Former Republican U.S. President George W. Bush on Sunday congratulated the projected winner of last week’s election, Joe Biden, saying the Democratic president-elect had “won his opportunity to lead and unify our country.”
Bush, who served as the country’s chief executive from 2001 to early 2009, said he has “political differences” with Biden, but that he offered him “my prayers for his success and my pledge to help in any way I can.” Bush also called Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to congratulate her.
Bush said he thanked Biden for the “patriotic message” he delivered Saturday night in Wilmington, Delaware, near his home as he claimed victory over the Republican incumbent, President Donald Trump, after four days of vote counting following the official Election Day on Tuesday and weeks of early voting.
Bush described Trump’s total of more than 70 million votes – some 4 million less than Biden’s count -- as “an extraordinary political achievement.”
Trump has not conceded losing to Biden and filed numerous lawsuits claiming irregularities cost him re-election to a second four-year term.
Bush said Trump “has the right to request recounts and pursue legal challenges, and any unresolved issues will be properly adjudicated.”
But Bush said, “The American people can have confidence that this election was fundamentally fair, its integrity will be upheld, and its outcome is clear.”