President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday tore into President Donald Trump for refusing to concede the election and formally commit to a peaceful transfer of power, while also blasting the General Services Administration’s delay of the presidential transition.
In a press conference in Wilmington, Delaware, that came after he met virtually with several governors, Biden also revealed he’d made his decision on who he would nominate for Treasury Secretary. He didn’t name his choice, but said he would reveal the person “just before or just after” Thanksgiving and that it was someone “who is accepted by all elements of the Democratic Party.”
Biden, however, saved most of his breath for criticism of Trump and his administration.
Replying to a question from a reporter over what he felt the U.S. was witnessing regarding Trump’s refusal to concede the race, Biden said “they’re witnessing incredible irresponsibility, an incredibly damaging message being sent to the rest of the world about how democracy functions.”
Biden reiterated his frustration with the Trump administration for holding up the ascertainment process – a previously uncontroversial process that allows the presidential transition to move forward.
He said he would not yet rule out legal action in the future to obtain a completed ascertainment process, but said that was not his plan at the moment, because “it’s not going to speed it up considerably in my view.” He also said he hoped his patience might better foster a spirit of bipartisanship.
“I’m making a judgment based on many years of experience on how to get things done with the opposition,” he said. “My judgment is that we’ll get further along by actually working with our Republican colleagues now because the time in which we would win would not materially change.”
Biden has repeatedly said that the GSA’s delay is seriously hindering his eventual administration’s ability to hit the ground running in fighting the pandemic.
Prior to his press conference, Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris met virtually with several of the nation’s governors – both Democrats and Republicans – to discuss how their administration could best help states fight the Covid-19 pandemic once Biden takes office.
Biden said the group discussed the importance of mask mandates during the meeting, but he promised there would be “no national shutdown” of the economy in his administration.
“I am not going to shut down the economy period,” he said. “No national shutdown. No national shutdown.”
In the closing weeks of his 2020 presidential campaign, Biden said that if he’s elect