Democratic Delaware Sen. Chris Coons said Tuesday that a number of Republicans have privately asked him to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden.
Because President Donald Trump has openly contested the results of the election, Coons told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota that there were some Republicans who felt that they could not publicly congratulate Biden, who is the projected winner. (RELATED: Chris Coons Is ‘Not A Fan Of Court Packing,’ But He’s Open To It If Amy Coney Barrett Is Confirmed)
Coons told the “New Day” host that he believed it was time for Republicans to step up and accept Biden as the president-elect in spite of Trump’s objections.
“Do you see any evidence that Republican leaders are doing that? Will do that?” Camerota asked.
“I see no evidence of voter fraud in the key states that would need to have their outcomes changed, and I so far see little evidence of any Republicans standing up to the president,” Coons began, noting that four Republican senators had offered their congratulations to Biden.
The four Republican Senators who have publicly congratulated Biden are Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and Maine Sen. Susan Collins.
Coons said that he expected more to come forward as official vote counts were concluded, adding that he did not see a possible path to victory for Trump even if he did get some votes overturned.
“What are they telling you behind the scenes?” Camerota pressed.
“Bluntly, that they accept that — I mean, they call me to say, you know, ‘Congratulations, please convey my well wishes to the president-elect, but I can’t say that publicly yet,'” Coons said.
Camerota replied, “When? I’m just curious, when —”
“These are conversations best kept private,” Coons continued.
“When will they be able to say that publicly?” Camerota asked.
Coons concluded by saying that he felt like it was his job to talk to those who came to him privately and encourage them to “do the right thing and to help the president accept reality.”