Biden inches closer to presidency, calls for unity as vote count continues

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (Carolyn Kaster/AP photo via Courthouse News)

(CN) — Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden did not declare victory on stage in his native Willington, Delaware, on Wednesday afternoon. Instead, he said he’s confident that when all the votes are counted, he will win the White House.

“We won with the majority of the American people,” Biden said as he shared the stage with his running mate Kamala Harris. “We have the popular vote lead and every indication is that we will win that as well.”

Biden championed the sacrosanct nature of American democracy, emphasizing the importance of counting every vote so the will of the American people is honored.

“Here the people rule,” he said. “Power can’t be taken or asserted because it flows from the people.”

The comments stand in contrast to those of President Donald Trump, who cast aspersions on the democratic process during an overnight press conference. Trump called the process of counting outstanding ballots “a fraud.”

Biden did not lambast his opponent during Wednesday’s appearance, instead dedicating much of his speech to a call for unity.

“Once the election is finalized and behind us, it’s time to do what we have always done — put harsh rhetoric behind us and begin to see each other, to listen to each other and to respect and care for one another,” Biden said. “It’s time to unite, heal and come together as a nation.”

Biden, as he has done for much of the campaign, promised to govern as a president for all Americans, not exclusively those of a single party.

“I know how deep and hard opposing views are, but if we are to make progress we need to stop treating our opponents as enemies,” Biden said.

Despite the conciliatory rhetoric, Biden said they will not cow to the Trump efforts to cast aspersions on the democratic process.

“We the people will not be silenced, not be bullied and we will not surrender,” he said.

Biden appears closer to winning the White House, with CNN projecting Michigan to go to the former vice president and Trump’s path to 270 electoral votes narrowing significantly. Biden also leads in Nevada and Arizona, while Trump leads in Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

The Trump campaign continues to project confidence that the president will win another four years in the White House.

“We have a high degree of confidence that there is a pathway to 270,” Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said Wednesday afternoon.

That pathway may involve the courts. Trump’s campaign has demanded a recount in Wisconsin and has filed lawsuits in an effort to stop counts in Michigan and Pennsylvania, where thousands of ballots remain uncounted.

The president has not called for counting in Arizona and Nevada to cease. He trails in both states but hopes to make up ground.