It’s time for Sens. Rubio and Scott to publicly accept Joe Biden as our president-elect | Column
Let’s help President-elect Biden prepare while states certify the results, writes Mike Fasano, a notable Florida Republican.
President Donald Trump with, from left, Sen. Marco Rubio, and Sen. Rick Scott, visit Lake Okeechobee and Herbert Hoover Dike at Canal Point in March 2019.
President Donald Trump with, from left, Sen. Marco Rubio, and Sen. Rick Scott, visit Lake Okeechobee and Herbert Hoover Dike at Canal Point in March 2019.
Published Nov. 11, 2020

Many of my friends, neighbors, and fellow Republicans were heartbroken when the presidential election was called for Joe Biden on Saturday. Losing hurts, especially after President Donald Trump and his passionate supporters performed so well and won Florida.

But now it’s time to come together as Americans and help tackle the very serious challenges facing our country. Trump and his closest allies have been trying to sow doubts about the outcome of the election through baseless claims and investigations. In America, the voters alone decide who will represent us and govern in our name.

Mike Fasano
Mike Fasano [ Mike Fasano ]

I’m afraid too many of my fellow Republicans who understand the mechanics of elections and who know perfectly well the elections were run with integrity and respect for the law are allowing the president to mislead the American people. It’s time for Florida Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott to publicly accept Joe Biden as our president-elect.

Americans young and old, rural and urban, Northern and Southern, turned out in record numbers, and our election officials have counted and verified these votes applying the laws, customs and safeguards used in every election.

The United States has always held elections and conducted a democratic transfer of power. We have upheld the will of the people in presidential elections through the Civil War, Great Depression, previous pandemics and both World Wars.

As always, we must verify all the votes before the results are certified. Americans agree that the basis of our democracy is that we pick our leaders — our leaders do not pick their voters. So  we also must accept the truth: Joe Biden is our president-elect.

As Americans, we believe in playing hard, leaving it all on the field and accepting the outcome. Any politician can say whatever they want, but the will of the voters is what matters.

It’s time we come together to ensure the will of the people prevails and demand that the leader the people have chosen is sworn in as our next president to ensure we can make ends meet, tackle this pandemic, and care for our families.

I wish President Trump would publicly concede and honor America’s tradition of peaceful transfers of power. At the very least, he should order his General Services Administration to stop blocking the transition process from moving forward so that Biden’s team can have access to intelligence reports, current government officials, and funding to begin the crucial transition and begin their work to serve the American people

To continue delaying this normally uncontroversial process jeopardizes our national security, public health, and economic recovery by making it more difficult for President-elect Biden to develop and coordinate an effective response to the health crisis and economic crisis. Patriotism must trump partisanship.

Many of my Republican friends note that it took Al Gore 37 days to concede the 2000 election to George W. Bush. I was Florida House Majority Leader at the time, and the difference between that contested election and this election is like night and day.

That one involved a few hundred votes in just one state. This involves tens of thousands of votes in multiple states. And even in the midst of the recount, President Bill Clinton granted George W. Bush access to intelligence information and transition support.

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Historically, this election is not even close.

We know who the winner is. We should continue the process to certify results in accordance with election laws, but we need to get onto the business of tackling the big issues.

Mike Fasano is the tax collector in Pasco County and a former state legislator. He is a Republican.