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Ford and General Motors issue statements as Biden wins White House

DETROIT — General Motors and Ford, the two largest automakers based in the United States, issued statements Saturday saying they look forward to working with President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration on policies to support U.S. manufacturing and other issues. Biden, the Democratic former vice president, defeated Republican President Donald Trump in a tightly contested election that concluded this weekend.

The statements, via Reuters reporter David Shepardson:

Biden defeated Trump to become the 46th president of the United States, positioning himself to lead a nation gripped by a historic pandemic and a confluence of economic and social turmoil. His victory came after more than three days of uncertainty as election officials sorted through a surge of mail-in votes that delayed the processing of some ballots.

Winning the battleground state of Pennsylvania’s 20 Electoral College votes gave Biden more than the 270 he needed, prompting all major TV networks to declare the former vice president the winner after four days of nail-biting suspense following Tuesday’s election.

Biden, 77, staked his candidacy less on any distinctive political ideology than on galvanizing a broad coalition of voters around the notion that Trump posed an existential threat to American democracy. The strategy proved effective, resulting in pivotal victories in Rust Belt states Michigan and Wisconsin — home to auto factories — as well as Pennsylvania, onetime Democratic bastions that had flipped to Trump in 2016. 

Biden, in a statement, said he was humbled by the victory and it was time for the battered nation to set aside its differences.

“It’s time for America to unite. And to heal,” he said.

“With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation,” Biden said. “There’s nothing we can’t do if we do it together.”

Biden was on track to win the national popular vote by more than 4 million, a margin that could grow as ballots continue to be counted.

Trump was not giving up. Departing from longstanding democratic tradition and signaling a potentially turbulent transfer of power, he issued a combative statement while he was on his Virginia golf course. It said his campaign would take unspecified legal actions and he would “not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands.”

Trump has pointed to delays in processing the vote in some states to allege with no evidence that there was voter fraud and to argue that his rival was trying to seize power — an extraordinary charge by a sitting president trying to sow doubt about a bedrock democratic process.

Kamala Harris also made history as the first Black woman to become vice president, an achievement that comes as the U.S. faces a reckoning on racial justice. The California senator, who is also the first person of South Asian descent elected to the vice presidency, will become the highest-ranking woman ever to serve in government, four years after Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.

Trump is the first incumbent president to lose reelection since Republican George H.W. Bush in 1992.

Americans showed deep interest in the presidential race. A record 103 million voted early this year, opting to avoid waiting in long lines at polling locations during a pandemic. With counting continuing in some states, Biden had already received more than 74 million votes, more than any presidential candidate before him.

It was Biden’s native Pennsylvania that put him over the top, the state he invoked throughout the campaign to connect with working class voters. He also won Nevada on Sunday pushing his total to 290 Electoral College votes.

In addition to GM and Ford, Biden received congratulations from dozens of world leaders, and his former boss, President Barack Obama, saluted him in a statement, declaring that the nation was “fortunate that Joe’s got what it takes to be President and already carries himself that way.”

Material from the Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.

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