Gov. Ron DeSantis Declines Reporter’s Request to Acknowledge Joe Biden

December 16, 2020 Updated: December 16, 2020

Gov. Ron DeSantis declined a reporter’s request to acknowledge Democrat Joe Biden as “president-elect” after the Electoral College voted Monday—and as President Donald Trump continues his legal challenge in key states.

“It’s not for me to do,” DeSantis told reporters on Tuesday. “Here’s what I would say, obviously we did our thing in Florida. The [Electoral] College voted. What’s going to happen is going to happen.”

“But I can tell you, I think a lot of the frustration for folks that supported the president was we were four years with people not accepting him,” the Republican governor said. “I mean, Hillary [Clinton] the last week of the election was saying [Vladimir] Putin stole it, and I just think that that’s left a lot of people really frustrated with how it’s going to go.”

Several months ago in August, meanwhile, Clinton told reporters that Biden “should not concede under any circumstances because I think this is going to drag out.”

DeSantis told reporters Tuesday that Trump and his supporters believe the election was stolen from him.

“I think it’s really something there,” DeSantis said.

Some Republicans in Congress have suggested they will contest the Electoral College votes in key states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, and others. The Republican Parties in those states said their slates of electors voted for President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, saying they did so to keep Trump’s legal path open.

Other Republicans in Congress have not yet acknowledged Biden, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) declining to answer a reporter when he was asked about it.

Trump on Tuesday alleged that some voting machines—which were used in several key states—were programmed to create problems.

“Tremendous problems being found with voting machines. They are so far off it is ridiculous. Able to take a landslide victory and reduce it to a tight loss. This is not what the USA is all about. Law enforcement shielding machines. DO NOT TAMPER, a crime. Much more to come!” he wrote. The president was likely referring to a forensic report from 22 voting machines in Antrim County, Michigan, which asserted that the machines were intentionally programmed to produce a considerable amount of errors, saying it is a “national security issue.”

The maker of the machines, Dominion Voting Systems, and its CEO, John Poulos, have denied the allegations. Poulos told a Michigan legislative hearing on Tuesday that there is “no credible evidence of vote fraud or vote switching on Dominion systems because these things have not occurred.”