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Obama congratulates Biden and Harris on historic win

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS / JAN. 12, 2017
                                President Barack Obama laughs with Vice President Joe Biden during a ceremony in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington where Obama presented Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2017.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS / JAN. 12, 2017

    President Barack Obama laughs with Vice President Joe Biden during a ceremony in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington where Obama presented Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2017.

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Former President Barack Obama says he “could not be prouder” to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

In a statement Saturday, Obama says Biden has “got what it takes to be President and already carries himself that way,” because he will enter the White House facing “a series of extraordinary challenges no incoming President ever has.”

Acknowledging that the election revealed the nation remains bitterly divided, Obama said, “I know he’ll do the job with the best interests of every American at heart, whether or not he had their vote.”

He adds: “I encourage every American to give him a chance and lend him your support.”

Biden served as Obama’s vice president for two terms.

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Full text of Obama’s statement:

Statement Congratulating President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris

I could not be prouder to congratulate our next President, Joe Biden, and our next First Lady, Jill Biden.

I also couldn’t be prouder to congratulate Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff for Kamala’s groundbreaking election as our next Vice President.

In this election, under circumstances never experienced, Americans turned out in numbers never seen. And once every vote is counted, President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris will have won a historic and decisive victory.

We’re fortunate that Joe’s got what it takes to be President and already carries himself that way. Because when he walks into the White House in January, he’ll face a series of extraordinary challenges no incoming President ever has – a raging pandemic, an unequal economy and justice system, a democracy at risk, and a climate in peril.

I know he’ll do the job with the best interests of every American at heart, whether or not he had their vote. So I encourage every American to give him a chance and lend him your support. The election results at every level show that the country remains deeply and bitterly divided. It will be up to not just Joe and Kamala, but each of us, to do our part – to reach out beyond our comfort zone, to listen to others, to lower the temperature and find some common ground from which to move forward, all of us remembering that we are one nation, under God.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who worked, organized, and volunteered for the Biden campaign, every American who got involved in their own way, and everybody who voted for the first time. Your efforts made a difference. Enjoy this moment. Then stay engaged. I know it can be exhausting. But for this democracy to endure, it requires our active citizenship and sustained focus on the issues – not just in an election season, but all the days in between.

Our democracy needs all of us more than ever. And Michelle and I look forward to supporting our next President and First Lady however we can.

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