‘This is a time to heal, America’: Joe Biden addresses the nation as president-elect for the first time saying he has a ‘convincing victory and a clear mandate,’ promising to control COVID and end ‘era of demonization’ – as Trump rage tweets: ‘I WON.’
- Joe Biden addressed the nation for the first time since the drawn out election was called in his favor Saturday
- The new president-elect took to the stage in Wilmington, Delaware after being introduced by Kamala Harris , his vice-president elect
- Biden scored a narrow victory for the presidency and defeated President Donald Trump after reaching 273 Electoral College votes by winning Pennsylvania
- At 11.25am, as the president played golf at his Virginia course, TV networks almost simultaneously called the election for Biden
- In Wilmington, DE, car horns honked in celebration and on CNN commentator Van Jones cried
- Trump had tweeted claims of election fraud earlier in the morning and issued a statement saying: ‘Legal counts decide the election not the news media.’
- Biden will become the oldest president when he takes office at 78, the second Catholic and and is the third person to knock off an incumbent in 100 years, and the first since Clinton defeated George H.W. Bush in 1992
Biden, in his 15 minute speech to the nation, called on Americans to come together after the presidential election.
He made an appeal to Trump voters and offered a message of hope and sympathy to those who have suffered from the coronavirus pandemic and its resulting affect on the economy.
He thanked his supporters, particularly African American voters who gave him the Democratic nomination and turned out in the general election, along with his campaign staff.
After his remarks, the entire Biden family – including his son Hunter with his new baby and the Biden grandchildren – came out on stage to join Joe and Jill. Confetti cannons fired and fireworks went off as ‘Bring Me a Higher Love’ played.
‘We’re seeing all over the nation, cities across the country, indeed across the world outpouring of joy and hope and renewed faith. Tomorrow will bring a better day. And I’m humbled by the trust and confidence you’ve placed in me. 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,’ he said.
Hail to the chief: Joe Biden addressed the nation for the first time since the drawn out election was called in his favor Saturday
The new president-elect took to the stage in Wilmington, Delaware after being introduced by Kamala Harris, his vice-president elect
US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris bump fists before delivering remarks in Wilmington, Delaware
Biden reached out to the 71 million people who voted for President Trump, vowing to be a president for the entire country and calling on the nation to heal.
‘I said at the outset I wanted to represent this campaign to represent and look like America. We’ve done that. Now for all those of you who voted President Trump, I understand your disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of times myself, but now let’s give each other a chance,’ he said as supporters honked their cars and cheered.
The 2020 presidential election was one of the most divisive in history. President Trump has yet to concede and vowed to launch of series of lawsuits in battleground states on Monday to contest the result.
But Biden said it was time to ‘stop treating our opponents as our enemies.’
‘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. They are Americans. The bible tells us to everything there is a season, a time to build, a time to reap, and a time to sow and a time to heal,’ he said.
‘This is the time to heal in America,’ he added.
‘I will govern as an American president. I’ll work as hard for those who didn’t vote for me as those who did,’ Biden vowed.
Biden – whose primary campaign was salvaged in large part by African American support in South Carolina and other states – gave a prominent shout-out to black supporters.
‘The African American community stood up again for me. You’ve always had my back – and I’ll have yours,’ he said.
He also spoke of ‘the battle to achieve racial justice and root out systemic racism in this country.’
Harris the first woman and the first black woman to be elected vice president, also listed ended ‘systemic racism’ as a top administration priority.
People watch a speech by Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris after media announced she and presidential nominee Joe Biden won the 2020 U.S. presidential election, on Times Square in New York City
People watch a speech by Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris after media announced she and presidential nominee Joe Biden won
Black supporters were critical to Biden’s narrow margin in Georgia, which is headed for a recount but still represents a major achievement for a Democrat.
The president-elect spoke of the missed moments due to the coronavirus pandemic and said he’d have a plan ready to go.
Biden said on Monday that he would name a group of leading experts and scientists to a COVID-19 taskforce that would put together an ‘action blueprint’ ready to go on inauguration day.
‘I will spare no effort or any commitment to turn around this pandemic,’ Biden pledged.
With a speech meant to establish himself as the nation’s next president, Biden did not even mention the legal battle with President Trump over the vote count.
It was a stunning contrast to the president – who spent the day tweeting about unfounded allegations of election fraud, claimed he ‘won’ by ‘a lot,’ boasted of his own 71 million ‘legal’ votes without mentioning Bidens, and claimed his observers weren’t allowed into counting rooms.
In previous statements since Tuesday, Biden called for patience and allowing remaining votes to be counted. He didn’t mention that either.
Instead, he kept his comments referencing President Trump vague. He called to ‘restore decency to politics’ and spoke of a battle between our ‘better angels’ and worst impulses.
‘What presidents say in this battle matters,’ Biden said. ‘It’s time for our better angels to prevail.’
Earlier, Biden’s grandchildren had told him he had the won the election when it was called for by at 11.25am Saturday – then hugged him with his son Hunter.
Naomi Biden, Hunter’s daughter, tweeted a picture of the moment they celebrated the end of a rollercoaster election and count, as in cities across America crowds took to the streets.
In contrast Trump finally reacted to the presidential election being called after almost six hours Saturday – unleashing an all-capitals tirade on Twitter saying: ‘I WON THE ELECTION.’
As thousands partied outside the White House, he Tweeted a barrage of complaints – all without evidence – that ‘bad things happened.’
Jill Biden tweeted this photograph on Saturday afternoon, around two hours after the election was called for her husband. The pair were at home in Wilmington, Delaware. President-elect Biden will speak tonight at 8pm EST
Trump had learned his fate on his own golf course, and been sneaked back in to the White House by a side gate to avoid the celebrations outside about two hours before his tweet.
The election was called for Biden at 11.25am Saturday morning by television networks and the Associated Press as he passed a 30,000 lead in Pennsylvania, an agonizing four days after the polls closed.
CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, the AP and USA Today all made the call and Fox News followed suit 10 minutes later after Biden picked up more votes in Philadelphia, where officials had been working through mail-in ballots for days.
Pennsylvania, with its 20 electoral college votes, finally pushed Biden over the line. Nevada was called for him shortly afterwards. Now, only Arizona, Alaska and North Carolina remain uncalled but none can alter the election outcome now.
Biden will address the nation at 8pm tonight. Within minutes of the call being made, spontaneous celebrations broke out in major cities as people cheered, danced and honked horns in the streets.
Trump arriving back at the White House on Saturday afternoon while Biden supporters flooded the area to celebrate his victory
Trump was playing golf at the time. He has refused to accept the outcome, claiming Biden was trying to ‘falsely pose’ as the winner, vowing to keep challenging results he claims are a ‘fraud’ and creating the potential for weeks of chaos and constitutional crisis. He was on his Sterling, Virginia, course as he news broke and was photographed deep in conversation with his three golfing partners just afterwards.
Trump has no immediate plans to invite Biden to an Oval Office meeting, a tradition between outgoing and incoming presidents, CNN reported. Then Barack Obama hosted Trump for such a meeting on Thursday, November 10, 2016, two days after that year’s presidential election.
Votes in Philadelphia pushed Biden’s margin in must-win Pennsylvania to 34,558, more than 0.5%, just after 11am – putting the result in the state beyond doubt. That took him to 273 electoral votes – putting the 77-year-old on a clear path to the White House. Less than an hour later Nevada was called by networks, putting him on 279.
The states of Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina were still to be called. Biden was ahead in all but North Carolina, and if he stays that way he will have 302 electoral college votes, the same as Trump in 2016.
Kamala Harris, his running mate, becomes the first female vice president, and the first black and Asian-American vice president. She was out for a run when the call came.
Biden tweeted: ‘America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country. The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me.’
Jill, when tweeting the picture of them, said: ‘He will be a President for all our families.’