pcloudy.png
Tuesday May 18th, 2021 7:19PM

Biden tells Georgia he needs a Democratic Senate to govern

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden told Georgia voters on Tuesday they must deliver two Democratic Senate runoffs victories in January so his administration can forcefully confront the coronavirus pandemic and other national challenges.

Fresh off the Electoral College affirming his victory, Biden campaigned alongside Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock as they try to unseat Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in Jan. 5 runoff elections that will determine which party controls the Senate. The president-elect, who won Georgia in November, warned that Republican victories would leave him to face the kind of GOP obstruction that hampered former President Barack Obama for most of his two terms.

“We can get so much done, so much that can make the lives of the people of Georgia and the whole country so much better,” Biden said at a drive-in rally outside downtown Atlanta on the second day of early voting. “And we need senators who are willing to do it, for God’s sake.”

Biden criticized Perdue and Loeffler as “roadblocks” for not supporting a sweeping new economic aid package as the coronavirus pandemic surges. In contrast, he said Ossoff and Warnock would “fight for progress and not just get in the way.”

“Are you ready to vote for two United States senators who know how to say the word ‘yes’ and not just ‘no’?” Biden said as supporters gathered in the railroad yard honked their horns.

Hours earlier in Washington, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged for the first time that Biden had defeated President Donald Trump after spending weeks muted about the president’s false claims that Biden stole the election through widespread voter fraud. In fact, elections officials across the country, including some Georgia Republicans, vouched for the integrity of the voting process and tabulations.

Perdue and Loeffler have not yet publicly acknowledged Biden is president-elect, and they've joined Trump in questioning the integrity of the election results in Georgia and in other battleground states Biden won.

Loeffler tweeted midday Tuesday: “I will never stop fighting for @realDonaldTrump because he has never stopped fighting for us!” The two senators' campaign aides did not respond to a fresh inquiry Tuesday asking whether they acknowledge the reality of Biden's election.

Biden mocked Perdue and Loeffler for publicly backing a failed lawsuit by Texas essentially asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the election results in Georgia and other battlegrounds. The nation's highest court rejected the request unanimously.

“They fully embraced nullifying nearly 5 million Georgia votes,” said Biden, the first Democratic presidential nominee to win the state since 1992. “Maybe your senators were just confused. Maybe they think they represent Texas. Well, if you want to do the bidding of Texas, you should be running in Texas.”

Biden edged Trump in Georgia by about 12,000 votes out of the 5 million cast, a turnout increase of about 850,000 over 2016. There's an expectation of some dropoff for the second round, though political observers expect a record runoff turnout. The first day of early voting Monday offered mixed results. According to the secretary of state's office, 23% more people cast in-person ballots on Monday than on the opening early voting day in October. But according to an analysis by Ryan Anderson, a nonpartisan data analyst in Atlanta, the number of returned absentee ballots so far is about 37% lower than during the general election.

Despite their reticence to accept Biden's victory, Republicans have tacitly acknowledged Biden's win in the way they talk about the importance of the runoffs. Perdue, Loeffler and their allies have issued dire warnings that a Democratic Senate would ensure a leftward lurch in the federal government. Democrats would need to win both Georgia seats to force a 50-50 Senate, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would be the tiebreaking vote.

Republicans need one of the two Georgia seats for McConnell to remain majority leader and set the Senate agenda. McConnell has repeatedly described himself as the barrier for Democrats’ policy ideas on health care, overhauling the nation’s energy grid and reducing the carbon pollution that causes climate change, among other matters.

Democrats in Georgia have not been as eager as their Republican rivals to embrace the nationalization of the runoffs, partly because Democratic victories in the longtime GOP stronghold still involve a patchwork coalition that ranges from progressives and liberals in the metro areas to moderate suburbanites and small-town residents who dislike Trump but may be more reticent about Democrats controlling Capitol Hill and the White House.

Speaking before Biden, Ossoff took on the matter most directly. “If Mitch McConnell controls the Senate, they’re going to try to do to Joe and Kamala just like they tried to do President Obama,” he said, alluding to McConnell's years of blocking legislation and Obama's court appointments. “They will block the COVID relief that we need. They will block the $15 minimum wage. They will block the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act that we need. They will block affordable health care. We can’t let that happen, Georgia.”

Warnock declared the outcome a “a matter of life and death” because of COVID-19 relief and health care legislation, though he didn't explicitly mention McConnell or Senate control.

Biden also used the trip to catch up with key supporters who helped him win Georgia. He praised voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams, Democrats' 2018 candidate for governor, for her years of organizing work that registered hundreds of thousands of new voters. He also singled out Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who gave Biden one of his earliest high-profile endorsements in 2019.

After he spoke, Biden huddled with Bottoms, who has been mentioned for various Cabinet posts, before departing.

___

Associated Press writer Kate Brumback in Atlanta contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Presidential Election News, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Online Headlines - Georgia News, AP Elections - Political Conventions, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Biden tells Georgia he needs a Democratic Senate to govern
President-elect Joe Biden is telling Georgia voters that they must deliver two Democratic Senate runoffs victories so his administration can confront the coronavirus pandemic and other national challenges
5:11PM ( 2 minutes ago )
Mrs. Trump visits children's hospital, a holiday tradition
Melania Trump isn't letting the coronavirus pandemic halt a decadeslong tradition of first ladies visiting a Washington, D
5:06PM ( 8 minutes ago )
US vaccinations ramp up as 2nd COVID-19 shot nears
Hundreds more U.S. hospitals have started inoculating their workers as a second COVID-19 vaccine moves toward government authorization
5:02PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Biden tells Georgia that GOP Senate would block his agenda
President-elect Joe Biden is telling Georgia voters that they must deliver two Democratic Senate runoffs victories so his administration can confront the coronavirus pandemic and other national challenges
4:23PM ( 51 minutes ago )
The Latest: Appalachian hospital in Ky. vaccinates workers
The new COVID-19 vaccine has arrived at an Appalachian hospital in Kentucky, and medical workers have received the first injections
4:21PM ( 53 minutes ago )
Does Electoral College end election for conservative media?
The Electoral College vote could be a tipping point for many in the conservative media: Do they continue echoing President Donald Trump's no-retreat stance, or do they begin moving on
4:13PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
The Latest: McEnany says Electoral College vote 'one step'
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany is describing Monday’s Electoral College vote confirming Joe Biden as the nation’s next president as just “one step in the constitutional process.”
1:50PM ( 3 hours ago )
GOP leader McConnell finally acknowledges Biden won election
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has finally acknowledged that Democrat Joe Biden won the presidential election
1:26PM ( 3 hours ago )
GOP leader McConnell congratulates Biden as president-elect
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell congratulated Democrat Joe Biden on Tuesday as the president-elect
10:55AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
The Latest: 4th Ga. Republican representative tests positive
U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk has tested positive for COVID-19
2:46PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP sources: Biden picks Buttigieg as transportation chief
President-elect Joe Biden is expected to pick former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg to head the transportation department
2:09PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Emanuel back in mix for Biden administration job
Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is back in the mix for a job in the Biden administration, including consideration for high-level diplomatic postings
10:15AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Elections
The Latest: Biden says election workers showed courage
President-elect Joe Biden says local election officials and workers endured threats of violence and verbal abuse while ensuring that democracy prevailed in the November election
7:56PM ( 21 hours ago )
The Latest: Biden says Trump should accept his defeat
President-elect Joe Biden says his Electoral College victory of the same magnitude as President Donald Trump’s in 2016 is a signal that the current president should finally accept his own defeat in this year’s election
7:45PM ( 21 hours ago )
The Latest: Graham says he had 'pleasant' chat with Biden
One of President Donald Trump’s closest congressional allies says he’s talked with President-elect Joe Biden and will “be helpful where I can.”
6:51PM ( 22 hours ago )
General Presidential Election News
Electors meeting to formally choose Biden as next president
Presidential electors coast to coast are casting the votes that will choose Joe Biden as the nation’s next president, a formality that has taken on added importance this year because of President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede he lost his race for reelection
3:06PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Wisconsin casts its 10 electoral votes for Biden
Wisconsin has cast its 10 Electoral College votes for Democrat Joe Biden
2:25PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Republicans mad about Biden's win hold side vote
Some Republicans who refuse to acknowledge the reality of President-elect Joe Biden’s win are meeting to cast ceremonial votes for President Donald Trump
1:22PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections - Political Conventions
Loeffler campaign condemns photo with white supremacist
The campaign of Georgia Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler is condemning a photo circulating on social media of her posing with a longtime white supremacist at a recent campaign event
5:19PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Biden to campaign in Georgia for Senate runoffs
President-elect Joe Biden is heading to Georgia to campaign for the Democratic candidates in the state’s two critical U.S. Senate runoffs
8:36AM ( 5 days ago )
Trump looks past Supreme Court loss to new election lawsuit
President Donald Trump says his campaign will join an improbable case before the Supreme Court challenging election results in Pennsylvania and other states that he lost
4:52PM ( 6 days ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Mrs. Trump visits children's hospital, a holiday tradition
Melania Trump isn't letting the coronavirus pandemic halt a decadeslong tradition of first ladies visiting a Washington, D
5:06PM ( 8 minutes ago )
US vaccinations ramp up as 2nd COVID-19 shot nears
Hundreds more U.S. hospitals have started inoculating their workers as a second COVID-19 vaccine moves toward government authorization
5:02PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Gloria Gaynor to perform at Times Square New Year's Eve
The New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square will be a celebration of perseverance, honoring essential workers and featuring Gloria Gaynor singing her anthem, "I Will Survive."
4:46PM ( 28 minutes ago )
Boko Haram claims abduction of students in northern Nigeria
Rebels from the Boko Haram extremist group claimed responsibility for abducting hundreds of boys from a school in Nigeria’s northern Katsina State last week
4:44PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Chiefs lead AP Pro32 poll; Packers at No. 2, Bills at No. 3
The Kansas City Chiefs are still on top in the latest AP Pro32 poll
4:40PM ( 34 minutes ago )