With more than 74 million votes behind him and an emerging path to victory for the presidency, Joe Biden addressed the US on Friday to tell Americans to be patient with results while appealing to a national unity, as his opponent Donald Trump and Republican allies file legal challenges against ballots cast in several states.
His remarks on 6 November beside his running mate Kamala Harris in Wilmington, Delaware addressed the president’s attempts to block votes, the coronavirus, and “partisan warfare" that he urged to come to an end.
Here is a transcript of his remarks:
We don’t have a final declaration of victory yet, but the numbers tell a clear and convincing story: We are going to win this race.
Just look at what has happened since yesterday.
Read more: Follow the 2020 US election results live
In 24 hours, we were behind in Georgia. Now we’re ahead and we’re going to win that state.
Twenty-four hours ago, we were behind in Pennsylvania, and we are going to win Pennsylvania, and now we’re ahead.
We’re winning Arizona. We’re winning Nevada. In fact, our lead just doubled in Nevada.
We’re on track for over 300 Electoral College votes.
And look at the national numbers. We’re going to win this race with a clear majority of 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 out vote total is still growing.
We’re beating Donald Trump by over 4 million votes, and that margin is still growing as well.
One of the things I’m especially proud of is how well we’ve done across America.
We are going to be the first Democrat to win Arizona in 24 years.
We are going to be the first Democrat to win Georgia in 28 years.
And we re-built 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 move very slowly, 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. And what is becoming clearer each hour is that a record number of Americans – from all races, faiths, religions – chose change over more of the same.
They 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.
But while we’re waiting for the final results, I want people to know we are not waiting to get to work done and start the process.
Yesterday, Senator Harris and I held meetings with groups of experts on the public health and economic crises this country is facing.
The pandemic as you know is is getting more worrisome all across the country. Daily cases are skyrocketing, and it is now believed that we could see spikes 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 the kitchen tables and dining tables across America.
We’ll never be able to measure all the pain, the loss, and the suffering so many families have experienced. I know how it feels to lose someone, and I want them to know they’re not alone. Our hearts break with you.
And I want everyone to know on Day One, we are going to put our plan to control this virus into action.
We can’t save any of the lives that have been lost, but we can save a lot of lives in the months ahead.
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.
We both know tensions can be high after a tough election, the one like we’ve had. But we need to remember, we need to remain calm, patient, and let the process work out as we count all the votes.
You know, we’re proving again what we have 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. People will be heard. Our journey toward a more perfect union, and it keeps moving on.
In America we hold strong views, we have strong disagreements, and that’s OK.
Strong disagreements are inevitable in a democracy, and strong disagreements are healthy.
They’re a sign of 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 give everybody a fair shot, to improve the lives of our people.
We may be opponents – but we are not enemies. We are Americans.
No matter who you voted for, I’m certain of one thing: The vast majority of the 150 million Americans, they want to get the vitriol out of our politics. We’re certainly not going to agree on a lot of the issues, but we can at least agree to be civil to one another.
Let’s put the anger and the demonisation behind us.
It’s time for us to come together as a nation and heal.
It’s not gonna be easy, but we have to try.
My responsibility as president will be to represent the whole nation. And I want you to know that I will work as hard for those who voted against me as for those who voted for me.
That’s the job. That’s the job. It’s called a duty of care, for all Americans.
We have serious problems to deal with — Covid, the economy, racial justice, climate change,
We don’t have any more time to waste on partisan warfare.
And more than that, we have such an incredible opportunity to build the future we want for our kids and grandkids.
I’ve said it many, many times: I’ve never been more optimistic about the future of our 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 has never been anything, anything we’ve been unable to do when we’ve done it together.
I hope to be talking to you tomorrow. I want to thank you all. May God bless you all, and may God protect our troops.
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