Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

News

'The Words Of A President Matter': Read And Watch President-Elect Biden's Speech On Violence At Capitol

LAist relies on your reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today.

President-Elect Joe Biden spoke from Delaware as pro-Donald Trump insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C. Here is a transcript of Biden's remarks.

All of you've been watching what I've been watching. At his hour, our democracy is under unprecedented assault unlike anything we've seen in modern times. An assault on the citadel of Liberty, the Capitol itself. An assault on the people's representatives, on the Capitol Hill police sworn to protect them. On the public servants who work at the heart of our republic. An assault on the rule of law, like few times we've ever seen it. An assault on the most sacred of American undertakings, the doing off the people's business.

Let me be very clear. The scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect a true America, do not represent who we are. What we're seeing are a small number of extremist, dedicated the lawlessness. This is not dissent, it's disorder. It's chaos. It borders on sedition. And it must end, now.

Support for LAist comes from

I call on this mob to pull back and allow them work of democracy to go forward

You heard me say before in different context, the words of a President matter, no matter how good or bad that president is. At their best, the words of a president can inspire. At their worst, they can incite.

Therefore, I call on President Trump to go on national television now to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege

To storm the Capitol, to smash windows, to occupy offices, the floor of the United States Senate rummaging through desks, on the Capitol, on the House of Representatives, threatening the safety of duly elected officials. It's not protest, it's insurrection. The world's watching.

Like so many other Americans, I am genuinely shocked and saddened that our nation — so long the beacon of light and hope for democracy — has come to such a dark moment.

Support for LAist comes from

Through war and strife, America's endured much and we will endure here and we will prevail again and we'll prevail now.

The work of the moment and the work of the next four years must be the restoration of democracy, of decency, honor, respect, the rule of law. Just plain simple decency.

The renewal of a politics that's about solving problems, looking out for one another, not stoking the flames of hate and chaos. As I said, America's about honor, decency, respect, tolerance. That's who we are. That's who we've always been.

The certification, the Electoral College vote, it's supposed to be a sacred ritual to reaffirm... the purpose is to affirm the majesty of American democracy. But today's reminder, a painful one, that democracy is fragile and to preserve it requires people of good will, leaders with the courage to stand up, who are devoted not to the pursuit of power or the personal interest, pursuits of their own selfish interest at any cost, but of the common good. Think what our children watching television are thinking. Think what the rest of the world is looking at.

For nearly two and a half centuries, we, the people in search of a more perfect union, have kept our eyes on that common good. America is so much better than what we've seen today.

Support for LAist comes from

Watching the scenes from the Capitol, I was reminded as I prepared other speeches in the past, I was reminded of the words of Abraham Lincoln in his annual message to Congress, whose work has today been interrupted by chaos.

Here's what Lincoln said. He said, "We shall nobly save or merely lose the last, best hope on Earth." Went on to say, "The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just. A way, which if followed, the world will forever applaud and God must forever bless."

The way is playing here, too. That's who we are. It's the way of democracy, of respect, of decency, of honor and commitment as patriots to this nation.

Notwithstanding what I saw today and we're seeing today, I remain optimistic about the incredible opportunities. There has never been anything we can't do when we do it together. And this godawful display today was bringing home to every Republican and Democrat and independent in the nation that we must step up.

This is the United States of America. There's never, ever, ever, ever, ever been a thing we've tried to do that we've done it together, we've not been able to do it. So, President Trump, step up.

Support for LAist comes from

May God bless America. May God protect our troops and all those folks at the Capitol who are trying to preserve order.

Thank you and I'm sorry to have kept you waiting.

Not long after Biden called on Trump to speak up and defend the Constitution, the president released a video via Twitter which was immediately flagged as containing fraudulent election information.

Trump repeated repudiated allegations that the election had been stolen and that he had won by a landslide (Biden earned 7 million more votes than Trump). He told his supporters who had stormed the U.S. Capitol, some carrying Confederate flags and other extremist group flags, that he loved them. "You're very special" he said before asking people to go home.

Twitter added this disclaimer: "This claim of election fraud is disputed, and this Tweet can't be replied to, Retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence."

Twitter later removed that video and later tweet in which Trump justified the action's of the mob.

Our news is free on LAist. To make sure you get our coverage: Sign up for our daily newsletters. To support our nonprofit public service journalism: Donate now.