"Though we have political differences, I know Joe Biden to be a good man, who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country. The President-elect reiterated that while he ran as a Democrat, he will govern for all Americans."Bush made sure to congratulate President Donald Trump and his supporters as well, noting that the commander-in-chief managed to win more than 70 million votes.
"They have spoken, and their voices will continue to be heard through elected Republicans at every level of government," he said of those who voted for Trump.
Echoing Biden's repeated calls for unity, Bush said that Americans "must come together for the sake of our families and neighbors, and for our nation and its future."
"There is no problem that will not yield to the gathered will of a free people," he stressed.
By extending his congratulations to Biden, Bush broke with congressional Republicans and other GOP leaders, the majority of whom have backed Trump's claims of voter fraud and refused to acknowledge Biden as president-elect.
Bush never formally endorsed Biden in the 2020 election, but he did not endorse Trump either. However, some prominent members of his Cabinet -- including including former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez -- expressed support for the Democratic presidential nominee.
The former president's brother Jeb Bush, who served as the Governor of Florida and competed in the 2016 Republican Party primaries against Trump, also sent congratulatory messages to Biden.
In a statement released Saturday via Twitter, the younger Bush said that "now is the time to heal deep wounds," noting that he will pray for Biden's success.
Per Forbes, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan, Rep. Tom Reed of New York all congratulated Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, on their projected victory.
Though Trump apparently has no plans to concede any time soon, the pressure seems to be growing.
According to ABC reporter Jon Karl's White House sources, Trump's closest advisers and some members of the first family reportedly believe that the time has come to formally accept defeat. They have reportedly tried to persuade the commander-in-chief to do so, but he allegedly still believes that mounting legal challenges in key states is the best option.