Remarks by President-elect Joe Biden at Georgia Senate Drive-In Rally in Atlanta, Georgia
[As prepared for delivery]
It is great to be back!
Let's hear it for Allie for that introduction and the great line-up of entertainers!
And let's hear it for Stacey Abrams!
No one in America has done more for the right to vote. Stacey, you've changed Georgia and you've changed America. Thank you.
Let's also hear it for your next Public Service Commissioner Daniel Blackman!
And one of the best mayors in America, your mayor and my good friend Keisha Lance Bottoms.
And let's hear it for your next United States Senators Jon Ossoff and Reverend Warnock. They are talented, principled, and qualified. Honorable and decent. They are bending the arc of history towards justice and hope and progress.
Folks, this is it.
It's a New Year and tomorrow can be a new day for Georgia and America.
First, let me start by thanking you for electing me and Kamala Harris as President and Vice President.
You voted in record numbers in November.
Your voices were heard.
Your votes were counted.
The will of the people prevailed and we won this state.
Now we need you to vote in record numbers again.
To make your voice heard again.
To change Georgia again.
To change America again.
Georgia — the whole nation is looking to you to lead us forward.
The power is literally in your hands. One state can chart the course not just for the next four years but for a generation.
By electing Jon and Reverend Warnock, you can make an immediate difference in your own lives and the lives of people all across this country.
Because their election will put an end to the block in Washington on the $2,000 in stimulus checks and that money will be going out the door.
Think about what that will mean in your lives.
Putting food on the table.
Paying the rent.
Paying the mortgage.
Paying down the credit card.
Paying the cell phone bill, the gas bill, the electric bill.
Just look around.
Millions of people in this country are out of work through no fault of their own.
Struggling. Fearful. Giving up hope.
Look at the lines at the food banks. They stretch for hours and hours. And they're getting longer.
Families. Children. People who have worked their whole lives and have never asked for a thing except a fighting chance.
Now they're now lining up for food in America.
This debate over $2,000 isn't some abstract debate in Washington.
This is about real lives. Your lives.
The lives of good, hard-working Americans.
And if you're like millions of Americans all over this country, you need the money. You need the help. And you need it now.
Georgia, there is no one in America with more power to make it happen than you, the citizens of Georgia.
If you send Jon and the Reverend to Washington, those $2,000 checks are going out the door, restoring hope and decency and honor to so many people struggling right now.
If you send Senators Perdue and Loeffler back to Washington, those checks will never get there.
It's just that simple.
The power is literally in your hands.
By electing Jon and the Reverend, you can break the gridlock that has gripped Washington and this nation.
With their votes in the Senate, we'll be able to make the progress we need to make on jobs and health care and justice and the environment and so many other things.
By electing Jon and the Reverend, you'll be voting to get the states the resources they need to get the vaccines distributed.
I've said it before. Getting America vaccinated will be one of the most difficult operational challenges this nation has ever faced.
This Administration has gotten us off to a God-awful start.
The states need more money to do the job.
And they need a Federal Government that will work with them, not attack them or leave them hanging.
It's going to be tough to get this done, but we have to do it.
People's lives depend on it.
Our economy depends on it.
And we will get it done.
By electing Jon and the Reverend, you'll be voting to get the state and local governments the money they need to keep their cops and firefighters and teachers and local responders, keeping them on the job, protecting you, and looking out for you and your children
States have been struggling through this pandemic. They need the help.
And by electing Jon and the Reverend, you'll be sending a powerful message to the Congress and the country: it's time for this nation to come together.
To work together. To unite. To put the anger and the division and the divisive politics of the past behind us.
And here's one more thing — voting for Jon and the Reverend won't just be good for America.
It will be good for Georgia, and here's why.
If you vote for Jon and Raphael you will be getting two Senators who will fight for you, who will put Georgia first, who will put you first.
You don't have that now.
You now have two Senators who think it's more important to reward wealth than hard work in the tax system.
You have two Senators who think they work for Donald Trump, not you.
You have two Senators who think their loyalty is to Donald Trump, not Georgia.
You have two Senators who think they've sworn an oath of office to Donald Trump, not the United States Constitution.
Well, let me tell you something.
I was elected seven times to the United States Senate from Delaware.
Not once did I take an oath to any President or anyone else.
I took an oath to the United States Constitution.
As president, I don't believe your United States Senators work for me.
I believe they work for the people of Georgia.
That's why I'm not asking your Senators to be loyal to me.
I believe they should be loyal to you, to Georgia, and to the United States Constitution.
And if you vote for Jon and the Reverend — that's what you will get.
They won't put a president or party first.
And they sure won't put themselves first.
They know public service is about you.
It isn't about enriching themselves.
It's about making people's lives better.
It's about giving people a chance, just an even shot.
It's time we start rewarding work, not just wealth in this country.
And if you listen to Jon and the Reverend, that's what they've been saying and that's what they've been campaigning on.
On dealing with COVID.
On revitalizing our economy.
On health care.
On voting rights.
On criminal justice.
On racial justice.
On climate change.
On the things that matter and that will make a difference in your lives.
Georgia — as dark as these days of winter seem, I am still more optimistic about the future of this country than I have been my entire life.
And Jon and Raphael share that optimism.
Jon saw first-hand the power of believing in the promise of America even in our darkest moments from my old friend and yours — John Lewis.
Reverend Warnock sees the power of faith to overcome the toughest trials that life can throw at us.
He believes like I do in the quote by the philosopher Kierkegaard, who said, "Faith sees best in the dark".
And I know they share with me a deep faith in the people of this country.
A faith that enables us to overcome adversity, to lift each other up, to be a beacon of light for one another and to the world.
That's who we are, and we should never give that up.
I've said it many times, and I'll say it again here:
There is nothing, nothing this country can't do if we do it together.
I know these campaigns can be exhausting.
You've put in the hard work over the last few years to get to this moment.
It's been intense and nonstop.
But I'm asking you to give everything you've got for one more day.
One more day.
And you can change America.
So if you haven't voted, vote.
And if you've already voted, then I'm asking for just one more day of making calls and safely knocking on doors.
Go to IWillVote.com/GA to find your polling location.
Just like you did in November, vote.
Vote for both Jon and the Reverend.
In America, as our opposition friends are finding out, all power flows from the people.
That is our history.
That is our law.
That is our Constitution.
That is democracy.
Politicians cannot, assert, take, or seize power.
Power has to be given, granted — by the American people.
We can never give that up.
It is always the will of the people that must prevail.
So today, tomorrow, vote — make sure your voice is heard.
Do it for yourselves.
Do it for all those who have given so much to secure that right.
Do it for the country you love.
And the future you want to build.
Do it for all those around the world who aspire to be like us to be a free, democratic people.
That power is in your hands.
Jon and Reverend Warnock are counting on you.
So is Kamala.
So am I.
And so is America.
We are a nation built on honor.
America is, and must continue to be a beacon of light, liberty, democracy, and unity.
That's who we are.
This is the United States of America.
Vote, vote, vote.
May God bless you all.
May God protect our troops.
Joseph R. Biden, Remarks by President-elect Joe Biden at Georgia Senate Drive-In Rally in Atlanta, Georgia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/347504