My fellow Americans, we have come to the end of our journey. The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly.
A little while ago, I had the honor of calling President-Elect Joe Biden to congratulate him on being elected by the most votes cast in American history.
I then called Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris to congratulate her for breaking the glass ceiling that stood too long in this country, both for women and for people of color. Her rise is truly historic and she deserves great credit for inspiring many young girls to see that there are no limits to what they can do.
These two fine Americans command my respect and it is our duty now to ensure a peaceful and respectful transition.
I have not always believed that America should offer justice and opportunities to all who have the will to seize it, but that those rights were reserved for white Americans, particularly the wealthy and privileged, and I can see now that I was wrong.
I now recognize that though we have come a long way from injustices that once stained our nation’s reputation and denied some Americans the full blessings of American citizenship, the memory of them still has the power to wound, and I have abused this for my own political ends.
No longer will I wield hate and fear to divide our great nation.
President-Elect Joe Biden has achieved a great thing for himself and for our country. I applaud him for it, and offer my sincere sympathy that his beloved son Beau did not live to see this day, though our faith assures us he is at rest in the presence of his Creator and so very proud of the good man that raised him.
Joe and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain. These are difficult times for our country, and I pledge to him to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face.
I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our goodwill and earnest effort to find ways to come together, to find the necessary compromises, to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.
Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans. The Bible tells us that there is a time to heal, and that time in now.