President-elect Joe Biden delivered his first address as the president-elect of the United States of America on Saturday evening in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware at the Chase Center.
Read the full transcript from President-elect Joe Biden’s speech below.
Folks, the people of this nation have spoken, they’ve delivered us a clear victory, a convincing victory, a victory for we the people. We’ve won with the most votes ever cast in a presidential ticket in the history of the nation. 74 million.
Tonight, we’re seeing all over this nation all cities in all parts of the country, indeed across the world, an outpouring of the joy of hope renewed faith in tomorrow [to] bring a better day. I’m humbled by the trust and confidence, you’ve placed in me. I pledged to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify. Who doesn’t see red states and blue states, only sees the United States.
I worked with all my heart with the confidence of the whole people to win the confidence of all of you. And that is what America is all about. It’s about people. And that’s what our administration will be all about. 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.
Folks, as I said many times before, I’m Jill’s husband, and I would not be here without the love and tireless support of Jill, and my son Hunter, and Ashley my daughter, and all our grandchildren, and our spouses and all our family. They’re my heart. Jill’s a mom, a military mom, an educator. She has dedicated her life to education.
But teaching isn’t just what she does. It’s who she is. For American educators, it’s a great day for you all. You’re gonna have one of your own in the White House. And Jill’s gonna make a great first lady, I’m so proud of her.
I’ll have the honor to serve with a fantastic vice president. Kamala Harris will make history as the first woman, first black woman, the first woman of South Asian descent, the first daughter of immigrants ever elected in this country. Don’t tell me it’s not possible in the United States, it’s long overdue. And we’re reminded tonight, of those who fought so hard for so many years to make this happen. Once again, America has bent the arc of the moral universe more toward justice.
Kamala, Doug, like it or not, your family, you become an honorary Bidens, there’s no way out. All those of you who volunteered and worked the polls in the middle of this pandemic, local elected officials, you deserve a special thanks from the entire nation. And to my campaign team and all the volunteers, all who gave so much of themselves to make this moment possible, I owe you, I owe you everything.
All those who supported us. I’m proud of the campaign we built and ran. I’m proud of the coalition we put together. The broadest and most diverse coalition in history. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, progressives, moderates, conservatives, young, urban, suburban, rural, gay, straight, transgender, white, Latino, Asian, Native American. I mean it, especially those moments, especially those moments when this campaign was as low as damn, the African American community stood up again. You’ve always had my back and I’ll have yours.
I said at the outset. I wanted to represent this campaign to represent and look like America. We’ve done that. Now I want the administration I look like and act like all of you.
To those who voted for President Trump. I understand the disappointment. 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, listen to each other again, and to make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies.
They are not our enemies, they’re Americans. They’re Americans. The bible tells us for everything there’s a season. A time to build, time to reap, a time to sow, and a time to heal. This is the time to heal in America.
Now, this campaign is over. What is the will of the people? What is our mandate? I believe it’s this: America is called upon us to marshal the forces of decency, the forces of fairness, to marshal the forces of science, and the forces of hope in the great battles.
The battle to control the virus. The battle of built prosperity. The battle to secure your family’s health care. The battle to achieve racial justice, and to root out systemic racism in this country. The battle to save our planet by getting climate under control. The battle to restore decency, defend democracy and give everybody in this country a fair shot. That’s all they’re asking for, a fair shot.
Folks, our work begins with getting COVID under control. We cannot repair the economy, restore our vitality, or relish life’s most precious moments, hugging our grandchildren, our children, our birthdays, weddings, graduations. All the moments that matter most to us until we get it under control. On Monday, I will name a group of leading scientists and experts as transition advisors to help pave the Biden Harris covered plan and convert it into an action blueprint that will start on January 20th, 2021. That plan will rebuild on bedrock science. It will be constructed out of compassion, empathy, and concern. I will spare no effort, none, or any commitment to turn around this pandemic.
Folks, I’m a proud Democrat. But I will govern as an American president. I’ll work as hard for those who didn’t vote for me as those who did. The refusal of Democrats and Republicans to cooperate with one another is not some mysterious force beyond our control, it’s a decision, a choice we make. And if we can decide not to cooperate, then we can decide to cooperate. And I believe that this is part of the mandate given to us and the American people. They want us to cooperate in their interest. That’s a choice I’ll make. And I’ll call on Congress, Democrats, Republicans alike to make that choice with me.
The American story. It’s about slow yet steadily widening the opportunities in America. And make no mistake. Too many dreams have been deferred for too long. We must make the promise of the country real for everybody, no matter their race, their ethnicity, their faith, their identity, or their disability. Folks, America has always been shaped by inflection points, by moments in time when we’ve made hard 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 pledging a new frontier. And 12 years ago, when Barack Obama made history, he told us, “Yes we can.”
We stand at an inflection point. We have an opportunity to defeat despair, to build a nation of prosperity and purpose. We can do it, I know we can. I’ve long talked about the battle for the soul of America. We must restore the soul of America. Our nation is shaped by the constant battle between our better angels, and our darkest impulses. It’s time for our better angels to prevail. Tonight, the whole world is watching America. And I believe at our best, America is a beacon for the globe. We will lead not only by the example of our power but by the power of our example.
I’ve always believed we could define America in one word: possibilities. That in America everyone should be given an opportunity to go as far as their dreams and God-given ability will take them. I believe in the possibilities of this country. We’re always looking ahead. An American that creates jobs with dignity and respect, an America that cures diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s. Ahead to an America that never leaves anyone behind. Ahead to an America that never gives up, never gives in.
This is a great nation. It’s always been a bad bet to bet against America. We’re good people. This is the United States of America and there’s never been anything we’ve been able to do when we’ve done it together.
Folks, in the last days of the campaign, I began thinking about a hymn that means a lot to me and my family particularly my deceased son Beau. It captures the faith that sustains me, which I believe sustains America. And I hope it can provide some comfort and solace to the Americans who’ve lost a loved one through this terrible virus this year. My heart goes out to each and every one of you. Hopefully, this then gives you solace as well.
It goes like this: And he will raise you up on eagle’s wings, bury you in the breath of a dog, and make you shine like the sun and hold you in the palm of his hand. And now together on eagle’s wings, we embark on the work that God and his ship called upon us to do with full hearts and steady hands with faith in America and each other. With a love of country, a thirst for justice. Let us be the nation that we know we can be, a nation united, a nation strengthened, a nation healed. The United States of America, ladies, and gentlemen. There’s never, never been anything we’ve dried up unable to do.
So remember, as my Grandpa said, as I walked out of his home, when I was a kid up in Scranton, he said, “Joey. Keep the faith.” And our grandmother when she was alive, she yelled, “Joey, spread it! Spread the faith!”
God loves you all. May God bless America and may God protect our church.