tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN December 14, 2020 4:00pm-5:00pm PST
result of getting vaccinated, but still potentially someone who could transmit the virus to somebody else? and the answer is possibly. we don't know. we'll get more data. i'll tell you, i think that it's quite likely that the vaccine does lower your virus counts a lot but we're just not sure about that yet. >> we don't know. lots we do know. but get the vaccine if you can. it's really important. sanjay, thank you so much. lots of breaking news today. a historic day here in the united states. and our breaking news coverage continues with erin burnett "outfront." "outfront" next, the breaking news, president-elect joe biden about to speak to the nation after the electical college affirms his win. biden about to confront the attack on democracy as sources say trump is now looking to take this fight to the house floor in january. plus as the u.s. hits the grim milestone of 300,000 american lives gone because of coronavirus, the first vaccinations under way tonight.
and also breaking this hour the attorney general bill barr, he's out, gone. resigned. the president announced it of course via twitter, of course. a few more weeks of that. let's go out front. and good evening. i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, president-elect joe biden about to address the nation. it comes just as the electoral college reaffirmed his victory. cnn learning the president-elect will directly confront the assault on democracy that americans have witnessed in the days since the election. according to one excerpt of what we will hear momentarily from the president-elect in this battle for the soul of america democracy prevailed and so now it is time to turn the page, to unite, to heal. biden's speech comes as electors in hawaii this hour about to cast their ballots for president hawaii is now the last state in the entire country to vote. all four votes expected to go to joe biden. and then you will have the formal and final total, 306
total electoral votes for president-elect joe biden. this is a remarkable moment that has actually been playing out all day. states one after the next, swing state after swing state, formalizing joe biden's victory. >> i am pleased to announce that joseph r. biden has received 16 votes for president of the united states. >> the electors of the commonwealth of pennsylvania have cast 20 votes for the honorable joseph r. biden for president of the united states. >> wisconsin casts its 10 electoral votes for president of the united states of america to joseph r. biden jr. >> what you watched there and we saw all day in state after state is american democracy in action. what is required by our constitution but we so rarely pay close attention to, the electoral college meeting. and today they provided an affirmation of an election that
was free and fair. in fact, the safest election in american history according to the president's own elections chief. as the electoral college was voting, though, trump suffered yet another legal loss. wisconsin's supreme court today rejecting another lawsuit which tried to overturn the election. and yet today after the electoral college met, so if you were waiting for let's just wait till the electoral college before i manage to say president-elect, if you were waiting for, that well, now you have it. right? you've got it. and yet still silence from many republican leaders. the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, who when asked about acknowledging biden's win in the past punted to the states certifying their results. or the electoral college voting. both have now happened. here's mcconnell. >> obviously, no states have yet certified their election results. >> the electoral college is going to meet on the 14th to
cast a vote. and we're going to have a swearing in of the next president on the 20th of january. >> okay. so that's what mcconnell's been saying, sort of stalling, prevaricating. now today he refused to answer when reporters asked if he now considers biden the president-elect. now that the electoral college has finalized and formalized the results. now, a few republicans today have changed their tune and said the truth. senator john thune of south dakota when asked if he considers biden president-elect responded "clearly in my view that's how in this country we decide presidential elections." senator john cornyn of texas, who by the way slammed texas's absurd lawsuit which the supreme court rejected the other day, cornyn came out today and said "yes." directly. he said yes when asked if he now considers biden president-elect. but these republicans are saying this now 37 days after the
election was actually called. biden has won this election loudly and clearly. the margin's only getting wider and wider. it has been confirmed at the county level. it has been confirmed at the state level. it has been confirmed by the u.s. supreme court. and today biden of course formalized it. the president, though, is now moving the goalposts again, now trying to look to january 6th when congress will actually formalize -- count the electoral votes. right? a procedural formality. that's when house members with the required help of at least one republican senator can challenge the election results. even trump's own adviser tonight, though, calling that a long shot. to say the least. jeff zeleny is with the president-elect in wilmington, delaware. kaitlan collins is outside near the white house at this hour. kaitlan, let's just start with you. the facts are the facts. they've been the facts for 37 days. but now the electoral college has done its formal duty. joe biden will be the next president. is there going to be any change in how trump handles this?
>> reporter: based on what i've heard from people who've spoken to president the last several days nopt president this weekend was saying we've just started to fight even though they've faced a series of losses in courts. and of course the supreme court rejection that came late friday night saying they weren't going to take that up lawsuit from the texas attorney general. but that's not how the president is viewing this. and i'm told he he is refusing to talk about the idea that he's going to be leaving the white house and is instead focused on what they're doing right now, talking about these legal fights. but erin, where this is going to get interesting is where republicans end up because you've seen so many of these allies of the president on capitol hill repeatedly pushing to today to wait for the indicator that joe biden is going to be president, he is the president-elect. and now this day is here. so are they going to start saying that? and what does the president do in response to how republicans are handling this? because of course he has been very straightforward about the fact he wants republicans on his side arguing the same accusations that he's arguing even though they don't have any merit behind them. we are told by people to expect
the president to continue baselessly alleging this election was fraudulent and continue questioning the fact that biden is going to be the president even though as you noted we've known for several weeks he is going to be the president and he will be inaugurated come january. >> so kaitlan i want to ask you about the president's tweet tonight which i mentioned briefly at the top of the show announcing bill barr is gone, bill barr is leaving. he tweeted, "our relationship has been a very good one." obviously not here at the end or bill barr would not be leaving just days before trump himself leaves. so tell me why he's doing this now. is it just out of, you know, complete anger in a split over bill barr not backing him on the election when bill barr said it was a safe election or does trump have other plans? >> reporter: well, i think their relationship had deteriorated to a point where it was a question daily for white house staffers whether or not barr was going to be fired or some of them thought maybe bill barr could leave. and you know, what it started to
resemble over the weekend where the president is publicly calling out bill barr, not answering questions on whether or not he's going to stay on as attorney general, it looked a lot like the way the president treated jeff sessions. i don't think he'd gotten to the point where he was making fun of the way bill barr was speaking yet like he did with sessions but that is how bad things had gotten. and i think this is a different situation than sessions who kind of took the approach of i'm going to put my head down and just do this. what the president is saying on twitter about his relationship with barr, the way he is praising him, talking about how he's only leaving to go spend time with his family for the holidays and then barr's letter to the president in response, his resignation letter, which is basically entirely just praise of the president, is completely divorced from the way their relationship actually looked for the last several weeks, erin. it was incredibly bad to where after he undercut the president's baseless allegations about voter fraud the president called bill barr to the oval office, they had an extremely contentious meeting i was told at the time and the two were not really on speaking terms at the end of this. so the way they're portraying it is not the way it ended up. but of course we've seen the president take this route
before. he did it when his former defense secretary, remember he said that mattis was retiring when in fact he of course he resigned in protest and the president later sped up his departure date. >> thank you very much, kaitlan. and i want to go to jeff zeleny. he is out front in wilmington, delaware tonight. and err of course just moments away from president-elect biden giving a major speech to the entire nation, one which will be the polar opposite in tone and tenor from anything that we have heard in the past four years. but does he expect any of these republican supporters of the president in congress to listen and to finally and verbally clearly accept his victory? >> reporter: well, erin, it certainly is yet another victory speech that joe biden is going to give tonight. we cannot recall a president in modern time, in fact there has not been one, who has had the opportunity to give speech after speech after speech affirming his victory. we've seen so many of them here in wilmington. we'll see another one tonight. but i am told he is going to directly confront what really
has been an assault on democracy. he's not going to talk about his own ambitions, how this was painful to joe biden. he's going to talk about how the institutions have stood but now is the time to heal. and there are many indications that senate republicans at the very least are accepting this reality. so maybe they will be listening with perhaps an open ear tonight with this speech. but even lindsey graham, our manu raju on capitol hill is reporting tonight that lindsey graham said he has spoken to joe biden and even praised a couple of his nominees. so at this point the extraneous noise of someone resigning from the trump administration is really not the matter at hand. the matter at hand here is what these senate republicans do to the biden nominees. now, that is something that is going to be very interesting to watch. senator graham said he was impressed by the defense secretary nominee lloyd austin. he praised the secretary of state nominee tony blinken. so this is the new relationship. this is the new dynamic. even though joe biden is still here in wilmington, a couple
hours away from washington, there is a new sheriff in town and the dynamic is changing dramatically in washington. but one open question here, the president-elect flying to georgia tomorrow to campaign for the first time in those georgia senate runoff races, that will determine the relationship between joe biden and republicans. he may not need them as much if democrats within those two seats but he certainly will need some of them on nominations. at this point john thune, rob portman, lindsey graham, john cornyn, several republicans have come around publicly and my guess is more so have privately, erin. >> yes. certainly not saying the same thing in private as in public. at least we hear that certainly about mitch mcconnell. our jamie gangel's reporting. thank you very much. i want to go to one of this nation's preeminent constitutional scholars, harvard law professor laurence tribe who as you know was part of al gore's legal team during the 2000 election recount. professor, always glad to have you with me. tonight here we are. the electoral college has spoken and this is done. now, it was done before but now it's constitutionally done. and yet now president trump
is -- his advisers say there's one more final avenue to block joe biden's win and that is to take this to the floor of the house at the beginning of january, of congress on january 6th. is there any there there? >> no. but before i get there i do want to say it's a great honor this evening, erin, to be part of the opening act for the next president of the united states, my old friend joe biden. he's now for the first time officially the president-elect. and i'm eager to hear what he has to say. there is no there there in terms of all of these empty threats about what might happen on the floor of the house and senate when they meet in joint session on the 6th of january. there's going to be a lot of toing and froing, a lot of objections. they will go into possibly separate sessions. but in the end because none of the objections to any of the electoral states has the slightest merit and because the
politics is clear, both the house and even the republican senate are going to confirm joe biden as the next president of the united states. i think it's obvious that the fat lady has sung. >> so it may be obvious and yet of course as we all know there are plenty of people who only hear what they want to hear and they only watch the sort of ideas they want to watch, right? so those people today might have seen stephen miller, trump's top aide. and he's saying forget december 14th. right? forget january 6th even and that whole thing on the floor of congress. he's now saying january 20th, trying to buy every single bit of air that they can for trump supporters. here's what stephen miller said. >> the only date in the constitution is january 20th. so we have more than enough time to right the wrong of this fraudulent election result and certify donald trump as the winner of the election.
as we speak, today, an alternate slate of electors in the contested states is going to vote and we're going to send those results up to congress. >> i mean, this is completely made up. they may be doing it, right? but it's a completely made up thing. they're getting broadcast to millions of people who are hearing this sort of thing. put it to rest. >> erin, many of them are armed and dangerous. what these people are doing, stephen miller prime among them, is stirring up violence, the kind of violence that required special protection for the electors in the state of michigan. they are inciting violence. they are engaged in essentially sabotage. yes, january 20th is the date in the constitution, but well beyond the 20th these people are going to be out there, whether it's mar-a-lago or somewhere else, encouraging the sort of
armed rebellion to kill people. and i think that's a scary thing not just for democracy but for the people who want to go on with their lives. we've got a terrible pandemic. we have an economy in shambles as a result of this president's failure to deal with the pandemic. we have a new president, a new sheriff in town who this evening is going to tell us something more of its plans, and in the meantime these sore losers are out there trying to stir up violence. it's really a sad day for america. and yet a happy day because democracy has prevailed. >> so let me ask you about one thing that happened today in new york. hillary clinton and bill clinton were electors there, and hillary clinton after she cast her vote posted a tweet with a picture of herself after voting and she writes, "i believe we should abolish the electoral college and select our president by the winner of the popular vote. same as every other office." look, this is an issue one can argue -- i've heard arguments on both sides. ultimately, it's hard to say
what you say to wyoming and alaska and a lot of other places in that situation. putting aside that she chose to say that today, do you think we should abolish the electoral college which is of course ensconced in the constitution? >> absolutely. we should change the constitution to get rid of this one bizarre anomaly. you know, biden won by 7 million votes. and yet a shift of just 44,000 votes in three states, arizona, georgia, and wisconsin, would have flipped the electoral college to 269 to 269, thrown the election into the house, where our antiquated system gives each delegation one vote. 26 of the delegations are in republican control. that means trump would have become the president even though he lost by 7 million votes. no system that has that danger is one we can live with. we need to get rid of it. we need to work on getting rid of it even though it's going to
be very uphill. >> thoughtfully said. thank you very much, professor. i appreciate your time. and i want to go now to the attorney general under president george w. bush, alberto gonzalez. and it's great to have you back with me. i appreciate your time. it's been a while. i'm glad to have you here. let me just ask you, hawaii just voted. so that's the last state. the final state. obviously, joe biden had already crossed the 270 line. but we're now done. every state has had its say and the results are affirmed. and yet, attorney general, you saw senator mcconnell today still refuse to answer whether joe biden is president-elect. why? why is he waiting at this point when we know in private what he's saying to joe biden and his team is very different? >> you know, i can't speak for senator -- for leader mcconnell. it may be because he wants to protect certain members of his caucus. yet who knows? i have every confidence, however, that because the long-standing relationship between senator mcconnell and senator biden that very shortly the leader's going to publicly
announce what we all know and that is that joe biden is the president-elect come january 20th will be president of the united states. >> so you said that right away. you've been very loud and clear since day one on this as have others like mitt romney. but the majority of sitting republican congresspeople have not. so today republican congressman paul mitchell of michigan announced he's leaving the republican party. he said he's out because of all this. he said his disgust and disappointment with president trump's efforts to overturn the results and the gop support for that has led him to leave the party. he's now going to be an independent. are you worried, attorney general, about what this means for the future of your party, that it may be impossible to bridge the gap between a state senator in michigan who says that there's going to be violence in the streets today and someone else from michigan who leaves his party because he won't tolerate that stuff? >> well, i'd like to think that the party is large enough to accommodate people of different
views. so long as they're able to communicate and listen and that the best ideas prevail within the party. am i worried about it? i'm a little bit worried about it. quite frankly i was just talking to a friend the other day saying i'm not sure -- i won a statewide election in texas back in 2000. i'm not sure that i could win a statewide election in texas. i'm not sure that i would be viewed as, quote, conservative enough. i worry about george w. bush winning an election in texas. the party clearly has shifted. but i still have confidence in republican ideals. but it's going to require strong leadership, quite frankly. leadership at the top. leadership from people like mcconnell, kevin mccarthy. and you know, i just hope they step up because our country needs strong leadership. we have so many problems, some of them caused by covid, but
there are a multitude of issues confronting many americans and we need strong leadership of both republicans and democrats working together for the best ideas to help president biden be successful the next four years. >> so just as we're talking, attorney general, we're just looking at a live picture of joe biden. his limo arriving for his speech, which as i said should begin in a few moments. but he has arrived at the venue where he's going to be speaking. so we're watching that. so our viewers know exactly what's on your screen there in wilmington, delaware. attorney general, let me ask you about the attorney general bill barr. he's leaving and we found out by tweet. the president announced that he's leaving. let me just -- bill barr had gone along with trump a lot. right? and then he stopped. he didn't announce the hunter biden thing. and he said that the election was not rigged, there's no evidence of widespread fraud, and so now he's out. does the president have any plan to do something in this interim
period, do you think? what's your reaction to what we're seeing here with bill barr being kicked out at this point? >> yeah, obviously i have no insight into what's really going on here. it is odd that just 30-something days before the end of the administration the attorney general would step down. i think he did the right thing with respect to not publicly announcing the hunter biden investigation. and that may have been the last straw with the president. you know, all cabinet officials, even the attorney general, serve at the pleasure of the president. and when you no longer have the president's pleasure, quite frankly, you should resign, you should leave office because every cabinet official owes that position to the president of the united states and of course the confirmation by the senate. as to what really is going on here, that remains to be seen. you know, i have to admit i've been curious about some of the statements and actions decisions by general barr over these past few years. but i always remind myself i don't know what i don't know and only history and only time will tell us the basis for some of
these decisions and the basis for some of these statements. and i may decide after learning this information you know what, i can support that decision, that statement. >> we shall see. of course it does appear yet another person who thought they could contain trump and ended up learning the hard way. thank you very much, attorney general. i appreciate your time. >> thanks for having me. and next breaking news. we are waiting for president-elect joe biden to address the nation any moment. you saw him and jill biden just getting out of the motorcade and walking in there in wilmington, delaware. we're going to bring you that speech when it happens. and as i said, it should be just in a few moments because they are on location and prepared and all the states have now cast their electoral votes including hawaii this hour. plus michigan shutting down its state capitol after credible threats of violence. so how seriously is the state taking these security concerns and why? we're going to talk to the state as toernlg. and we're learning the timing is still being worked out for joe bide-tone get the coronavirus
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lelet's get fast, accuratell range oresults.ions. our fees are structured so we do better when you do better. introducing letsgetchecked health testing you do at home. know your health. know yourself. order now at letsgetchecked dot com as electors cast their votes today cementing joe biden's victory, unprecedented security measures were taken across this country. they actually had the electoral college meet in an undisclosed location because of worries. michigan actually shut down its state capitol to business due to credible threats of violence. and that came as republicans condemned comments made by a republican state representative.
he suggested there could be violent protests. >> this sounds dangerous, gary. and i'm not kidding around. >> it is dangerous. it's going to be violence. it's going to be protests. >> can you assure me this is going to be a safe day in lansing, nobody's going to get hurt? >> no. >> luckily, no one has been hurt. and the republican leadership in the state stripped him of his committee assignments. but out front now is michigan attorney general dana nessel. let me ask you, attorney general. tensions have been especially high in your your states. threats against michigan lawmakers including the governor. this has been going on for months. today the state capitol shut down because of credible threats. is there anything joe biden can say tonight to calm the election deniers down? >> you know what? i sure hope so. because if i had a nickel for every time i saw a public official threatened in the state
of michigan lately i'd have enough money to pay down all of donald trump's debt. it's been really insane in the state lately, whether it's threats to kidnap and kill the governor, threats to our secretary of state, to our state and county board of canvassers, to local clerks, even from legislators to other legislators and back to other legislators. it's not the democrats and republicans in our state anymore. it feels like the hatfields and mccoys. and i'm really hopeful that president-elect biden in his calm measured tone can really start to unite the country because all we have seen lately is this horrible divisiveness and it's so damaging to our democracy. >> and you know, you're giving all these examples. it was a violent weekend. trump supporters including members of that far right proud boys group, right? which became infamous during -- after that debate. they clashed with anti-trump protesters. all of this was happening. do you see a way to deescalate
this? and you know, when you look at the republican speaker and speaker-elect in your state, right? condemning representative eisen for his comments, stripping him of his assignments. do you think those sort of moves actually will make a big difference? >> certainly it was helpful. and i was very appreciative of the fact they said that. especially in light of the comments that were made this morning. and that was after a decision had already been made to effectively shut down all of state government. you know, i was there at the capitol building when all 16 of our electors voted for joe biden and kamala harris. but in order to get in the building i had to be escorted through some at least 50 state police troopers. and that is something that we've never seen before in our state. and i think the biggest problem and the reason why it's going to be hard for future president biden to be as effective as he otherwise could be is we really need a set of circumstances
where at long last the president of the united states, the current president, does the right thing and concedes simply that he lost and that the vote was full, fair, free, and accurate. and i think all of this would actually stop. but unfortunately in michigan what we're seeing is continued litigation, continued lawsuits, continued, you know, fake reports that have been issued involving somehow the dominion voting system was rigged to intentionally subvert the vote. and things like that are fundamentally unhelpful because it always leads people to think -- >> attorney general, i'm sorry to interrupt you. vice president -- president-elect joe biden is now speaking. let's listen in. >> -- party or political preference have certified the winning candidates. today a member of the electoral college representing the
certified winner cast their votes for president and vice president of the united states in an act just as old as our nation itself. once again, in america the rule of law, our constitution, and the will of the people prevailed. our democracy pushed, tested, threatened, proved to be resilient, true and strong. the electoral college votes which occurred today effect the fact that even in the face of a public health crisis unlike anything we've experienced in our lifetimes the people voted. they voted in record numbers. more americans voted this year than have ever voted in the history of the united states of america. over 155 million americans were determined to have their voices heard and their votes counted. in the start of this pandemic, this crisis, many were wondering how many americans would actually vote at all. but those fears proved to be
unfounded. we saw something very few predicted, even thought possible. the biggest voter turnout in the history of the united states of america. a number so big that this election now ranks as the clearest demonstration of the true will of the american people. one of the most amazing demonstrations of civic duty we've ever seen in our country. it should be celebrated, not attacked. more than 81 million of those votes were cast for me and vice president-elect harris. that tu tao is a record. more than any ticket has received in the history of america. represents a winning margin of more than 7 million votes over the number of votes cast for my opponent. together vice president-elect harris and i earned 306 electoral votes, well exceeding the 270 electoral votes needed to secure victory.
306 electoral votes is the same number of electoral votes that donald trump and vice president pence received when they won in 2016. excuse me. at the time president trump called the electoral college tally a landslide. by his own standards these numbers represented a clear victory then, and i respectfully suggest they do so now. if anyone didn't know before, they know now. what beats deep in the hearts of the american people is this. democracy. the right to be heard. to have your vote counted. to choose leaders of this nation. to govern ourselves. in america politicians don't take power. people grant power to them. the flame of democracy was lit in this nation a long time ago. and we now know nothing, not even a pandemic or an abuse of
power, can extinguish that flame. and as the people kept it aflame so too did courageous state and local officials and election workers. american democracy works because america makes it work at a local level. one of the extraordinary things we saw this year was that everyday americans, our friends and our neighbors, often volunteers, democrats, republicans, independents, demonstrating absolute courage, they showed a deep and unwavering faith in and a commitment to the law. they did their duty in the face of the pandemic. and then they could not and would not give credence to what they knew is not true. they knew this election was overseen, was overseen by them, it was honest, it was free, and it was fair. they saw it with their own eyes and they wouldn't be bullied
into saying anything different. it was truly remarkable because so many of these patriotic americans are subject to so much, enormous political pressure, verbal abuse, and even threats of physical violence. while we all wish that our fellow americans in these positions will always show such courage and commitment to free and fair elections, it is my sincere hope we never again see anyone subjected to the kind of threats and abuse we saw in this election. it's simply unconscionable. we owe these public servants a debt of gratitude. they didn't seek the spotlight. you know, and our democracy survived because of them. which is proof once more that it's everyday americans infused with honor, character, and decency that is the heart of this nation. you know, in this election their integrity was matched by their
strength, independence and the integrity of our judicial system. in america when questions are raised about the legitimacy of any election, those questions resolve through the legal processes. and that's precisely what happened here. the trump campaign brought dozens and dozens and dozens of legal challenges to test the result. they were heard again and again. and each of the times they were heard they were found to be without merit. time and again president trump's lawyers presented arguments to state officials, state legislatures, state and federal courts, and ultimately to the united states supreme court twice. they were heard by more than 80 judges across this country, and in every case no cause or evidence was found to reverse or question or dispute the results. a few states went for recounts. all the counts were confirmed. the results in georgia were
counted three times. didn't change the outcome. the recount conducted in wisconsin actually saw our margin grow. the margin we had in michigan was 14 times the margin president trump won that state by four years ago. our margin in pennsylvania was nearly twice the size of the trump margin four years ago. and yet none of this has stopped baseless claims about the legitimacy of the results. even more stunning, 17 republican attorneys general and 126 republican members of the congress actually, they actually signed on to a lawsuit filed by the state of texas. that lawsuit asked the united states supreme court to reject the certified vote counts in georgia, michigan, pennsylvania and wisconsin. this legal maneuver was an effort by elected officials and one group of states to try to
get the supreme court to wipe out the votes of more than 20 million americans in other states. and to hand the presidency to a candidate who lost the electoral college, lost the popular vote, and lost each and every one of the states whose votes they were trying to reverse. it's a position so extreme we've never seen it before. a position that refused to respect the will of the people, refused to respect the rule of law, and refused to honor our constitution. thankfully, a unanimous supreme court immediately and completely rejected this effort. the court sent a clear signal to president trump that they would be no part of an unprecedented assault on our democracy. every single avenue was made available to president trump to contest the results. he took full advantage of each and every one of those avenues. president trump was denied no
course of action he wanted to take. he took his case to republican governors and republican secretary of state as he criticized many of them. to republican state legislatures. to republican-appointed judges at every level. and in a case decided after the supreme court's latest rejection a judge appointed by president trump wrote, "this court has allowed the plaintiff the chance to make his case and he has lost on the merits." end of quote. lost on the merits. even president trump's own cybersecurity chief overseeing our elections said it was the most secure election in american history and summarily was let go. let me say it again. his own cybersecurity chief overseeing this election said it was the most secure in american histo history. respecting the will of the people is at the heart of our
democracy. even if we find those results hard to accept. but that's the obligation of those who have taken on a sworn duty to uphold the constitution. four years ago when i was the sitting vice president of the united states it was my responsibility to announce the tally of the electoral college votes in a joint session of congress that voted to elect donald trump. i did my job. and i'm pleased but not surprised by the number of my former republican colleagues in the senate who have acknowledged already the results of the electoral college. i thank them. and i'm convinced we can work together for the good of the nation on many subjects. that's the duty owed to the people, to our constitution, to our history. you know, in this battle for the soul of america democracy prevailed. we the people voted. faith in our institutions held. the integrity of our elections
remains intact. now it's time to turn the page, as we've done throughout our history. to unite. to heal. as i said in this campaign, i will be president for all americans. i'll work just as hard for those of you who didn't vote for me as i will for those who did. there's urgent work in front of us. getting this pandemic under control and getting the nation vaccinated against this virus. delivering immediate economic help so badly needed by so many americans who are hurting today. and then building our economy back better than it ever was. in doing so we need to work together. to give each other a chance. to lower the temperature. and most of all, we need to stand in solidarity as fellow americans. to see each other. our pain, our struggles, our hopes and our dreams.
we're a great nation. we're good people. we may come from different places, hold different beliefs. we share in common a love for this country, a belief in its limitless possibilities. for we the united states of america has always set the example for the world, for a peaceful transition of power. we'll do so again. i know the task before us won't be easy. it's tempered by the pain so many of us are feeling. today our nation passed a grim milestone. 300,000 deaths due to this covid virus. my heart goes out to each of you in this dark winter of the pandemic. about to spend the holidays and the new year with a black hole in your hearts, without the ones you love at your side. my heart goes out to all of you who have fallen on hard times
through no fault of your own. unable to sleep at night, staring at the ceiling, weighed down by the worry of what tomorrow will bring for you and equally important for your family. but we've faced difficult times before in our history. i know we'll get through this one. but together that's how we get through it. together. so as we start the hard work to be done, may this moment give us the strength to rebuild this house of ours. upon a rock that can never be washed away. as in the prayer of saint francis, for where there is discord union, where there is doubt faith, where there is darkness light. this is who we are as a nation. this is the america we love. and that is the america we're going to be. so thank you all. may god bless you. and may god protect our troops and all those who stand watch
over our democracy. thank you. >> and that was the president-elect speaking there for just over ten minutes. you see dr. jill biden coming out embracing her husband. obviously he was speaking out, as we have now the formal, formal affirmation from the electoral college that joe biden is the president-elect of the united states. let's go straight to michael smerconish, host of "smerconish," jamie gangel, our special correspondent, and dr. jonathan reiner who advised the medical under president george w. bush. michael, it was interesting watching that. it was not long. it started off a little slow. and then? real passion and outrage as joe biden laid out all of the challenges, right? that donald trump had thrown at this election. all of the recounts. laid that out with great passion. and then great emotion there at the end talking about the black hole of loss for so many americans. what do you take away from this
very brief speech? >> i think he said all the right things, erin. i said i think he threaded that needle in precisely the way that he needs to, speaking of again his desire to represent all americans, not just those who voted for him. but i have no illusion as to whether his remarks will reach the intended audience. to the extent the intended audience are those 75 or so million who didn't vote for him. it just seems that they're so siloed in, that they're getting all their news and information not, from say, a source like the vice president, now president-elect, speaking. and only i think when he's governing and can exhibit competence in something like the vaccine distribution do i think he really stands the prospect of trying to win back some of those who were not on his side. >> jamie, in that speech, the address that joe biden just gave, he was very passionate when talking about -- and the most vocal he has been, right? and his anger at what donald
trump has done and also his anger it seemed at congress. and so many of those republicans who have refused to publicly do the right thing. that really stood out. he has been so careful and so measured for these 37 days. but some of that real emotion really just came through. >> no question about it. a lot of it was in stark contrast to donald trump's erratic tweets. but there's no question that he has to at this point be thinking to himself he's won again, where is the republican leadership. donald trump is never going to do the right thing. i think we can all come to that conclusion by now. but paging mitch mcconnell. paging kevin mccarthy. if the republican party is going
to take back its party and rebuild its party from donald trump, then its leaders need to step forward. it was interesting to me today because a couple of republican senators spoke up. john thune said that it was time to face the music. roy blunt. but where is mitch mcconnell? where is kevin mccarthy? it is december 14th. joe biden has won. it's embarrassing at this point that the republican party is doing this. >> and michael, joe biden made it very clear there. right? and he has said this before. but he emphasized again, i'm convinced we can work together. right? republicans, do the right thing and then let's talk. let's get things done. that's what i'm here to do. and again he said i am president for all americans, i will work just as hard for those who didn't work for me as those who
did. a point he has repeatedly made. does this, michael, break through to some of the republicans who will see that address, who did see that address, who are sitting in washington right now? >> i don't think so. i think that donald trump is largely good for republican business insofar as they picked up seats in the house, seemingly maintained control of the u.s. senate, won the gubernatorial mansion in montana, gained more stitd legislatures than the democrats. the only ware they came up short, and it's a big area, i'm not minimizing it, is that donald trump couldn't drag himself over the finish line. but i think it's difficult sometimes for those of us on the outside looking in to appreciate that the republican party by and large, by a lot of metrics, is doing very well. >> it's an interesting way of looking at it. you know, dr. reiner, one thing joe biden did when he expressed his frustration, and i thought he really did express his outrage and frustration at
republicans in congress. but when it kamz to the coronavirkrrn came to the coronavirus he did not make it political at all. it wasn't about calling out donald trump for what he did not do, as medical professionals across this country have done. he did not do that. he talked to the people, talked about the black hole people feel that have lost someone, when someone has died. something that he has uniquely been able to do. right? because of his own great loss in his life. how effective was he talking about the coronavirus to those who are skeptical of him? >> yeah. for the first time, erin, we heard our new leader say we get through this together. how refreshing. we get through this together. so he's calling on all americans to come together to put this pandemic down. you know, today was a really optimistic day. it was a triumph of democracy. and it was a triumph of science
and medicine. and i love this message that let's come together now. we have the means to do this. and the politicization of this pandemic hopefully is over. and we'll let science lead. and this was a great start. >> so the president-elect of course >> very cognizant and respectful of the coronavirus restrictions. our mj lee was in the room. what was it like in there? was he speaking to the camera, please set the stage for us. >> reporter: he was, he was reading off the prompter and these remarks were prewritten. it is worth emphasizing what a remarkable moment it was. the reason that biden got up on that stage tonight and decided to address the nation in this fashion on the same day that the electoral college voted and
officially declared him the winner, the reason he did this because president trump had raised so questions about the legitimacy of this election and trying to challenge the election results and what we heard him say was actually pretty a grin in some way, saying that we have never seen the nation democratic institutions challenged like this. he clearly had a message for the sitting president and some of his supporters who are clearly unwilling to accept the results of the election. look, this president has tried everything he could and gone down every avenue making legal challenges and all of those efforts have been unsuccessful so this is clearly a president elect who wants to be turning the page. he actually literally used that language it is time to turn the page. i think it is also important to
note that apart of turning ta page is turning into the future. that's why we heard him talk about covid-19 marketing this very grim 300,000 deaths mark that we turn to date in the united states, talking about vaccine distributions and a big part of turning the page is about politics. it is about the work that he'll potentially be able to do in congress. that's why we are going to see him tomorrow leave here and travel to atlanta, georgia, to campaign for these two kand d s candidates who are going to be in run-off. that's so important of the kind of work he'll be able to do and how much help he'll need from senate republicans come next year to get really anything done. >> one thing he did and i know we thought that he's going to lay out but this is a free and
fair elections. he went into details of mr. krebs. this is the most secured election and he went through four of the most contested states by trump with the march jigin s of victory. being this specific and laying it out and despite the feedback that he's preaching to a choir in terms of listening to this was worth it. >> today is the date they want to set the record straight. this is a three-act play. today was confirmed. january 6th it gets certified by the congress. january 20th it the finale. to michael's point, i don't know if they are reaching the trump
base. today was the day to send out the facts. i am guessing his inaugural speech will be different. >> michael, i do think that as he has in prior statements, he's been calm and measured. he's never been passion about his frustration here but he's synced. it was a decision made to make this synced. >> maybe it is not complicated. frankly if you take a look at where we have been on election day, there is anonymity in the court to look at this. what i thought was compelling part of the speech was when he referred to his role four years ago as the president of the senate having to weigh in and
certify the results. i thought it was compelling. >> he did his duty and job without questioning is a fair point. dr. rhiner, this is all the context that we have been covering. people getting shots in their arms and electoral college, both of them are the two biggest stories worldwide today. you have called on joe biden to get vaccinated as soon as today because by the time he gets to the second, he'll barely be immune by inauguration day. he didn't say anything about when he'll be vaccinated. this is being discussed with dr. fauci. they have not been specific and do you know why and should they be announcing this is imminent? >> there is concerns that the president-elect does not want to look that he's stepping in front
of somebody else and he's taking a shot that should go to a first-responder. the virus is a lethal threat. it is a lethal threat to the president-elect. we have the means to immunize that. he should receive it tomorrow. it will take months for him to become totally immune and totally take him up to the inauguration. >> and given his gender and age, absolutely. you would neutralize any other threats if you could. thank you very much. president-elect biden saying in his speech that his heart goes out to the families who will spend their days without here loved ones truly in the lives of so many. so many who have lost the 300,000 americans who died from coronavirus. that's a milestone and the number that's growing. every single state have received their first vaccine shipment.
martin savidge is out front. all across the country, doctors and nurses are rolling up their sleeves to get the first dose of pfizer covid-19 vaccine. >> i feel great. i just got the vaccine and it was not painful at all. the first injections are given to their colleagues. >> i spent a large portion of my day in here yesterday by myself practicing what i needed to do before the vaccine arrives. >> reporter: the roll out has largely been a success. >> this week, everyone's work starts to pay off. the shipment is 2.9 million doses. we'll announce new weekly allocations of vaccines. the logistics required to get to
this point, this weekend shipped into the pfizer vaccines were loaded onto trucks and planes to michigan to all 50 states of puerto rico, it should be delivered by the end of the day. more than 400 will receive shipments tomorrow. doctors have three minutes from once the packages are opened, and check the expiration date and get the viles back into the freezer. it is a monumental moment. >> there is some justice in the fact that we were the epicenter and the first wave dealing with the brunt of this crisis, we are in the first wave of fighting back. >> reporter: new york like other states will prioritize recipients until more companies are getting the vaccines in production. the moderna is expected to get authorization from the fda later this week. we know we'll ship short of 6 million doses out to the american people. we are shipping to 28,055
locations across the country. >> it is good news but health experts warned it is not an over night fix. >> i don't believe we'll throw the masks away and congrega congregate -- probably until next fall and the next winter. as more than 300,000 americans have died from the coronavirus. >> i am hopeful that majority of the people are feeling comfortable enough to come out and get the vaccine. this has been a long year. >> reporter: i was in the room, erin, the medical professionals where they were vaccinated today. a lot of emotions. others are nervous because of the media attention. a lot of them felt proud and honored to be among the first. the over arching feeling is
relief. to finally have a weapon not just to fight coronavirus but to beat it. erin. >> martin savidge. thank you very much. thank you to all of you. you can watch the show any time on cnn.com/go. i i ism. good evening, president-elect biden speaking to the country after the electoral college ratified his victory under threats of violence in some states. the out going president refusing to concede despite in court's losses and rejections. americans start to receive vaccinations as deaths in this country at 300,000. attorney general barr resigns. what the president-elect said a few minutes ago. >> this battle for america, democracy prevailed. we, the people, voted, faith in our