Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat who typically avoids antagonizing President Donald Trump, on Wednesday noted the president has so far produced little evidence of fraud that would cast doubt on the election, and said he hopes Trump will soon concede.
While Edwards said Trump has "every right" to challenge fraud in the courts, "thus far we've heard a lot of talk."
"We haven't seen much evidence at all," Edwards said on his monthly call-in radio show. "I don't know of a single meaningful case that has been prosecuted in any state in the country."
"Hopefully the president is getting to the point where he's going to concede."
President-elect Joe Biden, who won the election by flipping several key swing states in the Midwest, as well as Arizona and Georgia – the latter of which is pending a recount – has begun filling out his administration even as Trump refuses to concede.
Edwards said communication between him and the White House may improve when Biden takes office. But that's less because Biden is president, the governor said, and more because U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, is stepping up into a senior role in Biden's administration.
"To have him in the White House is going to be helpful to the state," Edwards said.
The governor, a pro-gun, anti-abortion Democrat who won a tightly-contested re-election last year despite Trump attending several rallies to campaign against him, has largely avoided criticizing the president. He has long cited the need for Louisiana to work with whoever is in the White House, especially as the state recovers from hurricanes and the pandemic. However, he did confirm before the election that he planned to vote for Biden.
Biden is moving forward with a transition that is taking place without help from Trump, who has pursued largely unsuccessful legal challenges in several states in an effort to overturn the election results.
Richmond, a co-chair of Biden's transition team, said Tuesday the fact that "we're not having an orderly transition ... could cost lives."
"I expect that at some point the Senate, his confidants, his advisors and the president himself will understand how important that is and how important a concession speech is," Richmond said at a press conference. "So I'm not sure if he’s big enough to do a concession speech but a peaceful transition of power, I'm hoping he will rise to that moment.”
U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Baton Rouge Republican who won re-election Nov. 3, said he's not concerned that Trump's refusal to concede could hamper distribution of a vaccine, now that two companies are poised to begin sending vaccines as soon as December.
Cassidy said the distribution of the first vaccine will be done by Pfizer, and states will largely handle how to dole out the vaccines to patients.
Edwards said the pandemic makes the transition between administration more pressing.
“This transition is occurring as we have a public health emergency the likes of which our country hasn’t experienced in more than 100 years," Edwards said.