Former President George W. Bush on Sunday said President Donald Trump has the right to pursue recounts and other legal challenges in the 2020 election, and the American people “can have confidence that this election was fundamentally fair, its integrity will be upheld and its outcome is clear.”
Bush lead off the statement by saying he called and congratulated “President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden” and Kamala Harris after major media outlets called the race for Biden. Bush spoke warmly of Biden calling him a “good man who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country.”
The George W. Bush Presidential Center on Sunday tweeted a, “Statement by President George W. Bush” along with a copy of his statement regarding the election results.
— George W. Bush Presidential Center (@TheBushCenter) November 8, 2020
Bush said, “President Trump has the right to request recounts and pursue legal challenges, and any unresolved issues will be properly adjudicated.” Bush’s comments come as Trump has called for recounts in Georgia and Wisconsin and pursued legal challenges in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada and Arizona, regarding the election result.
Bush himself won the presidency in 2000 over then-Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore after a Supreme Court ruling in the case of Bush v. Gore.
Bush said he spoke with “President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden” and with his vice presidential running mate Kamala Harris and congratulated them. Bush said, “I know Joe Biden to be a good man, who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country.”
Bush said he also spoke with Trump and congratulated him on earning more the votes of more than 70 million Americans. Trump is currently the second highest vote earner in U.S. election history, behind Biden. Bush called Trump’s vote total “an extraordinary political achievement” and said his supporters “have spoken, and their voices will continue to be heard through elected Republicans at every level of government.”
The former president’s full statement reads:
I just talked to the President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden. I extended my warm congratulations and thanked him for the patriotic message he delivered last night. I also called Kamala Harris to congratulate her on her historic election to the vice presidency. Though we have political differences, I know Joe Biden to be a good man, who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country. The President-elect reiterated that while he ran as a Democrat, he will govern for all Americans. I offered him the same thing I offered Presidents Trump and Obama: my prayers for his success, and my pledge to help in any way I can.
I want to congratulate President Trump and his supporters on a hard-fought campaign. He earned the votes of more than 70 million Americans – an extraordinary political achievement. They have spoken, and their voices will continue to be heard through elected Republicans at every level of government.
The fact that so many of our fellow citizens participated in this election is a positive sign of the health of our democracy and a reminder to the world of its strength. No matter how you voted, your vote counted. President Trump has the right to request recounts and pursue legal challenges, and any unresolved issues will be properly adjudicated. The American people can have confidence that this election was fundamentally fair, its integrity will be upheld, and its outcome is clear.
The challenges that face our country will demand the best of President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris – and the best of us all. We must come together for the sake of our families and neighbors, and for our nation and its future. There is no problem that will not yield to the gathered will of a free people. Laura and I pray for our leaders and their families. We ask for God’s continued blessings on our country. And we urge all Americans to join us in wishing our next President and Vice President well as they prepare to take up their important duties.