cleared his throat and also remembered victims of the pandemic raging in America..
He described Trump’s claims of a “rigged election” “unconscionable,” saying on the contrary, the 2020 election was “honest, and it was free and fair.”
He hailed state and local officials who endured death and other threats of violence from Trump’s supporters and who refused to be bullied.
“It was truly remarkable.” he said.
Biden’s overall message was that democracy worked in America, as electors across the country made his victory official.
“Our democracy — pushed, tested, threatened — proved to be resilient, true and strong,” Biden said.
With more than 81 million votes cast for him and Kamala Harris, amidst the pandemic, he called the turnout in the election a “number so big that this election now ranks as the clearest demonstration of the true will of the American people.
“One of the most amazing demonstrations of civic duty we’ve ever seen in our country. It should be celebrated, not attacked.”
Trump’s actions, which include making false claims that the election was rigged, have raised concerns over instability as his supporters refuse to accept the results.
Biden, however, noted that his 306 electoral votes was the same number that Trump won in 2016, which Trump declared a “landslide.”
“By his own standards, these numbers represented a clear victory then, and I respectfully suggest they do so now,” Biden said.
Listen to the speech: