McConnell congratulates Biden on election victory, draws criticism from some conservatives

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) congratulated President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Tuesday after the Electoral College elected them Monday, saying that “[t]he Electoral College has spoken”.

This is the first time that the influential Kentucky Republican acknowledged their 2020 election victory and comes as President Donald Trump and his allies refuse to concede, even after the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday struck down a case that had been seen as a last-ditch attempt from Texas and other states to overturn the results in a few swing states that went for Biden.

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“Yesterday electors met in all 50 states. So as of this morning, our country has officially a president-elect and a vice president-elect,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Tuesday.

“Our system of government has processes to determine who will be sworn in on Jan. 20. The Electoral College has spoken,” he said. “So today I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden.”

McConnell also offered some warm words to Biden and Harris, saying that the former is “no stranger to the Senate, he’s devoted himself to public service for many years.” The longtime Republican leader also acknowledged the history made by Harris being elected as the first female vice president, remarking, “Beyond our differences, all Americans can take pride that our nation has a female vice president-elect for the very first time.”

While McConnell said many Americans had hoped the election would produce a different result, saying that “many of us hoped that the presidential election would yield a different result, but our system of government has processes to determine who will be sworn in on January 20.”

He also praised President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, listing GOP victories from the past four years, including things such as the 2017 tax cuts and the confirmation of three Supreme Court justices.

“The outsider who swore he would shake up Washington and lead our country to new accomplishments, both at home and abroad, proceeded to do exactly that,” McConnell said of the outgoing president.

The White House was informed that the top Senate Republican would be delivering the remarks he gave on Tuesday in his floor speech, two people familiar with the process told The Wall Street Journal.

Additionally, McConnell’s statement comes after other top Senate Republicans on Monday acknowledged their election victory following the Electoral College’s certification.

On a Tuesday conference call, McConnell and others in the Republican leadership reportedly urged their fellow Republicans to not to engage in any attempts to object to certifying Biden’s election win in the January 6 joint session of Congress, two sources on the call told Axios in a Tuesday report.

Many conservative figures across Twitter reacted angrily to McConnell and other top Senate Republicans acknowledging Biden’s victory, with some figures using profanity, such as Ron Perlman.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.