Joe Biden addressed the nation in a victory speech Saturday night. The 77-year-old took the stage in Wilmington, Delaware, hours after defeating Donald Trump to become the next president of the United States.
Biden jogged to the stage after a presentation by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. He thanked the American people for their support, spoke about the importance of overcoming the coronavirus pandemic and spoke about his plans to heal the divided nation.
Read his full speech below.
“My fellow citizens, the people of this nation have spoken. They have given us a clear victory. A resounding victory. A victory for ‘We the People’.
We have won with the most votes cast for a presidential candidacy in the history of this nation: 74 million. I am humbled by the trust you have placed in me. I promise to be a president who seeks not to divide, but to unify. Who does not see red and blue states, but the United States. And that I will work with all my heart to earn the trust of all the people. Because that’s what America is about: the people. And that’s what our administration will be about.
I searched this office to restore the soul of America. Rebuild the backbone of the nation: the middle class. Make America respected around the world again and unite here at home. It is the honor of my life that so many millions of Americans have voted for this vision. And now the work of making this vision a reality is the task of our time.
As I said many times before, I am Jill’s husband. I wouldn’t be here without the love and tireless support of Jill, Hunter, Ashley, all of our grandchildren and their spouses, and our entire family. They are my heart. Jill is a mom, military mom, and educator. He has dedicated his life to education, but teaching is not just what he does, it is what it is. For America’s educators, this is a great day: They are going to have one of their own in the White House and Jill will be a great first lady.
And it will be my honor to serve with a fantastic Vice President, Kamala Harris, who will make history as the first woman, the first black woman, the first woman of South Asian descent, and the first daughter of immigrants elected to national office in this country. It should have been long ago and tonight we are reminded of all of those who fought so hard for so many years to make this happen. But once again, America has tilted the arc of the moral universe toward justice. Kamala, Doug, like it or not, you are family. They have become Biden fees and there is no way out.
To all who volunteered, worked at the polls in the midst of this pandemic, local election officials deserve special thanks from this nation. To my campaign team, to all the volunteers, to all those who gave so much of themselves to make this moment possible, I owe everything. And to all who supported us: I am proud of the campaign that we built and carried out. I am proud of the coalition we form, the widest and most diverse in history. Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Progressive, moderate and conservative. Young and old. Urban, suburban and rural. Gay, straight, transgender. White. Latin. Asian. Native American. And especially for those times when this campaign was at its lowest point, the African-American community came back to defend me. They always have my back and I will have yours.
I said from the beginning that I wanted a campaign that represented America, and I think we did. This is how I want the administration to look. And for those who voted for President Trump, I understand your disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of elections myself. But now, let’s give ourselves a chance. It’s time to put the harsh rhetoric aside. Lower the temperature. To see us again. Hear us again. To progress, we must stop treating our opponents as enemies. We are not enemies. We are Americans.
The Bible tells us that everything has a season: a time to build, a time to reap, a time to sow. And a time to heal. This is the time to heal in America. Now that the campaign is over, what is the will of the people? What is our mandate? I think this is it: Americans have asked us to organize the forces of decency and the forces of justice. To gather the forces of science and the forces of hope in the great battles of our time. The battle to control the virus. The battle to build prosperity. The battle to secure health care for your family. The battle to achieve racial justice and eradicate systemic racism in this country. The battle to save the climate. The battle to restore decency, defend democracy, and give everyone in this country a fair chance.
Our work begins with controlling COVID. We can’t repair the economy, restore our vitality, or enjoy life’s most precious moments – hugging a grandchild, birthdays, weddings, graduations, all the moments that matter most to us – until we get this virus under control. On Monday, I will appoint a group of leading scientists and experts as transition advisers to help take the Biden-Harris COVID plan and turn it into an action plan that begins January 20, 2021. That plan will build on the foundation of the science. . It will be built on compassion, empathy, and concern. I will spare no effort, or commitment, to reverse this pandemic.
I ran as a proud Democrat. Now I will be president of the United States. I will work as hard for those who did not vote for me as I do for those who did. May this grim age of demonization in America begin to end, here and now. The refusal of Democrats and Republicans to cooperate with each other is not due to some mysterious force beyond our control. It’s a decision. It’s a choice we make. And if we can decide not to cooperate, then we can decide to cooperate. And I think this is part of the mandate of the American people. They want us to cooperate. That is the choice I will make. And I ask Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, to make that decision with me. The American story is about the slow but steady expansion of opportunity. Make no mistake: too many dreams have been put off for too long. We must make the promise of the country a reality for everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, faith, identity, or disability.
America has always been shaped by tipping points, by moments in time when we have made difficult decisions about who we are and what we want to be. Lincoln in 1860 – coming to save the Union. FDR in 1932, promising a beleaguered country a New Deal. JFK in 1960 – promising a New Frontier. And twelve years ago, when Barack Obama made history, and he said, ‘Yes, we can.’
We are again at a turning point. We have the opportunity to overcome despair and build a nation of prosperity and purpose. We can do it. I know we can. I have long talked about the battle for America’s soul. We must restore the soul of America. Our nation is shaped by the constant battle between our best angels and our darkest impulses. It is time for our best angels to prevail.
Tonight the whole world is looking at America. I believe that, at our best, America is a beacon to the world. And we do not lead by the example of our power, but by the power of our example. I have always believed that we can define America in one word: possibilities. That everyone in America should have the opportunity to go as far as their dreams and the ability that God has given them. You see, I believe in the possibility of this country. We are always looking forward. Towards a freer and fairer America. Forward to an America that creates jobs with dignity and respect. In front of an America that cures diseases, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. Forward to an America that never leaves anyone behind. In front of an America that never gives up, never gives up. This is a great nation. And we are good people. This is the United States of America. And there’s never been anything that we couldn’t do when we’ve done it together.
In the last days of the campaign, I have been thinking of a hymn that means a lot to me and my family, particularly my late son Beau. It captures the faith that sustains me and that I believe sustains America. And I hope I can bring some comfort and comfort to the more than 230,000 families who have lost a loved one to this terrible virus this year. My heart goes out to each and every one of you. Hopefully this hymn will give you comfort too. ‘And He will lift you up on the wings of an eagle, He will take you to the breath of dawn, He will make you shine like the sun, And He will hold you in the palm of His Hand.’ And now, together, on eagle’s wings, we embark on the work that God and history have asked us to do.
With full hearts and firm hands, with faith in the United States and in each other, with love for the country and a thirst for justice, let us be the nation that we know we can be. A united nation. A strengthened nation. A healed nation. The United States of America. God bless you. And may God protect our troops. “
See more about the choice in the video below.