Biden says he’s preparing for White House, vows to work for all voters in Friday night speech

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WILMINGTON, Del. — Joe Biden says he’s already preparing to assume the presidency even though he hasn’t been declared the winner in his race against President Donald Trump.

Biden addressed the nation Friday night near his home in Wilmington, Delaware, and acknowledged the sluggish pace of the count “can be numbing.” But he added, “Never forget the tallies aren’t just numbers: They represent votes and voters.”

He didn’t go so far as to claim victory with ballot counting ongoing in battleground states Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada and Arizona. But he expressed confidence that victory ultimately would be his.

“The numbers tell us a clear and convincing story: We’re going to win this race,” he said.

Standing alongside his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, and against a backdrop of flags, Biden wasn’t able to give the acceptance speech his aides had hoped. But he hit notes of unity, seemingly aimed at cooling the temperature of a heated, divided nation.

“We have to remember the purpose of our politics isn’t total unrelenting, unending warfare,” he said. “No, the purpose of our politics, the work of our nation, isn’t to fan the flames of conflict, but to solve problems, to guarantee justice, to give everybody a fair shot.”

He urged the country to put the “anger” and “demonization” behind.

“I’ll work as hard for those who voted against me as for those who voted for me. That’s the job.”

He acknowledged the problems the country faces, particularly the pandemic’s rising death toll and the “millions (who) are worried about making rent, putting food on the table.

Biden said his team is not waiting and is readying responses to COVID-19 and other issues the country faces. He said he and Harris have held briefings on the coronavirus and the economy this week as the U.S. records record daily cases.

“I want people to know we’re not waiting to get the work done,” he said Friday.

He noted nearly 240,000 people have died from the pandemic and said he wants those families to know they aren’t alone.

He also addressed the millions of Americans who remain out of work and are struggling to pay rent or buy food.

“We don’t have any more time to waste on partisan warfare,” he said.

The Associated Press has not yet declared a winner in the race between Biden and Trump because neither candidate has reached the 270 Electoral College votes needed to carry the White House.

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