Joe Biden Directly Appeals to Trump Supporters, Pledges to Be President for All Americans

In his inaugural address on Wednesday, President Joe Biden made an appeal to rival Donald Trump's supporters, urging the country to come together after a bitter election battle.

"We must meet this moment as the United States of America. If we do that, I guarantee you we will not fail," Biden said in the nearly 20-minute address after he was officially sworn into office. "I promise you, I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did."

Trump chose not to attend Biden's swearing-in ceremony, instead traveling to Florida where he will live post-presidency. He gave a farewell address before flying out, promising: "We will be back in some form."

The former president spent months refusing to concede the election to Biden, only admitting he had lost the presidential election after an angry mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6.

Four years ago, Trump gave a defiant inaugural address, described by many as dark, promising to bring an end to "American carnage."

In contrast, Biden's speech was a call for people to come together amid the ongoing global pandemic and divisive politics that drove the Capitol riots.

"I will be president for all Americans," Biden said. "My whole soul is in this, bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation and I ask every American to join me in this cause."

Biden received more than 81 million votes in the presidential election, besting Trump's 74 million. Biden secured 306 of the electoral college votes to Trump's 232. But Trump launched multiple legal challenges and tried to pressure Vice President Mike Pence into rejecting the certification of the election outcome, which is not in the vice president's authority. Trump's baseless insistence that he had not lost the election, and his continued post-election rallies, prompted a mob of his supporters to disrupt Congress' official certification two weeks ago.

Biden didn't directly mention Trump by name during his speech, but denounced the divisions in the country.

"Today, at this time and this place, let's start fresh," the new president said. "Let's begin to listen to one another again, hear one another, see one another, show respect to one another. Politics doesn't have to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path."

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U.S. President Joe Biden reacts as he delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. During today's inauguration ceremony Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States. Tasos Katopodis/Getty