President-elect Joe Biden questioned Donald Trump’s ongoing election challenges, saying the outgoing chief executive spends most of his time “whining and complaining” rather than doing “the work” of his office.
“The president spends more time whining and complaining than doing something about the problem,” Mr Biden said at a campaign stop before two runoff elections in Georgia that will determine which party controls the Senate, referring to the slow Covid-19 vaccine distribution process.
“I don’t know why he still wants the job, he doesn’t want to do the work,” the incoming president said of Mr Trump’s efforts to try to create a path to a second term.
His comments came a day after a recording of a Saturday phone conversation between Mr Trump and Georgia state elections officials surfaced during which he told those state leaders he wanted them to help him “find” nearly 12,000 votes needed to win the state. Even some GOP lawmakers who typically side with the president have criticized him for appearing to press state officials to help him unfairly win a state and increase his Electoral College vote tally.
Mr Biden was declared the winner of the presidential contest in Georgia once the votes were all counted – then again after two statewide recounts. He noted that as he openly mocked the man he will replace in 16 days.
“We won three times here. Each recount,” Mr Biden said. “I think we should count it as three states.”
With control of the Senate on the line – Democrats need to win both races to take the gavel – the longtime Delaware senator told voters in Atlanta they have a chance to put their stamp on the next two years.
“This is it,” he said. “Tomorrow can be a new day for the United States and for Georgia.”
“Georgia, the whole nation is looking to you. … The power is literally in your hands. One state can chart the course, not just for the next four years, but for the next generation,” Mr Biden said even though a substantial number of Senate seats are up in the 2022 midterm elections.
His comments came in Atlanta, where Democrats are hopeful for a big turnout to offset a possible large conservative turnout in rural areas. Mr Trump will be in the state later Monday, for a 9 p.m. rally in Dalton.
Polls taken just before and after Christmas suggest both Senate runoffs are dead heats. Some gave the two GOP candidates slight leads, and others put the Democrats ahead. But each margin fell well within each survey’s error range, meaning the races look neck-and-neck weeks after the longtime red state was won by Mr Biden.
Though Mr Biden has uttered or tweeted tens of thousands of false and misleading statements during his term, drawing rebukes from Mr Biden and others, the president-elect seemed to stretch the realm of the possible if Democrats win both races on Tuesday.
A Senate in Democratic hands could “end the block in Washington on that $2,000 stimulus check,” he claimed. In reality, Democrats would have the slimmest of majorities, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris casting any tie-breaking votes. Unless the 60-vote requirement for legislation were scrapped, Democrats always would need at least 10 Republicans to vote with them
“You can break the gridlock that has gripped Washington and this nation,” he said, again making a promise that seemed detached from political realities.
Wednesday is about helping “get the states the resources they need to get the vaccines delivered,” he said, suggesting reaching another Covid relief deal would be easy while even those leaders that have been involved in previous rounds of negotiations have said the opposite.
But Mr Biden continued to sharply criticize the outgoing administration, saying “we knew it” about the logistical challenges of delivering the vaccines.
“It’s a literal shame what’s happening,” he said after Trump officials last week admitted their are tens of thousands of injected vaccines off their initial goals.