Biden claims mandate in first address


By Dan McCaleb - The Center Square



Presumptive President-elect Joe Biden Saturday night said he was given a mandate by voters to restore unity and civility after what he called four years of divisiveness under President Donald Trump.

Addressing America from his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, hours after claiming victory over Trump, Biden said he would lead by example and be the president of all Americans, not just those who voted for him.

“The people of this nation have spoken,” he said. “They’ve delivered us a clear victory, convincing victory.”

Trump has not conceded and is legally contesting results in a number of states. His legal team held a news conference Saturday in Philadelphia shortly after national media outlets called the race for Biden, claiming widespread voter fraud.

Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said at the news conference that a number of federal lawsuits will be filed Monday in states across the country challenging counting methods, including claims that GOP poll watchers weren’t allowed to observe the processing of mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Giuliani said Trump would not concede when hundreds of thousands of ballots are in question in Pennsylvania alone.

Biden did not mention the upcoming legal battle during his Saturday night address, instead sticking with his message of unity.

“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,” he said. “We have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies. They are not our enemies. They are Americans. …

“This is a time to heal in America.”

Biden did say his administration would focus on controlling the coronavirus, dealing with racial injustice, combating climate change and making the economy more fair for the middle class.

“Our work starts with getting coronavirus under control,” he said, adding that the economy can’t rebound without doing so.

After the U.S. economy soared during Trump’s first three years in office, millions of Americans lost their jobs beginning in March when the COVID-19 pandemic led states across the country to shut businesses and other social activities down to slow its spread.

Biden said he will name a coronavirus task force Monday that will rely on science to drive his presumptive administration’s policies.

Biden declared victory Saturday after NBC News, CNN, Fox News, The Associated Press and others called him the winner in Pennsylvania, where the former vice president was born. Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral college votes would give Biden 290 in total by by AP’s count after the outlet also called Nevada for the former vice president; 270 are needed to win the presidency.

Trump is mounting a number of legal challenges in battleground states, including Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona and Michigan.

Trump vows to take the legal challenges all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

​Dan McCaleb is the executive editor of The Center Square. He welcomes your comments. Contact Dan at dmccaleb@thecentersquare.com.

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By Dan McCaleb

The Center Square