President-elect Joe Biden criticized Georgia Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler for throwing their support behind a lawsuit challenging their own state’s election results.
“Your two Republican senators fully embraced what Texas was telling the Supreme Court,” Biden said while campaigning for Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in Atlanta on Tuesday. “They fully embraced nullifying nearly 5 million Georgia votes. You might want to remember that come January 5.”
He added, “I’m trying to be generous here, in the spirit of the season. Maybe your senators were just confused. Maybe they think they represent Texas.”
Biden’s trip to the Peach State came just one day after the Electoral College formally cast its votes for Biden to replace President Donald Trump. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris each amassed 306 electoral votes, compared with Trump’s 232.
The affirmative vote went off without a hitch despite an attempt by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to overturn election results from four key battleground states, including Georgia. Paxton accused the states of exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to ignore federal and state election laws to skew the results of the November 3 election.
While Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger disputed Paxton’s claims, Loeffler and Perdue sided with the Lonestar State’s lawsuit. The Supreme Court soundly rejected the case on December 11.
“We fully support President Trump’s legal recourses and Attorney General Paxton’s lawsuit,” the Republican senators said in a statement. “The President has every right to use every legal recourse available to guarantee these simple principles: every lawful vote cast should be counted, any illegal vote submitted cannot be counted, and there must be full transparency and uniformity in the counting process.”
Biden went on to praise Ossoff and Warnock, telling the crowd that the two candidates “aren’t confused at all” and are running to represent Georgia’s interests in the U.S. Senate. He added that the Democrats will help move his agenda forward on issues like coronavirus, the economy and racial justice.
“I need two senators who will get something done, not two senators who will get in the way,” the president-elect said.
Democrats need to win both runoffs in Georgia to control 50 seats in the next Senate, where Harris would then cast any tie-breaking votes as president of the chamber.
With majority control on the line, Georgia has essentially become the center of the political universe. The four Senate candidates raked in a whopping $167 million in the weeks after the general election, most of it coming from out-of-state donors.
The stakes of the unprecedented double runoff elections have not been lost on party leaders, who have been stumping for their candidates on a regular basis since November 3.
Last week, during a rally in Augusta, Vice President Mike Pence told Georgians that reelecting Perdue and Loeffler was needed to continue the Trump agenda. He also encouraged residents to vote absentee, despite the incessant attacks on mail-in ballots from Trump and other Republican leaders.
“For all we’ve done, for all we have yet to do, we need the Peach State to defend the majority because the road to a Senate majority runs right through the state of Georgia,” Pence said. “Are you with me?”
The Trump campaign said in a statement Tuesday that Biden’s visit to Georgia for Ossoff and Warnock is “further proof that he is utterly in the grip of the extreme left, which is the driving force in today’s Democrat Party.”
The runoffs between Loeffler and Warnock and Perdue and Ossoff will take place on January 5. More than 1 million Georgians have already requested absentee ballots, and early in-person voting started on December 14. Data from the secretary of state’s office showed that 482,250 ballots had already been cast in the contests as of Tuesday.
Newsweek reached out to the Loeffler and Perdue campaigns for comment on Biden’s remarks but did not receive a response in time for publication.