President-elect Joe Biden addressed the nation Saturday night for the first time after winning the White House, delivering a message of unity and healing to a bitterly divided nation.
Biden promised the captivated crowd of supporters at his campaign headquarters “to be a president who seeks not to divide, but to unify.”
“To make progress, we must stop treating our opponents as our enemy. We are not enemies. We are Americans,” Biden said.
“This is the time to heal in America,” he added, amid a chorus of blaring car horns and screams.
Biden vowed to “work with all my heart for the confidence of the whole people. To win the confidence of all people.”
Biden spoke at a drive-in rally outside the Chase Center on the Riverfront, in Wilmington, Delaware, where 360 cars, the campaign said, had gathered. As Biden spoke, supporters of all ages sat atop their cars, inside their vehicles, or beside them, yelling, screaming, cheering and pumping their car horns in enthusiastic support of the man on stage.
He repeatedly nodded to the history-making moment his victory ushered in, with his running mate, Kamala Harris, becoming the first-ever woman, Black and South Asian American to be elected vice president. Harris, wearing suffragette white, introduced the president-elect to the stage after remarks that paid tribute to her barrier-breaking moment and the women who inspired her.
Biden, for his part, spoke directly to Americans who voted for President Donald Trump, personally asking them to help him heal the divisions of the country that have widened over the last four years.
“I understand your disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of times myself,” Biden said. “But now let’s give each other a chance.”
“It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again,” he said, adding that the American people had given him a “mandate” to usher in an era of cooperation.
He also spoke directly to Black voters whose support helped deliver him first the Democratic nomination in a crowded primary, and later, the presidency.
“The African American community stood up again for me. You’ve always had my back, and I’ll have yours,” Biden said, pounding his lectern as he spoke.
Biden’s projected victory over Trump earlier Saturday capped one of the longest and most tumultuous campaigns in modern history, in which he maintained an aggressive focus on Trump’s widely criticized handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. A majority of voters said rising coronavirus case numbers were a significant factor in their votes, according to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters.
On Saturday night, Biden explicitly promised that controlling the pandemic would be his top priority.
“Our work begins with getting Covid under control,” he said.
Biden`s win will end Trump’s tumultuous hold on Washington and condemn the republican, who had a lifelong obsession with winning, to the rank of chief executive.
“The election results at every level shows that the country remains deeply and bitterly divided”, said Obama.” it will be up not just Joe and Kamal, but each of us, to do a part, to reach out beyond our comfort zone, to listen to others, to lower the temperature and find some common ground from which to move forward, all of us remembering that we are one nation, under God.”