Romney calls for nation to ‘get behind’ Biden as president-elect

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 24: Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) stands in a hallway near the Senate chamber in the U.S. Capitol on January 24, 2020 in Washington, DC. Impeachment trial proceedings against President Donald Trump have resumed today. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

 (CNN) — Republican Sen. Mitt Romney on Sunday called for the country to “get behind” President-elect Joe Biden, urging unity as President Donald Trump has so far refused to concede the election.

“I think we get behind the new president, unless for some reason that’s overturned, we get behind the new president and wish him the very best,” Romney, who was the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”

Romney had said last month that he did not vote for Trump in the election, but he declined to say Sunday who he voted for. Pressed by Tapper, the Utah senator instead said his vote is “in the rearview mirror.”

“I’m going to talk now about how I can work with the new president. I know he’s on the other side of the aisle, but I want to make sure we conservatives keep on fighting” against Democratic policy proposals, he said.

Romney also said Senate Republicans “have no choice” but to work with Biden on policy, saying the party has “a responsibility we are going to have to live up to.”

“We begin, I think, with immediate need to get relief to families and small businesses that are suffering as a result of the economic downturn associated with Covid,” he said. “That is something we are going to have to do and we are going to have do it in a bipartisan basis.”

The senator went on to say he believes Republicans and Democrats will be able to work together on other issues, including education, health care and the environment.

CNN projected Saturday that Biden will become the 46th President of the United States and Kamala Harris will become vice president.

Romney on Saturday quickly extended his congratulations, saying he knows them as “people of good will and admirable character.”

With his path to reelection narrowing last week, Trump pushed baseless claims of voter fraud as more mail-in ballots were counted, giving Biden the lead in battleground states.

As Trump called for the counting of legally cast ballots to stop, Romney on Thursday said “counting every vote is at the heart of democracy” and that “process is often long and, for those running, frustrating.” And the senator on Friday tweeted that Trump’s comments about a rigged election “damages the cause of freedom here and around the world, weakens the institutions that lie at the foundation of the Republic, and recklessly inflames destructive and dangerous passions.”

While Romney has been a reliable GOP vote, he is often the lone Republican voice on Capitol Hill critical of Trump’s rhetoric and character. He was the only Republican to vote to remove Trump from office on a charge of abuse of power during the President’s impeachment trial earlier this year.