'We kept the republic!' Democratic leaders — and Mitt Romney — congratulate Biden and Harris on their presidential election victory

By John L. Dorman

An array of Democratic Party leaders congratulated President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Saturday after the presidential race was officially called by most major US media outlets, including the Biden's old boss, former president Barack Obama.

In defeating President Donald Trump, Biden becomes the first challenger to defeat an incumbent president since George H.W. Bush lost his 1992 reelection bid to then-Gov. Bill Clinton of Arkansas.

For Democrats, who have spent four years trying to win back the White House after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's loss to Trump in 2016, the reaction to Biden's win was pure jubilation.

Former president Barack Obama offered immense words of praise for his former No. 2.

"I could not be prouder to congratulate our next President, Joe Biden, and our next First Lady, Jill Biden," Obama tweeted. "I also couldn't be prouder to congratulate Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff for Kamala's groundbreaking election as our next Vice President."

He added: "In this election, under circumstances never experienced, Americans turned out in numbers never seen. And once every vote is counted, President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris will have won a historic and decisive victory. We're fortunate that Joe's got what it takes to be President and already carries himself that way. Because when he walks into the White House in January, he'll face a series of extraordinary challenges no incoming President ever has – a raging pandemic, an unequal economy and justice system, a democracy at risk, and a climate in peril."

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, offered a congratulatory message to Biden and Harris on Twitter, accompanied by an illustration.

"The voters have spoken, and they have chosen Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to be our next president and vice president," she wrote. "It's a history-making ticket, a repudiation of Trump, and a new page for America. Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen. Onward, together."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has worked closely with Biden for years will play a pivotal role in advancing the president-elect's legislative agenda after his inauguration, sent words of praise to her Democratic colleagues.

"We kept the republic!" she wrote on Twitter. "Congratulations to Joe Biden on his victory for the soul of our country. Congratulations to Kamala Harris for making history. It's a time to heal and a time to grow together. E Pluribus Unum."

In an official statement, Pelosi describes what a Biden presidency could deliver for the country.

"In President-elect Joe Biden, Americans elected a leader ready on Day One to finally begin to crush the coronavirus so we can safely reopen our economy and schools," she said.

Pelosi continued: "In President-elect Biden, the American people delivered a mandate for lower health costs, a mandate for creating bigger paychecks by rebuilding America's infrastructure, and a mandate for cleaner government that works for the public interest, not the special interests.

And in President-elect Biden, they have elected a unifier who values faith, family and community, and who will work tirelessly to heal our nation."

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who Biden defeated in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries, sent a note of support to the president-elect.

"Congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for their historic win," he wrote. "In this incredibly difficult moment in American history, I wish them the best as they attempt to bring our nation together around an agenda of economic, social, racial and environmental justice."

Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, who ran against the Obama-Biden ticket as the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, sent words of support to the incoming administration. With the possibility of a Republican-controlled Senate in January 2021, Romney will likely emerge as a key ally for Biden for bipartisan legislation.

"Ann and I extend our congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris," he said. "We know both of them as people of good will and admirable character. We pray that God may bless them in the days and years ahead."

Unlike most conservatives on Capitol Hill, Romney is notable for being one of the first elected Republicans to acknowledge Trump's loss. In October, Romney, who was the only GOP senator to vote for an article of impeachment against Trump earlier this year, announced that he had not voted for the president's reelection bid.