President-Elect Joe Biden spoke to the nation from Wilmington, Delaware.
A record number of Americans have given us a mandate for action on COVID, the economy, climate change, systemic racism. They made it clear they want the country to come together not continue to pull apart. The people spoke, more than 74 million Americans, and they spoke loudly for our ticket. But while we’re waiting for the final results I want people to know we’re not waiting to get the work done and start the process.
My responsibility as president will be to represent the whole nation. And I want you to know that I’ll work as hard for those who voted against me as those who voted for me, that’s the job: it’s called the duty of care for all Americans. We have serious problems to deal with from COVID to the economy, to racial justice and climate change. We don’t have any more time to waste on partisan warfare.
Biden-Harris Transition web site: Build Back Better.
Transcript from rev.com (unedited):
Joe Biden: (00:01)
Good evening, my fellow Americans. We don’t have a final declaration of victory yet but the numbers tell us it’s clear. They tell us a clear and convincing story we’re going to win this race. Just look at what has happened since yesterday. 24 hours we were behind in Georgia, now we’re ahead and we’re going to win that state. 24 hours ago we were behind in Pennsylvania and we are going to win Pennsylvania. And now we’re ahead [and] we’re winning in Arizona, winning in Nevada, and in fact our lead just doubled in Nevada. We’re on track to over 300 electoral votes, electoral college votes.
Joe Biden: (00:50)
And look at the national numbers. We’re going to win this race with a clear majority with the nation behind us. We’ve gotten over 74 million votes. Let me repeat that, 74 million votes, that’s more than any presidential ticket has ever gotten in the history of the United States of America. And our vote total is still growing. We’re beating Donald Trump by over 4 million votes, and that’s a margin that is still growing as well.
Joe Biden: (01:19)
One of the things I’m especially proud of is how well we’ve done across America, and we’re going to be the first Democrat to win in Arizona in 24 years. We’re going to be the first Democrat to win Georgia in 28 years, and we’ve rebuilt the blue wall in the middle of the country that crumbled just four years ago. Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, the heartland of this nation. I know watching these vote tallies on TV moves very slow, and as slow as it goes it can be numbing. But never forget the tallies aren’t just numbers, they represent votes and voters, men and women who exercised their fundamental right to have their voice heard.
Joe Biden: (02:06)
And what’s becoming clear each hour is that a record number of Americans of all races, faiths religions chose change over more of the same. They’ve given us a mandate for action on COVID, the economy, climate change, systemic racism. They made it clear they want the country to come together not continue to pull apart. The people spoke, more than 74 million Americans and they spoke loudly for our ticket. But while we’re waiting for the final results I want people to know we’re not waiting to get the work done and start the process.
Joe Biden: (02:48)
Yesterday, Senator Harris and I held meetings with groups of experts on public health and the economic crisis this country is facing. That pandemic as you also know is getting more worrisome all across the country. Daily cases are skyrocketing and it’s now believed that we could see as many as 200,000 cases in a single day. The death toll is approaching 240,000 lives lost to this virus. That’s 240,000 empty chairs at kitchen tables and dining room tables all across America.
Joe Biden: (03:25)
We’ll never be able to measure all that pain and the loss, the suffering that so many families have experienced. We know something about what it feels like to lose to someone and I want them to know they’re not alone. Our hearts break with you. I want everyone, everyone to know on day one, we’re going to put our plan to control this virus into action. We can’t save any of the lives lost, any of those who have been lost but we can save a lot of lives in the months ahead.
Joe Biden: (03:59)
Senator Harris and I also heard yesterday about how this recovery is slowing. Because of the failure to get the pandemic under control more than 20 million people are on unemployment. Millions are worried about making rent and putting food on the table. Our economic plan will put a focus on a path to a strong recovery.
Joe Biden: (04:23)
Look, we both know tensions are high, they can be high after a tough election, the one like we’ve had but we need to remember we have to remain calm, patient. Let the process work out as we count all the votes. We’re proving again what we’ve proved for 244 years in this country, democracy works. Your vote will be counted. I don’t care how hard people try to stop it, I will not let it happen. The people will be heard, our journey is sort of a more perfect union and it keeps moving on.
Joe Biden: (05:05)
In America, we hold strong views, we have strong disagreements and that’s okay. Strong disagreements are inevitable in a democracy and strong disagreements are healthy, they’re a sign of a vigorous debate of deeply held views. But we have to remember the purpose of our politics isn’t total, unrelenting, unending warfare, no. The purpose of our politics, the work of the nation isn’t to fan the flames of conflict but to solve problems, to guarantee justice, to get to improve the lives of our people.
Joe Biden: (05:45)
We may be opponents but we’re not enemies, we’re Americans. No matter who you voted for I’m certain of one thing, the vast majority of them, almost 150 million Americans who voted they want to get the vitriol out of our politics. We’re certainly not going to agree on a lot of issues but at least we can agree to be civil with one another. We have to put the anger and the demonization behind us. It’s time for us to come together as a nation to heal. It’s not going to be easy, we have to try.
Joe Biden: (06:20)
My responsibility as president will be to represent the whole nation. And I want you to know that I’ll work as hard for those who voted against me as those who voted for me, that’s the job, that’s the job, it’s called the duty of care for all Americans. We have serious problems to deal with from COVID to the economy, to racial justice and climate change. We don’t have any more time to waste on partisan warfare.
Joe Biden: (06:51)
And more than that we have such an incredible opportunity to build a future we want for our kids and our grandkids. I’ve said many, many times, I’ve never been more optimistic about the future of this nation. There is no reason we can’t own the 21st century. We just need to remember who we are, this is the United States of America and there’s never been anything, anything we’ve been unable to do, unable to accomplish when we’ve done it together. I hope to be talking to you tomorrow. I want to thank you all and may God bless you, and may God protect our troops. Good night.