2020 Latest: Biden, Harris, families on stage for fireworks
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the presidential campaign (all times local):
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris brought their entire families on-stage with them to close out their victory party on Saturday night.
After delivering speeches outside of the Chase Center in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, the two were joined by their families to watch as red white and blue fireworks exploded in the sky. A collection of drones spelling out “USA” and outlining Biden’s logo flashed in the sky, prompting the Democrat to gaze at the sky with his mouth wide in delight. Biden’s wife Jill, seven grandkids, his son Hunter and daughter Ashley all gathered around him as the family enjoyed the display.
Harris, meanwhile, was joined by her sister Maya, her niece Meena and her husband, Doug Emhoff, as well as her two stepchildren. Harris wrapped her arms around a younger grand-niece as they watched the celebration, with more than 1,000 supporters dancing and waving American flags and Biden campaign signs. It was a celebratory ending to a day that was otherwise largely spent by the two Democrats waiting and watching as final returns rolled in.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:
Democrat Joe Biden has defeated President Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States. He won Pennsylvania on Saturday to exceed the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House. Biden also carried Nevada, Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan on his path to making Trump the first incumbent since George H.W. Bush to lose his bid for a second term.
— Biden wins White House, vowing new direction for divided US
— Harris becomes first Black woman, South Asian elected VP
— Joe Biden: Stumbles, tragedies and, now, delayed triumph
— Trump defied gravity; now falls back to earth, future TBD
— EXPLAINER: Why AP called the 2020 election for Joe Biden
WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON:
Joe Biden will unveil a group of scientists and experts to help him craft a plan to tackle the coronavirus pandemic on Monday.
Biden announced his plans to launch the COVID-19 task force during remarks at his victory party Saturday night. He said those advisers would help him take the proposals he’s released during the campaign for dealing with the pandemic — which include investments in personal protective equipment and loans for small businesses as well as plans to implement more standardized public health guidelines — and turn those proposals into a “blueprint” that he’ll enact when inaugurated president next January.
Biden said the plan would be “built on bedrock science” and “constructed out of compassion, empathy and concern.” Biden made President Donald Trump’s mishandling of the pandemic a central focus of his campaign and pledged that his top priority as president would be managing the virus.
Biden said that “our work begins with getting COVID under control” , adding Americans “cannot repair the economy, restore our economy or relish life’s most precious moments” without doing so.
In his first speech after securing the White House, President-elect Joe Biden is making an appeal to supporters of President Donald Trump.
Biden said Saturday night in Wilmington, Delaware, that “this is the time to heal in America” and pledged to be a president to represent even those who didn’t support him.
Noting”I’ve lost a couple times myself,” Biden said, “now, let’s give each other a chance.”
Trump has not conceded the race to Biden, pursuing legal challenges over ballot counts in several states.
Biden said “it’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again,” saying of his political opponents, “they are not our enemies. They are Americans.”
Joe Biden is pledging to be a president “who seeks not to divide but to unify.”
Biden is delivering his first remarks as president-elect at a victory party in Wilmington, after he was officially declared the winner of the presidential election on Saturday. Biden jogged onto the stage wearing a black suit, black mask and light blue tie. He pointed and waved at the screaming crowd gathered to hear him speak.
Echoing his campaign stump speech, Biden promised to be a president who “doesn’t see red states or blue states, only sees the United States,” and said he would work “with all my heart” to win the confidence of all Americans.
Biden touted the fact that he’s won more votes than any presidential ticket in history, calling his win “a convincing victory, a victory for the people.” He also said he was “surprised” by seeing the celebrations and an “outpouring of joy” in the wake of his win nationwide.
Biden said that “once again, America’s bent the arc of the moral universe more toward justice.”
Vice president-elect Kamala Harris is paying tribute to Black women who “so often prove they are the backbone of our democracy.”
Harris, the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, is the first woman to be elected to the vice presidency.
Harris noted her ascension to the role comes 100 years after the 19th Amendment was ratified and 55 years after the signing of the Voting Rights Act, which expanded who could participate in American democracy.
She praised Joe Biden for having “the audacity to break one of the most substantial barriers that exist in our country” by selecting a woman as his running mate.
“Every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a county of possibilities,” Harris said.
The remarks were some of the most direct she has delivered about her history-making role as Biden’s running mate.
Vice president-elect Kamala Harris says voters have “ushered in a new day for America.”
Harris is speaking Saturday in her first address to the nation since she and Joe Biden were declared the winners of the presidential election.
Harris says voters chose hope, unity, decency, science and truth in choosing she and Biden over President Donald Trump.
Harris, the first woman to be elected vice president, wore a white pantsuit in tribute to women’s suffrage. She also opened her remarks with a tribute to the late Georgia Congressman John Lewis, a Civil Rights icon, who said democracy is not a state but an act. Harris will also be the first Black woman to serve as vice president.
Hundreds of cars filled the parking lot outside the Wilmington convention center in Delaware for a drive-in rally to celebrate Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential race.
With temperatures mild Saturday night, more than 1,000 people sat on the roofs of their cars or milled around in small groups nearby, many cheering and waving American flags or Biden campaign signs. The smell of grilling meat hung in the air not unlike a football tailgate, and some of the attendees danced and sang, sweating through facemasks that appeared to be nearly universally worn.
The campaign set up cranes with towering American flags, an American-flag lined stage and projected a 10-story tall Biden-Harris logo over a digital American flag on the side of a hotel beside the convention center. Blue and red lights illuminated state flags perched on the roof of another nearby building.
Organizers first erected the stage on Tuesday night, expecting to hold a Biden Election Night party. As vote counting continued and no winner was declared, the campaign kept the stage intact and the parking lot remained surrounded by high security fences with police controlling all access in and out.
“The President will accept the results of a free and fair election.”
That’s the message from a White House official Saturday, even as President Donald Trump is refusing to concede after losing to Democrat Joe Biden.
Trump has insisted he will contest the results and his campaign has launched a flurry of legal action in a handful of states trying to overturn Biden victories.
But the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said the Trump administration is following all statutory requirements that govern government transitions.
The #Sharpiegate controversy may be over now that the attorneys who challenged the use of the markers to complete Election Day ballots in metro Phoenix told a court they’re dismissing their legal challenge.
Roopali Desai, an attorney for Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, said she received notice Saturday from the court that the lawyers who filed the lawsuit are now ending the case.
A copy of the dismissal notice provided to The Associated Press doesn’t specify a reason for dismissing the case, and Alexander Kolodin, one of the attorneys who filed the lawsuit, declined a request for comment.
Arizona election officials have said voting with a Sharpie would not invalidate their ballot. But many social media users have falsely claimed their ballots had been invalidated because they were told to use the markers to fill out their ballots.
The lawsuit alleged tabulation equipment was unable to record a voter’s ballot on Tuesday because she completed it with a Sharpie. One of the remedies sought by the lawsuit was for voters who used Sharpies to be present to watch workers count ballots, a proposition that the judge expressed skepticism about.
Election officials say votes wouldn’t be cancelled if ink from a Sharpie bleeds through the back side of ballots and that there is a process that would keep the ballots from being canceled out if problems arise.
News of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory on Saturday set off celebrations and protests as jubilant supporters and frustrated opponents took to the streets in California’s major cities. Supporters of President Donald Trump rallied outside the state Capitol in Sacramento and marched in Beverly Hills demanding a recount of votes. Meanwhile, people threw block parties in Oakland as they expressed hometown pride in Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her history-making turn as the first Black woman elected to the second-highest office in the United States. Similar scenes played out in San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities where people danced on the street and honked their car horns.
President Donald Trump has returned to the White House and a very different Washington, D.C., after losing his reelection bid.
Trump’s motorcade returned from his golf club in Virginia via roads largely cleared of other cars and people Saturday afternoon.
But as he approached the White House, he was welcomed home with boos and raised middle fingers. Chants of “Loser, loser, loser” and profanities were also heard as his motorcade drove by.
Trump has so far refused to concede to President-elect Joe Biden and is promising legal challenges. He is the first president to lose reelection since George H.W. Bush in 1992.
Joe Biden has spoken to Barack Obama, reaching out to the former president with one of his first calls as president-elect.
Biden’s campaign confirmed the phone call Saturday with Obama, whom Biden served under as vice president for eight years, but offered few details on what was said.
Meanwhile, Michelle Obama took to Twitter to say that she was “beyond thrilled” that Biden had been elected president and that his running mate, Kamala Harris, is “our first Black and Indian-American woman” as vice president.
In a series of tweets, the former first lady said the pair would “restore some dignity, competence, and heart at the White House.”
But Michelle Obama also warned supporters that voting in elections for candidates who win “isn’t a magic wand.”
“Let’s remember that tens of millions of people voted for the status quo, even when it meant supporting lies, hate, chaos and division,” she tweeted, in a swipe at President Donald Trump. “We’ve got a lot of work to do to reach out to these folks in the years ahead and connect with them on what unites us.”
Republicans on Capitol Hill are giving President Donald Trump and his campaign space to consider all its legal options after his election defeat by President-elect Joe Biden. That’s according to one Republican who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private conversation.
It’s a precarious balance for Trump’s allies as they try to be supportive of the president but face the reality of the vote count. Trump is so far refusing to concede.
On Saturday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had not yet made any public statements.
Scott Jennings, a Republican strategist in Kentucky allied with McConnell, said, “I’m not sure his position would have changed from yesterday — count all the votes, adjudicate all the claims.”
Jennings added, ”“My sense is there won’t be any tolerance for beyond what the law allows. There will be tolerance for what the law allows.”
It was a view being echoed by several other Republicans neither supporting nor rejecting the outcome. Said retiring GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who is close with McConnell: “After counting every valid vote and allowing courts to resolve disputes, it is important to respect and promptly accept the result.”
— By AP writer Lisa Mascaro
Several hundred people have gathered outside President Donald Trump’s Virginia golf club after his election loss to President-elect Joe Biden.
The crowd includes dozens of Biden supporters celebrating his win, singing, “Hey hey hey, goodbye” and chanting, “Lock him up!” — a chant frequently heard at Trump rallies, directed at people he doesn’t like.
There are also dozens of Trump supporters, many waving large Trump flags and chanting, “We love Trump!” A convoy of trucks festooned with pro-Trump and American flags has been driving up and down the street, with one driver jeering at the gathered press.
There’s horn honking, cowbell ringing, whistle-blowing and plenty of cheering.
Trump was golfing when a flurry of media outlets, including The Associated Press, declared Saturday morning that Biden had won the election.
He is now on his way back to the White House.
The secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is welcoming the election of Joe Biden, calling him “a strong supporter of NATO and the transatlantic relationship.”
Jens Stoltenberg said Saturday in a statement that he looks forward to working with Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris “to further strengthen the bond between North America and Europe.”
He added that “US leadership is as important as ever in an unpredictable world.”
President Donald Trump had been a ferocious critic of NATO during his 2016 campaign and repeatedly threatened to pull the U.S. from the alliance upon assuming office.
Trump pressed members of the alliance to boost their defense spending – a priority of his predecessors as well — in furtherance of collective defense. He also pushed the alliance to turn its focus from Russia to emerging threats from China and terrorism.
Congressional Republican leaders have been notably silent on President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, but several GOP allies of President Donald Trump are disputing the outcome.
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri tweeted Saturday: “The media do not get to determine who the president is. The people do.” He added, “When all lawful votes have been counted, recounts finished, and allegations of fraud addressed, we will know who the winner is.”
Other rank-and-file Republican lawmakers took a similar approach, insisting on waiting for some other verification of the results.
“Voters decide who wins the election, not the media,” tweeted Republican Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma. “I fully support President Trump as he continues to fight for every legal vote to be counted.”
Trump has so far refused to concede and is promising legal challenges. He is the first president to lose reelection since George H.W. Bush in 1992.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who found himself at the center of President Donald Trump’s impeachment, is congratulating Trump’s replacement, President-elect Joe Biden.
In a Saturday tweet, Zelenskiy said “Ukraine is optimistic about the future of the strategic partnership with the United States.” He added that the two countries “have always collaborated on security, trade, investment, democracy, fight against corruption. Our friendship becomes only stronger!”
A 2019 call from Trump to Zelenskiy, in which he asked the new Ukrainian leader to investigate Biden and the Democratic National Committee, sparked an intelligence community whistleblower complaint that resulted in Trump’s impeachment last year.
Trump was eventually acquitted by the Republican-led Senate.
Sen. Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, is congratulating President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
The Utah Republican tweeted Saturday that he and his wife know Biden and Harris “as people of good will and admirable character.” He says, “We pray that God may bless them in the days and years ahead.”
Romney, President Donald Trump’s most vocal critic within the Republican Party, said Friday that Trump was “damaging the cause of freedom” and inflaming “destructive and dangerous passions” by claiming, without foundation, that the election was rigged and stolen from him.
Trump has so far refused to concede and is promising unspecified legal challenges.
Romney had said earlier in the year that he wasn’t voting for Trump. He didn’t say for whom he did vote, however.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer jointly called President-elect Joe Biden to congratulate him on a “tremendous” victory.
That’s according to a senior Democratic aide who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private conversation.
The aide described it as a “happy call.” Biden’s wife, Jill, also joined the conversation Saturday.
The aide says Pelosi and Schumer look forward to working with the new Democratic administration to achieve “great things” for the American people. The two did not get along with President Donald Trump.
Another senior Democratic aide says Schumer was celebrating on the streets of Brooklyn during the call and held up his phone so Biden could hear the crowds cheering for his “historic victory.” The aide also spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private call.
— By AP writer Lisa Mascaro
The highest-ranking Black member of Congress says he specifically advised President-elect Joe Biden to pick a Black woman as his running mate if he wanted to win the White House.
House House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn told CNN on Saturday, “I said to him in private that I thought that a lot of the results would turn on whether or not there would be a Black woman” on the ticket.
Of selecting California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate, Clyburn said, “I think it cemented his relationship to the Black community.”
Clyburn’s pivotal endorsement of Biden ahead of South Carolina’s early Democratic primary, the first in which Black voters played an outsize role, helped Biden develop the momentum that propelled him to successes in other primary and caucus contests, and ultimately to the Democratic nomination.
Leaders of the United States’ traditional Western allies are offering their congratulations to the incoming Joe Biden administration.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement Saturday that the U.S. is the United Kingdom’s “most important ally” and added that he looks “forward to working closely together on our shared priorities, from climate change to trade and security.”
Johnson also singled out Vice President-elect Kamala Harris for “her historic achievement” as the first woman, first Black woman and first person of South Asian descent to win national U.S. office.
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that “we have a lot to do to overcome today’s challenges. Let’s work together!”
And Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he’s eager to start “tackling the world’s greatest challenges together.”
All three men have had complicated and at times strained relationships with President Donald Trump.
Biden comes to the presidency with extensive foreign policy experience and said throughout his campaign that he’d immediately work to shore us U.S. relationships with traditional allies.
Former President Barack Obama says he “could not be prouder” to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
In a statement Saturday, Obama says Biden has “got what it takes to be President and already carries himself that way,” because he will enter the White House facing “a series of extraordinary challenges no incoming President ever has.”
Acknowledging that the election revealed the nation remains bitterly divided, Obama said, “I know he’ll do the job with the best interests of every American at heart, whether or not he had their vote.”
He adds: “I encourage every American to give him a chance and lend him your support.”
Biden served as Obama’s vice president for two terms.
Two former Democratic presidents are offering their congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Bill Clinton tweeted that “America has spoken and democracy has won.” The 42nd president also predicted Biden and Harris would “serve all of us and bring us all together.”
Jimmy Carter, the 39th president, said in a statement Saturday that he and his wife, Rosalynn, are “proud” of the Democrats’ “well-run campaign and seeing the positive change they bring to our nation.”
Neither Clinton nor Carter mentioned President Donald Trump in their congratulatory remarks.
Biden was a young Delaware senator when Carter served as president from 1977 to 1981. Biden had risen in the ranks to Senate Judiciary Committee chairman by Clinton’s presidency in the 1990s and led confirmation hearings for Clinton’s two Supreme Court nominees: Justice Stephen Breyer and the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The Trump administration has yet to formally begin the transition to President-elect Joe Biden.
A spokesperson for the General Services Administration said early Saturday afternoon that the administrator, Emily Murphy, has not formally ascertained that Biden is the “apparent winner” of the race. The Associated Press declared Biden the victor of the race late Saturday morning.
The formal ascertainment frees up millions of dollars and opens doors at federal agencies to Biden transition staffers to begin implementing transition plans.
The spokesperson says, “GSA and its Administrator will continue to abide by, and fulfill, all requirements under the law.”
For his part, President Donald Trump is not conceding the race and is promising unspecified legal challenges seeking to overturn the outcome of the race.
Across the country, there were parties and prayer after Democrat Joe Biden won the presidency.
In New York City, spontaneous block parties broke out Saturday. People ran out of their buildings, banging on pots. They danced and high-fived with strangers amid honking horns.
People streamed into Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House, waving sings and taking cellphone pictures.
In Lansing, Michigan, Donald Trump supporters and Black Lives Matter demonstrators filled the Capitol steps.
The lyrics to “Amazing Grace” began to echo through the crowd, and the Trump supporters put their hands on a counterprotester and prayed.
Hillary Clinton is congratulating the “history making ticket” of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris upon their victory over President Donald Trump.
Clinton, who lost to Trump in 2016, called the election “a repudiation of Trump, and a new page for America.”
Harris will become the first woman to hold national office. Clinton was the first woman to be a major party nominee for president. She won almost 3 million more votes than Trump but fell short in key battleground states to lose the Electoral College.
The Biden-Harris ticket was able to flip several of those states, including Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump is a “mandate for action.”
The Democratic leader said in a statement Saturday: “Today marks the dawning of a new day of hope for America.”
Pelosi called Biden’s vote tally a “historic victory.” She says President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will have a strong Democratic House majority “by their side.”
Biden clinched the White House with a victory in Pennsylvania, the state where he was born. He also won Nevada on Saturday.
Democrat Joe Biden has won Nevada, adding to his Electoral College victory over President Donald Trump.
Biden clinched Nevada on Saturday afternoon, shortly after he won the presidency by taking Pennsylvania.
Trump had made a strong play in Nevada, holding several rallies there in the final stretch of the campaign. Democrat Hillary Clinton narrowly won Nevada in 2016, and Republicans saw an opening to expand their electoral map.
The pandemic has pummeled Nevada’s tourism-dependent economy, especially, hampering Trump’s ability to make inroads in the state.
Nevada is also home to a large Hispanic population, a voting bloc that typically leans Democratic.
The last Republican presidential candidate to win Nevada was George W. Bush in 2004.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris says she and President-elect Joe Biden have a lot of work to do.
Harris made the comments in a tweet Saturday, shortly after Biden clinched the presidency by winning Pennsylvania.
She says, “This election is about so much more than Joe Biden or me. It’s about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it. We have a lot of work ahead of us.”
The California senator makes history with her election as vice president. She is the first woman, the first Black person and the first person of South Asian descent elected to the office.
President-elect Joe Biden says it’s time for America to “unite” and to “heal.”
Biden said in a statement Saturday, “With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation.”
“We are the United States of America,” he wrote. “And there’s nothing we can’t do, if we do it together.”
Biden made no mention of his opponent, President Donald Trump, who has not conceded the race.
Biden clinched the White House with a victory in Pennsylvania, the state where he was born. He will be the 46th president of the United States.
President Donald Trump is not conceding to President-elect Joe Biden, promising unspecified legal challenges seeking to overturn the outcome of the race for the White House.
Trump said in a statement that “our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.”
Trump was at his Virginia golf course when the presidential race was called for Biden on Saturday. Biden clinched his victory with a win in Pennsylvania, the state where he was born.
In recent weeks, Trump has alleged — without evidence — widespread fraud and misconduct in the election.
His comments have drawn bipartisan rebuke from election officials and lawmakers as dangerous attempts to undermine public confidence in the vote.
People cheered and pumped their fists along the Wilmington, Delaware, waterfront as the news that the presidential race had been called for the state’s former senator arrived on their cellphones.
The waterfront is just steps from the outdoor stage that Democrat Joe Biden erected on Election Day to celebrate victory.
On the water late Saturday morning, two men on a kayak yelled to a couple paddling by in the opposite direction, “Joe won! They called it!” as people on the shore whooped and hollered.
Biden’s campaign had not yet scheduled a victory celebration, but he was expected to take the stage for a drive-in rally after dark.
During a speech late Friday night, Biden said he would be declared the winner very soon, adding, “I hope to be talking to you tomorrow.
Democrat Joe Biden has won Pennsylvania, surpassing the 270 electoral vote threshold to take the White House and become the 46th president of the United States.
Biden also carried Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan on his path to the presidency, flipping states that President Donald Trump won in 2016.
Pennsylvania was a must-win state for Trump.
The 77-year-old Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and sought to contrast his working-class roots with the affluent Trump’s by casting the race as “Scranton versus Park Avenue.”
Biden’s victory came after more than three days of uncertainty as election officials sorted through a surge of mail-in votes that delayed the processing of some ballots.
Trump is the first incumbent president to lose reelection since Republican George H.W. Bush in 1992.