President-elect Joe Biden came to Atlanta Tuesday for his first public speech since Monday when the Electoral College confirmed his win in the Nov. 3 election.
“Thank you for turning out in record numbers in the November election,” he told the crowd in the drive-in rally. “Thank you for the faith you put in me and Vice President-elect Harris. Thank you for standing strong to make sure your voices were heard.”
“Your votes were counted and counted and counted again,” he added, poking fun at the two recounts in the state. “I’m starting to feel like I won Georgia three times.”
Georgia’s secretary of state certified the 2020 presidential election last week following a hand recount of the 5 million votes that served as an audit and then one more machine recount.
Biden came to Georgia to try to rally turnout for Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, the two Democratic Senate candidates facing off against Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. When Biden made a campaign stop in Georgia in late October, he foreshadowed the competitiveness of the Senate races.
If both Warnock and Ossoff win, the Democrats will control Congress for at least the first two years of Biden’s term. If either of the Republicans win, Biden will have a hard time getting his agenda through the Senate.
“I need two senators from this state who want to get something done, not two senators who are just going to get in the way, because, look, getting nothing done just hurts Georgia,” he said. “Look what’s happening right now in the Congress. The United States Senate should have passed the Coronavirus and economic relief package months ago.”
A Democratic Congress would mean a more generous COVID-19 relief package, including direct cash payments, Biden said.
“There’s so much more we can get done,” he said. “On COVID, on revitalizing our economy, on health care and voting rights and criminal justice, racial justice and climate change. We can get so much done, so much that can make the lives of people in Georgia and the whole country so much better, and we need senators who are willing to do it, for God’s sake.”
Biden also criticized Loeffler and Perdue for their support of a Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn Georgia’s election results. The lawsuit was rejected by the Supreme Court.
“Your two Republican senators, they stood by — in fact, your two Republican senators fully embraced what Texas was telling the Supreme Court,” he said. “They fully embraced nullifying 5 million Georgia votes. You might want to remember that come Jan. 5.”
Loeffler and Perdue continued their statewide tours Tuesday, with Loeffler’s stops including Rome and Catoosa and Perdue swinging by Fayetteville, Newnan, LaGrange and Carrollton.
Republican National Committee spokeswoman Savannah Viar said Republicans are confident Georgians will reject Ossoff and Warnock, who she called radical leftists.
“No matter what Joe Biden urges Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock to hide from Georgia voters, Georgians will remember that Ossoff and Warnock stand for Chuck Schumer’s far-left, radical agenda that includes raising taxes, a complete government takeover of our health care system and defunding the police,” Viar said in a statement.
Neither Ossoff nor Warnock have taken a position supporting defunding police departments.