Joe Biden

‘A Victory for We The People': President-Elect Biden Addresses America

Biden is taking the role of peacemaker in a highly divisive country

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This evening, the kid from Scranton took center stage. Joe Biden, a former city council member, senator and vice president, addressed the people of the United States as president-elect.

"Folks, the people of this nation have spoken they've delivered us a clear victory, a convincing victory," Biden said Saturday. "A victory for We The People. We've won with the most votes ever cast for a presidential ticket in the history of the nation."

"I sought this office to restore the soul of America, to rebuild the backbone of this nation, the middle class, and to make America be respected around the world again," Biden added.

Referencing the political and cultural division in America, Biden again said he would be a president for all Americans, whether or not they voted for him.

"For all you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment. I’ve lost a couple elections myself. But now let’s give each other a chance," Biden said. "We have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies. They are not our enemies. They are Americans."

A theme Biden repeated throughout his speech was that the vitriol and hatred between Americans must end if the country is to endure.

"I’m a proud Democrat, but I will govern as an American president. I’ll work as hard for those who didn’t vote for me as those who did. Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end here and now," Biden said.

Watch President-elect Joe Biden speak for the first time since his victory on Saturday at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington, Delaware, on Saturday.

One of the most important issues facing the United States is the coronavirus pandemic, Biden said. His first priority as president is to get the pandemic under control.

“We cannot repair the economy, restore our vitality or relish life’s most precious moments, hugging our grandchildren, our children, on birthdays, weddings, graduations, all the moments that matter most to us, until we get it under control," Biden said.

In his first opportunity as president-elect to outline what policies his administration would address, Biden alluded to health care, racial injustice, climate change and the economy.

"The battle to control the virus. The battle to build prosperity. The battle to secure your family's health care, The battle to achieve racial justice and root out systemic racism in this country. And the battle to save our planet by getting climate under control," Biden said. "The battle to restore decency, defend democracy and give everybody in this country a fair shot."

“For all of those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight. I've lost a couple times myself. But now let's give each other a chance,” President-Elect Joe Biden said. “[Trump supporters] are not our enemies. They are Americans.”

Biden spoke after Vice President-elect Kamala Harris from the campaign headquarters at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, Saturday night.

Harris began her speech by quoting late U.S. Rep. John Lewis, an icon of the Civil Rights movement.

"'Democracy is not a state. It is an act.' -- and what he meant was that America's democracy is not guaranteed. It is only as strong as our willingness to fight for it," Harris said.

Harris thanked the poll workers and election officials throughout the country to assure all votes are counted.

"Our nation owes you a debt of gratitude," Harris said. "You have protected the integrity of our democracy."

Watch Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speak for the first time since her victory on Saturday at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington, Delaware, on Saturday.

Before Saturday, Biden spoke publicly twice since Election Day.

In the early hours of Wednesday after it was clear there would not be an immediate result, he called for patience.

"We believe we're on track to win this election," Biden said. "We’re going to have to be patient until the hard work of tallying votes is finished, and it ain’t over until every vote is counted, every ballot is counted."

In the late hours of Friday, Biden said he was going to win the election thanks to a "mandate for action" given to him by more than 74 million people.

"We don't have a final declaration of victory yet but the numbers tell us it's clear -- tell us a clear and convincing story: we're going to win this race," Biden said.

And now, Biden spoke to his future constituents as the world watched. He is expected to take the role of peacemaker in a highly divisive country alongside Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

During the campaign trail and more pointedly during the final presidential debate, Biden emphasized a broad message of unity that echoed former President Barack Obama's Democratic National Convention keynote address in 2004 in which he said, "There is not a liberal America or a conservative America, there is the United States of America."

On the debate stage, Biden expanded on his promise that he would be a president to all Americans regardless of who they supported.

"What is on the ballot here is the character of this country: decency, honor, respect, treating people with dignity, making sure that everyone has an even chance, and I'm going to make sure you get that," Biden said.

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