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Biden during Georgia rally blasts Trump's 'whining and complaining'

The Hill logo The Hill 1/4/2021 Jonathan Easley
Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie: Biden during Georgia rally blasts Trump's 'whining and complaining' © The Hill Biden during Georgia rally blasts Trump's 'whining and complaining'

President-elect Joe Biden blasted President Trump for "whining and complaining" about the election outcome and urged voters in Georgia to deliver a Senate majority to Democrats ahead of the state's Tuesday runoff election that will determine the balance of power in the upper chamber.

Speaking at a rally on Monday in Atlanta for Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, Biden accused former Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) of putting their loyalty to Trump ahead of the people of Georgia.

Biden also fumed at Trump over the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine, saying it had gotten off to a "God-awful start." He accused the president of spending his time obsessing over his election loss rather than addressing the pandemic that has ravaged the nation.

"Getting America vaccinated will be one of the most difficult operational challenges this nation has faced, but we've known that for months and this administration has gotten off to a God-awful start," Biden said. "The president spends more time whining and complaining than doing something about the problem. I don't know why he still wants the job. He doesn't want to do the work."

Biden did not specifically mention Trump's phone call over the weekend in which he pressured Georgia's secretary of state to "find" enough votes to change the outcome of the election, or the GOP senators who will be joining an effort to contest the Electoral College vote on Wednesday.

But Biden implicitly rebuked Trump and his GOP allies for their claims of election fraud and for their plans to contest the Electoral College vote when Congress meets to certify the election results on Wednesday.

"Politicians cannot assert, take or seize power. It is given, granted by the American people alone and we can never give that up," Biden said. "It's always the will of the people that must prevail, so today, tomorrow, go vote."

Biden won Georgia by about 11,000 votes, becoming the first Democrat to carry the state since 1992. Trump has claimed that he only lost the state because of widespread election fraud, although his campaign's legal challenges have almost all been roundly rejected by the courts. The president has since gone to war with Georgia's Republican governor, Brian Kemp, and secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, accusing them of not doing enough to root out fraud.

That tension came to a head over the weekend, when an hourlong phone call in which the president pressured Raffensperger to "find" more GOP votes leaked to the press.

Biden on Monday accused Perdue and Loeffler of enabling Trump's efforts to overturn the election.

"You have two senators who think their loyalty is to Trump, not to Georgia, who think they swore an oath to Donald Trump and not the U.S. Constitution," Biden said.

"I got elected when I was 29 and six more times as a U.S. senator from Delaware and not once did I think I took an oath to any president, Democrat or Republican," he continued. "I took an oath to the U.S. Constitution, and as president I don't believe your U.S. senators will work for me. They'll work for the people for Georgia. I'm not asking your senators to be loyal to me, but to be loyal to you and the U.S. Constitution, period. If you vote for John and the reverend that's what you'll get. ... They won't put a president or the party first, they'll put you first."

Georgia's Senate runoffs appear headed for the wire. Democrats must win both races to get to 50 seats in the Senate, which would allow Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to cast tie-breaking votes. If Republicans win just one of the races, they'll have a majority.

Biden on Monday pleaded with voters to give Democrats the majority, saying that if they win both races the Congress will quickly pass a bill that sends a $2,000 coronavirus stimulus check to eligible Americans.

"If you send Perdue and Loeffler back to Washington, those checks will never get there, it's that simple," Biden said. "The power is in your hands. By electing John and the reverend, you can break the gridlock that has gripped Washington and this nation."

More than 3 million people have already voted early in the runoff election.

Democrats are optimistic, as there appears to be an early surge among Black voters and in parts of the state that broke for Biden in November.

Republicans believe their voters will turn out in force on Election Day in the traditionally red state.

Trump will hold a rally in rural Dalton on Monday night.

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