Joe Biden to Americans: Time to heal, unify [Video]

November 8, 2020
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<!– Biden delivers victory speech on Saturday –>

Biden delivers victory speech on Saturday

In his first speech after winning the US presidential election, Democrat Joe Biden declared in Wilmington, Delaware, it was “time to heal”

“The people of this nation have spoken. They have delivered us a clear victory, a convincing victory for we, the people. We’ve won with the most votes ever cast on a presidential ticket in the history of the nation — 74 million,” Biden told cheering supporters in a parking lot during his victory speech.

Biden’s victory in the battleground state of Pennsylvania put him over the threshold of 270 Electoral College votes he needed to clinch the presidency, ending four days of nail-biting suspense and sending his supporters into the streets of major cities in celebration.

Biden and Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris delivers her speech

He had since won Nevada and Arizona to increase his electoral college votes to 290, according to AP.

Trump, who is yet to concede defeat, has 214.

“I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide, but to unify,” Biden said, then addressed Trump’s supporters directly.

“Now, let’s give each other a chance. It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again,” he said. “This is the time to heal in America.”

Biden commented on celebrations taking place across the country.

“What I must admit has surprised me, tonight we’re seeing all over this nation, all cities in all parts of the country, indeed across the world, an outpouring of joy, of hope of renewed faith in tomorrow, bring a better day. And I’m humbled by the trust and confidence you’ve placed in me,” Biden said.

The president-elect acknowledged that bringing the nation together, given all Americans have been through, will be a daunting and unprecedented challenge.

“I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify. Who doesn’t see red states and blue states, only sees the United States,” Biden said.

(watch the speech courtesy of thehill.com: [embedded content]

“I sought this office to restore the soul of America, to rebuild the backbone of this nation, the middle class, to make America respected around the world again, and to unite us here at home.”

“It’s the honor of my lifetime that so many millions of Americans have voted for that vision. And now, the work of making that vision is real, it’s a task — the task of our time,” he continued.

Biden thanked the coalition his campaign put together to bring him to this moment, calling it the broadest and most diverse movement in history, and paid special acknowledgement to the demographic that has historically led him to victory.

“Especially in those moments when this campaign was at its lowest ebb, the African American community stood up again for me,” Biden said, pounding his first on the lectern. “You always had my back, and I’ll have yours.”

Biden directly addressed President Trump only once and indirectly in his remarks, noting he, too, had lost several times before making history in 2020.

“For all those of you who voted President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of times myself, but now let’s give each other a chance,” Biden said. “It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again. And to make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies. They are not our enemies. They are Americans.”

Biden also announced his plans to announce on Monday a team of scientists to deal with the pandemic, which has killed close to 240,000 Americans.

He was introduced to the stage by his running mate, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, who will be the first woman, the first Black American and the first American of Asian descent to serve as vice president, the country’s No. 2 office.

“What a testament it is to Joe’s character that he had the audacity to break one of the most substantial barriers that exists in our country, and select a woman as his vice president,” Harris said.

Harris, 56, had begun her speech by paying a tribute to the late congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis, giving a nod to those who paved the way for a more representative democracy.

“Congressman John Lewis before his passing wrote:

‘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.

“And when our very democracy was on the ballot in this election — with the very soul of America at stake and the world watching — you ushered in a new day for America.”

She went on to thank the voters, organizers, poll workers and activists who she said delivered a clear message in what became a referendum election, choosing, she said, “hope and unity, decency, science, and yes, truth!”

“You chose Joe Biden as the next president of the United States. And Joe is a healer, a uniter, a tested and steady hand. A person whose own experience of loss gives him a sense of purpose that will help us as a nation reclaim our own sense of purpose,” Harris said.

The daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, Harris also thanked her late mother and the generations of women before her — “including the black women who are often, too often overlooked but so often prove they are the backbone of our democracy.”

“When she came here from India at the age of 19, she maybe didn’t quite imagine this moment,” Harris spoke of her mother, an Indian immigrant.

“But she believed so deeply in an America where a moment like this is possible, and so I am thinking about her and about the generations of women, Black women, Asian, white, Latina, Native American women, who throughout our nation’s history, who paved the way to tonight, women who fought and sacrificed so much for equality and liberty and justice for all.”

She gave credit to Biden for helping her ascend to the second highest office of the nation and said she hopes her place on the stage will inspire others to follow.

“What a testament it is to Joe’s character that he had the audacity to break one of the most substantial barriers that exists in our country and select a woman as his vice president,” Harris said.

“While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last. Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities,” she added.

*Reports relied on ABC News

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