Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine said Thursday that the country needs to consider Joe Biden the President-elect – joining a growing list of Republican allies to President Donald Trump who say the 2020 race is over.
“I think that we need to consider the former vice president as the President-elect. Joe Biden is the President-elect,” DeWine told CNN’s John Berman on “New Day.”
DeWine, who endorsed Trump for a second term, said that the President and his campaign have “every right” to bring legal challenges contesting the election results, and that the courts “are the best place, frankly, to adjudicate facts.”
He said he doesn’t know the merits of the Trump campaign’s case, but said it appears Biden will be the next in office.
“Look, I’m worried about this virus, I’m not looking at what the merits of the case are. It would appear that Joe Biden is going to be the next president of the United States,” he said.
DeWine’s comments come after Karl Rove, the architect of former President George W. Bush’s gubernatorial and presidential campaigns, wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Wednesday that the 2020 presidential election will not be overturned regardless of Trump’s flurry of lawsuits.
Trump conservative radio ally Hugh Hewitt wrote in The Washington Post that “Trump in 2020 won for everyone in the party but himself” and now “must look forward.” Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera tweeted Wednesday to Trump: “Time coming soon to say goodbye with grace & dignity.”
Two Republican governors who did not back the President’s reelection, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, also separately criticized Trump for stalling the presidential transition during the Covid-19 pandemic.
DeWine on Thursday argued that the country now needs to move forward after the election and unify to combat a “common enemy” – the coronavirus pandemic.
“Look, we just all need to take a deep breath. There is a process for all of this. You need to follow the process. And we need to move this country forward. I think the most important thing is that we come together as a country,” DeWine said on CNN. “You know, we have a common enemy, it’s not Republicans and it’s not Democrats, our common enemy is this virus.”
“Let’s go fight this virus, let’s don’t fight each other,” he added.
CNN and other news outlets called the election for Biden on Saturday. Trump has not publicly accepted the results nor conceded to Biden, instead pushing baseless conspiracies of voter fraud and that his second term has been stolen.
CNN’s Paul LeBlanc and Sam Fossum contributed to this report.