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Biden, Harris address nation after winning presidential election

Forty-eight years after he was first elected as senator of Delaware, president-elect Joe Biden addressed the nation for the first time since the race was called Saturday morning. (Screenshot from livestream)

DELAWARE — Forty-eight years after he was first elected as senator of Delaware, president-elect Joe Biden addressed the nation for the first time since the race was called Saturday morning.

Mr. Biden, along with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), spoke for the first time together as president-elect and vice president-elect Saturday evening from Wilmington, Delaware. The news of the victory has been met with several rallies across the country, both in support and in denial of the results. 

“I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide, but unify,” Mr. Biden said during his acceptance speech. “I sought this office to restore the soul of America. To rebuild the backbone of this nation, the middle class and to make America respected around the world again. To unite us here at home. It’s the honor of my lifetime that so many millions of Americans have voted for that vision.”

Despite the acceptance speech from Mr. Biden and Sen. Harris, President Donald Trump has yet to concede or accept the results as valid — going as far to falsely declare victory Saturday morning. Instead, the president released a statement from his golf course vowing to file legal challenges. 

Hours after winning Pennsylvania — the state granting Mr. Biden the 20 electoral votes that propelled him past the 270 electoral college threshold — the Democrat also claimed Nevada, allowing him to rest comfortably at 279 electoral votes. President Trump trails at 214 electoral votes. 

The speeches come days after election night, as voters waited anxiously for several key states to be called — ones that would determine the winner of the election. Supporters crowded near the Chase Center in Wilmington drive-in style to see Mr. Biden and Sen. Harris speak. 

“The people of this nation have spoken,” Mr. Biden said to the crowd. “They have delivered a victory, a key victory.”

Harris to become historic vice president

Harris also made history after the race was called, being elected the first woman and woman of color to hold the office of vice president. 

“While I’m the first woman in this office, I will not be the last,” Harris said to the crowd, as she was met with cheers and honking cars. “To the children of our country, regardless of your gender, our country has sent you a clear message: Dream with ambition. Lead with conviction.”

Harris vowed to “heal the soul our nation,” reflecting on the previous four years that she considers divisive and tumultuous. Instead, she promised the crowd four years of hope. 

“America’s democracy is not guaranteed,” Harris said, referring to words spoken by the late Rep. John Lewis. “It’s only as strong as our willingness to fight for it. To guard it, and to never take it for granted. Protecting our democracy takes struggles. It takes sacrifice but there is joy in it and there is progress. Because we the people have the power to build a better future.”

Harris also thanked the poll workers across the country who worked over the week to tabulate voting results. The vice president-elect also thanked U.S. voters for “making your voices be heard,” particularly in a time she called challenging.

“You chose hope. And unity, decency, science and yes, truth,” she said to the cheering crowd. “You chose Joe Biden as the next president of the United States of America.”  

President-elect Biden looks ahead to White House

President-elect Biden took the stage shortly after, vowing to “restore the soul of America” and fight for all Americans regardless if they voted for him or not. 

“I’ll work as hard for those who didn’t vote for me as those who did,” he said. 

The president-elect vowed to create an administration that looked “more like America,” similar to the measures he took in hiring members of his campaign staff. Mr. Biden listed off several identities — such as Black Americans and those in the LGBTQ+ community — vowing to protect and represent them all.

“It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature,” President-elect Biden said to the crowd, also addressing protesters close by. “To make progress we have to stop seeing our opponents as our enemies. They aren’t our enemies. They’re Americans.” 

 

President-elect Biden plans to issue several executive orders immediately after being sworn in Jan. 20, reversing several Trump-era policies that the Democrat ran his campaign against. Among these include rejoining the World Health Organization and the Paris Climate Accords. 

The president-elect has also promised to repeal the immigration ban on those who travel from Muslim-majority countries and to reinstate the DREAM Act that allows immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to stay in the country if they meet certain criteria.