Former Vice President Joe Biden stopped just short of declaring himself the winner of the presidential election, but expressed confidence that his victory was inevitable, given the current trends in vote count.
“The numbers tell a clear and convincing story. We’re going to win this race,” Biden said in a Friday night speech from Wilmington, as the third day since polls closed drew to an end.
He touted leads he had secured in Arizona and Georgia — both states, he noted, where he was behind just 24 hours ago.
“We’re going to be the first Democrat to win in Arizona in 24 years. We’re going to be the first Democrat to win Georgia in 28 years,” Biden said, “And we’ve rebuilt the blue wall in the middle of the country that crumbled just four years ago — Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, the heartland of this nation.”
While showing no doubts about where the race was heading, he urged patience as the tallies continued to trickled in.
“I know watching these vote tallies on TV moves very slow, and as slow as it goes, it can be numbering,” Biden said. “But never forget, the tallies aren’t just numbers. They represent votes and voters. Men and women who exercise their fundamental right to have their voice heard.”
“They’ve given us a mandate for action on COVID, the economy, climate change, systemic racism,” he said.
"They've given us a mandate for action on COVID, climate change, systemic racism, the economy. They want the country to come together, not continue to pull apart. The people spoke. More than 74 million Americans, and they spoke loudly for our ticket." pic.twitter.com/vIlTsi4o5z
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) November 7, 2020
More than just giving his supporters an update on the state of play, Biden sought to signal his pivot towards the road ahead if and when he is officially declared the winner. Bringing up the COVID-19 response meetings he and his vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) participated in on Thursday, Biden said that he wanted “everyone to know on day one we’re going to put our plan to control this virus into action.”
Notably he sought to only implicitly push back on President Trump’s baseless allegations that something was amiss in the election — Biden did not mention Trump by name once.
Rather, Biden hit on the themes that drove his campaign message — a desire to patch the divides of the country, to tone down the vitriol in the political discourse, and to “put the anger and demonization behind us.”
“The purpose of our politics, the work of the nation, isn’t to fan the flames of conflict but to solve problems,” Biden said.
He capped off the speech with a promise to his supporters the he hoped to be speaking with them again on Saturday.