Trump and Biden’s Conflicting Reactions to the Election

Election week had the entire country sitting at the edge of their seats, flicking through every news channel, and refreshing their Twitter feeds in a desperate attempt to discover who the next president will be. As I write this, while sitting on my couch in my pajamas with CNN playing in the background, former Vice President Joe Biden has just won the 2020 Presidential Election. The mail-in ballots were predominantly votes for Biden, giving the Democratic Party a boost of hope and confidence. Even though Biden is the President-Elect, everything is still uncertain, which leaves the country to breathe heavily into a brown paper bag until we find out what happens next. However, if there’s one thing that is certain, it is that both candidates had completely different reactions to the ongoing results of this election.

On election night, President Donald Trump tweeted multiple times, declaring his own victory before all of the votes had been counted. After the initial in-person votes were finalized, and states moved on to counting the mail-ins, Trump tweeted: “We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!” The tweet was flagged by Twitter for containing “misleading” information about the election. It has also been disabled to prevent it from being spread.

Trump also made a statement in the early hours of the morning on November 4. In his speech he referred to the counting of mail-in ballots as “a fraud on the American public.”

“We were getting ready to win this election,” Trump said in his speech. “Frankly, we did win this election. We did win this election. So our goal now is to ensure the integrity for the good of this nation. This is a very big moment. This is a major fraud in our nation. We want the law to be used in a proper manner. So we’ll be going to the US Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop.”

However, according to FactCheck.org, counting votes, especially mail-in votes, almost always continues after Election Day. It was taking unusually long to tally the votes because many people across the country opted for absentee ballots in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but that does not mean these ballots are fraudulent.

Jake Tapper, CNN anchor and chief Washington correspondent, responded to Trump’s initial speech and said Trump’s remarks are “not true.”

“What President Trump just said was undemocratic and false and premature,” Tapper said on the air. “It is not accurate to say that he won. We do not know who won this election.”

The president continued his tweeting spree throughout the week and wrote, “STOP THE COUNT!” in response to the continuation of calculating the votes. On November 5, Trump made a second speech and claimed that votes casted after Election Day are illegal and should not be counted. Again, fact-checkers were quick to respond and say the votes were not casted after November 3, and there is no evidence that the mail-in ballots are illegal.

Moments before Biden’s victory on November 7, Trump tweeted once again to say, “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!” His claim was not only ill-timed, but it also had no evidence considering Biden was leading in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, and Arizona. An hour later, CNN reported Biden’s win.

Fellow Republicans spoke out about Trump’s behavior regarding the election results, and their responses are ultimately divided. According to The Hill, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham agrees with Trump and said the president “should not concede.” However, according to CNN, a number of Republicans have expressed their disagreement with Trump’s allegations of voter fraud. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum are just some Republican figures who have stepped forward to diffuse the fires created by Trump’s ongoing tweets and speeches. Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) has also asked people to “get behind” Biden’s win.

“I do believe, however, that it's destructive to the cause of democracy to suggest widespread fraud or corruption. There's just no evidence of that at this stage. And I think it's important for us to recognize that the world is watching," Romney said in an interview with Tapper on CNN.

On the other hand, Biden has remained cool, calm, and collected throughout the entire election process. In the early hours of the morning on November 4, Biden’s account, which is predominantly run by his campaign staff, tweeted: “Keep the faith, guys. We’re gonna win this.” Throughout the week, the account continuously tweeted to say all votes should be counted and say Biden feels confident. The messages on Twitter are much different than Trump’s, which may be a result of Trump writing his own tweets while Biden does not.

On November 6, Biden addressed the country to let everyone know he didn’t have any insecurities about what the results would be. In his speech, he reinforced the principles of democracy.

“Your vote will be counted,” Biden told the nation. “I don’t care how hard people try to stop it, I will not let it happen. The people will be heard, our journey is sort of a more perfect union and it keeps moving on.”

Both candidates remained overly confident throughout the entirety of election week, but it is clear they each had two separate messages that indicated what kind of leader they are or will be for our country. Trump’s aggressive, all-caps tweets and baseless claims of fraud incited an even greater divide between the political parties. He pointed fingers at the Democratic Party to blame them for his loss, setting the example for his supporters to follow his lead. Simultaneously, Biden projected messages of unity and hope for the future. In his victory speech, he recognized the current political divide and declared he will be a leader for all people, whether they voted for him or not.

“I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide, but to unify,” Biden said in his speech on November 7. “Who doesn't see red and blue states, but a United States. And who will work with all my heart to win the confidence of the whole people. For that is what America is about: The people. And that is what our administration will be about.”

Biden’s graceful acceptance proved he is not a sore winner. Instead, he is a humble leader with compassion for those with differing opinions. No matter who you voted for, it is important to remember that come Inauguration Day, you will have a leader who cares about you.