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How does Joe Biden’s speech compare with Donald Trump’s from 2016?

There are some stark differences and striking similarities between the two speeches.

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President-elect Joe Biden greets supporters in Wilmington, Delaware (Andrew Harnik, AP)

President-elect Joe Biden greets supporters in Wilmington, Delaware (Andrew Harnik, AP)

President-elect Joe Biden greets supporters in Wilmington, Delaware (Andrew Harnik, AP)

Joe Biden used his maiden speech as US president-elect to pledge to “unify” the country and “restore the soul of America”.

But how does his speech compare with the words of Donald Trump following his election win in 2016?

The biggest difference in the two speeches can be found right off the bat.

In 2016, Mr Trump opened his speech by thanking Hillary Clinton for offering congratulations on his victory.

He said: “I have just received a call from Secretary Clinton. She congratulated us – it’s about us – on our victory and I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign, I mean she fought very hard.

“Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for service to our country. I mean that very sincerely.”

Mr Biden has not received any correspondence from Mr Trump since the election was called in his favour.

He instead opened his speech by thanking all those who voted for him.

Mr Biden said: “My fellow Americans, the people of this nation have spoken. They have delivered us a clear victory. A convincing victory. A victory for ‘We the People’.

“We have won with the most votes ever cast for a presidential ticket in the history of this nation — 74 million.

“I am humbled by the trust and confidence you have placed in me.”

A key message of both speeches was the importance of unity, with each man pledging to unite the country behind them.

All Republicans, and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it's time for us to come together as one united peopleDonald Trump

In 2016, Mr Trump pledged to be a “president for all Americans”, adding: “Now it’s time for Americans to bind the wounds of division – have to get together.

“All Republicans, and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it’s time for us to come together as one united people. It’s time.

“For those who have chosen not to support me in the past – of which there were a few people – I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our country.”

Those sentiments were echoed in Mr Biden’s speech, as he pledged “to be a president who seeks not to divide, but to unify.

“Who doesn’t see Red and Blue states, but a United States. And who will work with all my heart to win the confidence of the whole people.”

Mr Biden also made a pointed effort to reach out to President Trump’s supporters.

He said: “And to those who voted for President Trump, I understand your disappointment tonight.

“I’ve lost a couple of elections myself. But now, let’s give each other a chance. It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric. To lower the temperature. To see each other again. To listen to each other again. To make progress, we must stop treating our opponents as our enemy.

“We are not enemies. We are Americans.”

Another substantial differences between the two speeches can be seen in how each man outlined their immediate priorities for once they were sworn in.

For President Trump, his agenda included rebuilding infrastructure, improving the nation’s economy and adopting an ‘America-first’ strategy of international diplomacy.

He said: “America will no longer settle for anything less than the best. We must reclaim our country’s destiny and dream big and bold and daring. We have to do that.

“I want to tell the world community that while we will always put America’s interests first, we will deal fairly with everyone.

“All people, and all other nations. We will seek common ground, not hostility. Partnership, not conflict.”

Meanwhile Mr Biden said his immediate “mandate” was to address the nation’s battle with the surging coronavirus pandemic.

“Our work begins with getting Covid under control,” he said.

“We cannot repair the economy, restore our vitality, or relish life’s most precious moments — hugging a grandchild, birthdays, weddings, graduations, all the moments that matter most to us — until we get this virus under control.”

Mr Biden added plans “to turn this pandemic around” were already under way.

He said: “On Monday, I will name a group of leading scientists and experts as transition advisers to help take the Biden-Harris Covid plan and convert it into an action blueprint that starts on January 20th, 2021.

“That plan will be built on a bedrock of science. It will be constructed out of compassion, empathy, and concern.”

PA


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