President-Elect Joe Biden Says He's "Humbled by the Trust and Confidence" of American Voters in Victory Speech

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

The former vice president addressed the United States after the Associated Press and multiple news outlets projected that he had won the 2020 election.

Just hours after the Associated Press and other media outlets projected that former Vice President Joe Biden would be elected the 46th president of the United States, Biden addressed the nation in his first speech as president-elect.

Jogging out to "We Take Care of Our Own" by Bruce Springsteen, Biden said "Tonight all over this nation ... an outpouring of joy, hope, renewed faith tomorrow will bring a better day. I am humbled by the trust and confidence you have placed in me." Biden said he would "make America respected around the world again." Biden said he understood that Trump supporters were disappointed, but "this is the time to heal." Biden said the novel coronavirus pandemic would be his No. 1 focus as soon as he entered office.

"I pledge to be a President who seeks not to divide, but to unify," he said. "Who doesn’t see Red and Blue states, but a United States. And who will work with all my heart to win the confidence of the whole people. For that is what America is about: The people. And that is what our Administration will be about." 

Said Biden, "I ran as a proud Democrat. I will now be an American president. I will work as hard for those who didn’t vote for me — as those who did. Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end — here and now."

His speech concluded with a medley of songs including Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" and Whitney Houston's cover of Steve Winwood's "Higher Love."

The enormous crowd of supporters who turned out to cheer on Biden waved American flags as they sang and danced. Most of those shown on television were wearing masks.

On Saturday morning Biden tweeted, "America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country. The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a president for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me."

Biden's running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, has made history, becoming the first female vice president of the United States and first Black and Asian-American woman to hold that office.

Harris, wearing white as an apparent nod to the women’s suffrage movement, introduced Biden. She had to wait a few minutes for the crowd to settle down before she could begin her speech. "With the world watching, you ushered in a new day for America," she said to supporters. "For four years, you marched and organized for equality and justice, for our lives, for our planet, and then you voted. Now is when the real work begins. We have elected a leader who represents the best in us."

The news was called by the AP on Saturday morning after Biden won the state of Pennsylvania, bringing his electoral vote total to 284, above the 270 electoral college votes threshold necessary to win a presidential election in the U.S.

Biden took the lead in Georgia and Nevada as of Friday evening, but due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and the historic number of people who voted by mail in the 2020 election, thousands of ballots had yet to be counted on Friday. The mail-in ballots, which take more time to be counted, have been skewing heavily in Biden’s favor due to Trump’s push to his voters to cast their ballots in person. On Wednesday, Biden had already broken the record for the most votes ever for a U.S. presidential candidate. On Thursday night, Trump had doubled down on false claims of a fraudulent election, drawing sharp rebuke from news anchors and Hollywood figures alike over the president sowing doubt about the integrity of the democratic process.

The Trump campaign has said it would seek a recount in Wisconsin and filed lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia; the latter two were quickly dismissed. With the narrow margin in Georgia’s race, however, that race might not be certified until mid-November, due to a recount and absentee military ballots being counted. Biden, meanwhile, continued to remain calm throughout election week and urged the American people to exhibit patience while every vote is counted. “The process is working,” Biden said on Thursday. “It is the will of the voters. No one, not anyone else who chooses the president of the United States of America.”

On Friday night, he expressed confidence: "We're going to win this race with a clear majority of the nation behind us."

At 77, and just days away from turning 78, Biden is the oldest person to be elected president. Current president Donald Trump is 74 years old.

Biden, who spent decades as a U.S. senator from Delaware, was vice president to Barack Obama during his presidency from 2009-2017. He made history in August when he selected Harris to be his running mate and the first Black woman to compete on a major party's presidential ticket.