President-elect Joe Biden declared it was “time to heal” a deeply divided America in his first speech after prevailing in the US election on Saturday, as President Donald Trump refused to concede and pressed ahead with legal fights against the outcome.
“The people of this nation have spoken. They have delivered us a clear victory, a convincing victory,” Biden told cheering supporters in a parking lot in his home town of Wilmington, Delaware.
“This is the time to heal in America.”
He also thanked Black voters, saying that even at his campaign’s lowest moments, the African American community had stood up for him.
“They always have my back, and I’ll have yours,” he said.
Biden was introduced by his running mate, US Senator Kamala Harris.
Born to an Indian mother and a Jamaican father, both of whom immigrated to the US, she will be the first woman, the first Black American and the first American of Asian descent to serve as vice president, the country’s No. 2 office.
“What a testament it is to Joe’s character that he had the audacity to break one of the most substantial barriers that exists in our country, and select a woman as his vice president,” she said.
Trump, who was playing golf when the major TV networks projected his rival had won, refused to concede defeat and immediately accused Biden of “rushing to falsely pose as the winner.”
“The simple fact is this election is far from over. Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor,” Trump said in a statement released by his campaign around midday.
In tweets rejecting the result, he wrote: “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT! (sic)”
As well as: “THE OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED INTO THE COUNTING ROOMS. I WON THE ELECTION, GOT 71,000,000 LEGAL VOTES. BAD THINGS HAPPENED WHICH OUR OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE. NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WERE SENT TO PEOPLE WHO NEVER ASKED FOR THEM!”
I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2020
Trump’s Republican party is reportedly trying to raise at least $60million to fund legal challenges to contest the results in the states of Georgia, Michigan and Nevada and Pennsylvania
THE OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED INTO THE COUNTING ROOMS. I WON THE ELECTION, GOT 71,000,000 LEGAL VOTES. BAD THINGS HAPPENED WHICH OUR OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE. NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WERE SENT TO PEOPLE WHO NEVER ASKED FOR THEM!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2020
Congratulations poured in from world leaders, including from conservative British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, making it hard for Trump to push his repeated claims, without evidence, that the election was rigged against him.
Biden will move into the White House on 20 January, the oldest person to assume the office at age 78.
Biden, who has spent half a century in public life as a US senator and then vice president under Obama, will inherit a nation in turmoil over the pandemic police brutality.