Joe Biden says 'we are not enemies' and calls for unity in speech

Democratic candidate tells Americans it is ‘time to come together as a nation to heal’ in his appeal to national unity as Americans anxiously await election results

Griffin Connolly,Alex Woodward
Saturday 07 November 2020 04:21 GMT
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Joe Biden appealed to national unity as he inches closer to the presidency.

In remarks from his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware on Friday night, where he has remained since Election Day as millions of votes are processed across the nation and Donald Trump amplified baseless voter fraud conspiracies, the Democratic presidential candidate declared that Americans will opposing political views are not “enemies.”

"Strong disagreements are healthy sign of a vigorous debate," he said, adding that the “purpose of our politics is not unending warfare.”

“The purpose is to solve problems, give everyone a fair shot,” he said. “Put the anger and demonisation behind us. It’s time for us to come together as a nation to heal. The duty of care, for all Americans.”

Mr Trump’s campaign and Republican party officials have filed several spurious lawsuits and legal motions in states the president needs to win for critically needed Electoral College votes, and his supporters have rallied to “stop the count” and 

Read more: Follow the 2020 US election results live

“We don’t have any more time to waste on partisan warfare,” Mr Biden said in his seven-minute remarks.

He signalled a horizon with an “incredible opportunity to build the future for our kids and grandkids.”

“There is no reason we can’t own the 21st century,” he said. “We just have to remember who we are.”

His remarks alongside his running mate, California senator Kamala Harris, suggested a victory rally and speech, staged outside the Chase Center in Wilmington.

By Friday evening, Mr Biden had nosed past the president in both Georgia and Pennsylvania, and he had maintained his leads in Arizona and Nevada.

While the Associated Press has called Arizona for Mr Biden, other networks, including CNN, have not. He has been stuck at 253 projected Electoral College votes (to Mr Trump’s 214) for more than 48 hours as all four of those states, plus North Carolina, continue reporting mail-in absentee ballots.

If the former vice president secures Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes, that would be enough to clear the 270-vote threshold and clinch the White House.

Mr Biden has spoken with reporters each of the last two days from Wilmington and expressed confidence about his chances for victory each time.

“We continue to feel very good about where things stand, and we have no doubt that when the count is finished, Senator Harris and I will be the winners,” he said on Thursday.

Mr Biden and his campaign team have made it clear they are not prematurely declaring victory, which Mr Trump in the early hours of Wednesday morning from the East Room of the White House.

The Biden campaign has, however, hinted the president could be escorted from the White House if Mr Biden is sworn in in January and Mr Trump refuses to concede.

In a statement, Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said: “As we said on July 19th, the American people will decide this election."

He added: “The United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House.”

Mr Trump and his allies have spent the last several days promoting conspiracy theories about election fraud, calling into question the results in many key swing states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia and Nevada.

His campaign and other Republicans on the ground have filed a series of lawsuits in those states, cases the president has said he hopes end up before the Supreme Court.

Mr Trump spent months in the lead-up to the election this year arguing — without ever providing concrete evidence — that mail-in votes are rife with voter fraud.

Several news networks and online publications refused to show or cover the president’s press conference on Thursday as he peddled a stream of misinformation about ballot-counting in the remaining swing states.

“If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” the president claimed on Thursday, falsely alleging local elections officials had accepted ballots after Election Day and were padding the stats for his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden.

Mr Trump also claimed he had beaten the odds against Mr Biden despite “historic election interference from big media, big money, and big tech,” stretching the limits of the definition of the term “election interference.”

While some GOP lawmakers defended and even amplified the president’s claims, including recently re-elected South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, others denounced them.

Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey said in an interview with NBC’s Today that Mr Trump’s press conference, riddled with lies and falsehoods, was “hard to watch.”

“The president’s allegations of large-scale fraud and theft of the election are just not substantiated. I’m not aware of any significant wrongdoing here,” Mr Toomey said.

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