President-elect Joe Biden pleaded with the people of Georgia to give him control of the Senate, which will happen if Democrats win both run-off races on January 5.
‘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,’ Biden told a drive-in rally in Atlanta Tuesday.
Biden was campaigning for Democratic Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, who are running against incumbent Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, respectively.
If both Warnock and Ossoff win their races the Democrats will have 50 seats, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be available to cast tie-breaking votes in their favor.
Biden lashed out at Loeffler and Perdue for their part in the weeks-long saga dragging out the 2020 presidential election, as both GOP senators embraced a Texas-base lawsuit attempting to invalidate the votes in several swing states, including Georgia.
‘You know who did stand by and do nothing while Trump and Texas and others were trying to wipe out every single one of the almost five million votes you all just cast in Georgia?’ Biden asked. ‘Your two Republican Senators. That’s right.’
President-elect Joe Biden pleaded with the people of Georgia to give him control of the U.S. Senate, which can happen if both Democratic Senate candidates win run-off races on January 5
President-elect Joe Biden (center) was joined in Atlanta by (from left) Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Rev. Raphael Warnock, Jon Ossoff and Stacey Abrams
Biden encouraged Democrats to come out and vote for Rev. Raphael Warnock (left) and Jon Ossoff (right) who are running in January 5 run-off races against Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, respectively
Biden said they ‘fully embraced’ Texas goal of trying to ‘nullify nearly 5 million Georgian votes.’
‘You might want to remember that come January 5th,’ Biden advised.
‘I’ll try to be generous here, in the spirit of the season. Maybe your senators were just confused. Maybe they think they represent Texas,’ Biden added.
Biden also joked about the drama itself, after thanking Georgia voters for their help in winning the Democrat the White House.
‘Thank you for standing strong and making sure your votes were counted and counted and counted again,’ Biden said. ‘I’m starting to feel like I won Georgia three times.’
‘I have to say, it feels pretty good,’ the president-elect added.
The Electoral College voted Monday affirming his win. Still, President Donald Trump refuses to concede.
Stacey Abrams (left) and Jon Ossoff (right) sit in a VIP area near the stage at a Tuesday rally in Atlanta headlined by President-elect Joe Biden
Democrats watched the rally from inside or around their vehicles, precautions the party has taken at campaign events amid the coronavirus pandemic
Supporters of Democratic Senate hopefuls Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock stick their heads out of their cars at a drive-in rally in Atlanta Tuesday, headlined by President-elect Joe Biden
Also at the event were Stacey Abrams, largely credited with flipping the state Democratic, and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
They appeared onstage alongside Biden, Ossoff and Warnock after the president-elect concluded his remarks.
Rep. Cedric Richmond, a Louisiana Democrat joining the Biden administration, was also on hand.
If Warnock and Ossoff are unsuccessful, Biden will have to contend with the same hurdle as Democratic President Barack Obama – a Senate controlled by Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
McConnell has shown he’s adept at hamstringing a Democratic agenda, especially big ticket items like a climage change package.
McConnell, however, announced Biden the victor of the presidential race on the Senate floor earlier Tuesday.
Biden told reporters as he left for Atlanta that he had called McConnell to thank him for the congratulations. ‘I had a good conversation with Mitch McConnell today,’ the president-elect said.
The Atlanta event was in the city’s Kirkwood neighborhood at Pullman Yard.
It’s a historic site that has been used in the filming of a number of movies including The Hunger Games and Baby Driver.
Rechristened the ‘Pratt Pullman District,’ the area has been in the process of being redeveloped over the past several years to house restaurants and bars, but also soundstages for Atlanta’s burgeoning film industry.
Many of the large brick buildings still stand vacant.
Atlanta City Council member Natalyn Archibong said access to the event would be ‘extremely limited’ but encouraged supporters to line up along the motorcade route.
Archibong advised that Democrats ‘wear [a] mask and maintain a distance at least 6 feet from people not in your pod.’
Most supporters did wear masks but didn’t abide by the six-foot recommendation, crowding the road as the motorcade drove in.
Several dozen Trump supporters also staked out the entrance as Biden arrived.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Biden, Harris and their top surrogates, including Obama, have utilized vintage drive-in style events, starting with the August Democratic National Convention, in order to campaign in the run-up to the November 3 election.
Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler is being challenged by Rev. Raphael Warnock for her Senate seat. She’s photographed Sunday at a campaign stop in Warner Robins, Georgia, standing alongside a cardboard cut-out of President Donald Trump
Republican Sen. David Perdue didn’t receive more than 50 per cent of the vote in November and is now in a run-off race against his Democratic challenger, Jon Ossoff
These events enabled the candidates to go on the campaign trail, but keep supporters socially distanced.
Trump and Republicans ignored COVID-19 protocols and held large-scale rallies, often with mask-less crowds.
The president returned to Georgia on December 5 for his first post-election rally to campaign for Loeffler and Perdue.
Vice President Mike Pence has also traveled to Georgia to campaign for the Republican duo.
In-person early voting in the race kicked off in Georgia Monday, which could be important for the Republican candidates as Trump has falsely claimed that mail-in ballots are ripe for fraud.
Mail-in ballots can also be used to cast a vote in this race.
By Friday, 1.2 million mail-in ballots had been requested, according to the Associated Press, with 200,000 returned.
Senate races in Georgia go to run-offs if no candidate hits the 50 per cent threshold, which happened in both Senate races on November 3.
Georgia was traditionally a red state, but had been growing more Democratic, and flipped to support Biden over Trump this year in the general election.
This infuriated Trump, who has attacked the state’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and other top GOP officials, falsely claiming that Biden won Georgia because there was widespread fraud.
On Tuesday morning before Biden’s trip, Trump retweeted a tweet that said Kemp and Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, also a Republican, ‘will soon be going to jail.’