WILMINGTON, Del. — Hours after the Electoral College made his victory over President Donald Trump official, President-elect Joe Biden declared that “democracy prevailed.”
“We the people voted,” Biden said in a Monday night speech from Wilmington, Delaware.
“Faith in our institutions held. The integrity of our elections remains intact. And so now it is time to turn the page, as we’ve done throughout our history. To unite. To heal,” he said.
Biden also called efforts by Trump and his supporters to manipulate the courts into overturning the election results “unconscionable” but noted, “the rule of law, our Constitution and the will of the people prevailed.”
Biden’s public condemnation of Trump’s tactics in the weeks since the Nov. 3 election came hours after the Electoral College formally awarded Biden 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232, paving the way for his Jan. 20 inauguration as the nation’s 46th president.
“The flame of democracy was lit in this nation a long time ago. And we now know that nothing, not even a pandemic or an abuse of power, can extinguish that flame,” Biden said.
He also championed the record-breaking voter turnout as “one of the most amazing demonstrations of civic duty we’ve ever seen in our country,” noting it should be “celebrated, not attacked.”
“If anyone didn’t know it before, we know it now. What beats deep in the hearts of the American people is this: democracy,” he said, adding, “The right to be heard. To have your vote counted. To choose leaders of this nation. To govern ourselves. In America, politicians don’t take power — people grant power to them.”
Biden then turned his focus to the novel coronavirus pandemic and the logistical hurdles facing the nation as the mass rollout of the first federally approved COVID-19 vaccine begins.
“There is urgent work in front of us,” he said. “Getting this pandemic under control and getting the nation vaccinated against this virus. Delivering immediate economic help so badly needed by so many Americans who are hurting today — and then building our economy back better than it ever was.”