Joe Biden cast an optimistic outlook about the outcome of the yet-to-be-called presidential election as votes continue to be counted and urged unity after a bruising campaign that was roiled by the coronavirus pandemic and a summer of unrest.
“Every vote must be counted. No one is going to take our democracy away from us. Not now, not ever,” Biden said in remarks from the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware. “America’s come too far, America’s fought too many battles, America’s endured too much for that to happen. We the people will not be silenced. We the people will not be bullied. We the people will not surrender.”
Joined by running mate Kamala Harris, Biden stopped short of declaring victory, but said that after a long night of vote counting in key battleground states, “I am here to report that when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners.”
“If we had any doubts, we shouldn’t have any longer about a government of, by and for the people,” he said. “It’s very much alive, very much alive in America. Here, the people rule. Power can’t be taken or asserted. It flows from the people and it’s their will that determines who will be the president of the United States and their will alone.”
With more than 150 million votes cast in the general election, Biden touted the high voter turnout and said he and Harris are on track to win more votes than any other ticket.
“Yesterday once again proved that democracy is the heartbeat of this nation, just as it has been the heartbeat of this nation for two centuries,” the former vice president said.
Biden’s remarks came as several key states — Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania — have not yet been called by CBS News, but as the former vice president appears to be making gains against President Trump. On Wednesday afternoon, CBS News projected Biden won Maine, Michigan and Wisconsin, securing significant wins in key midwestern states and moving closer to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House.
Still, Mr. Trump continues to cast doubts about the integrity of the election, making dubious claims on Twitter of election fraud in battleground states where votes continue to be counted. On Wednesday, his campaign announced it would be seeking a recount in Wisconsin, and filed lawsuits to halt the vote counts in Michigan and Pennsylvania. The president’s lawyers also requested the Supreme Court allow it to intervene in a separate legal battle over the mail-in ballot deadline in Pennsylvania, where votes are still being counted.
Biden said that he is confident he and Harris will be victorious, and made a plea for the American people to leave the division and partisanship behind.
“Once this election is finalized and behind us, it’ll be time for us to do what we’ve always done as Americans, to put the harsh rhetoric of the campaign behind us, to lower the temperature, to see each other again, to listen to one another, to hear each other again and respect and care for one another,” he said. “To unite, to heal, to come together as a nation.”
Biden’s campaign has continued to express confidence they will deny Mr. Trump a second term as Election Day came to a close and officials worked to relay vote counts.
Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s campaign manager, told reporters in a briefing earlier Wednesday that the campaign believes Biden is “on a clear path to victory.”
“Joe Biden is on track to win this election, and he will be the next president of the United States,” O’Malley Dillon said.
O’Malley Dillon said the Biden campaign believes the former vice president will have clear leads in states that would put him over 270 electoral votes by this afternoon, and expects Biden to emerge victorious in Wisconsin, Nevada, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
“We just need any three or four of those states above to get us to 270, so we think that this is already a foregone conclusion,” she said.
Bo Erickson and Ed O’Keefe contributed to this report.