'A new day of hope for America': Nation reacts to Biden's apparent win

CATHERINE THORBECKE

After waiting days for results, on Saturday ABC News can characterize Former Vice President Joe Biden as the apparent winner of the presidency.

Parts of the nation erupted in celebration as the news was called and scenes of cheering and singing flooded social media Saturday. Biden's apparent win is historic because he broke Barack Obama's record for most votes cast for a U.S. presidential candidate, and also because it means Sen. Kamala Harris is set to become the first female vice president and woman of color in the White House.

PHOTO: People celebrate Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Philadelphia, after the presidential election was called for Joe Biden. (Rebecca Blackwell/AP)
PHOTO: People celebrate Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Philadelphia, after the presidential election was called for Joe Biden. (Rebecca Blackwell/AP)

"I am honored and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and in Vice President-elect Harris," Biden said in a statement after major media outlets projected him as the winner. "In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted. Proving once again, that democracy beats deep in the heart of America."

PHOTO: People celebrate in Philadelphia after Democrat Joe Biden was declared the apparent winner in Pennsylvania in the presidential election making him set to become the 46th President of the U.S., Nov. 7, 2020. (Rebecca Blackwell/AP)
PHOTO: People celebrate in Philadelphia after Democrat Joe Biden was declared the apparent winner in Pennsylvania in the presidential election making him set to become the 46th President of the U.S., Nov. 7, 2020. (Rebecca Blackwell/AP)

"With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation," the statement added. "It’s time for America to unite. And to heal. We are the United States of America. And there’s nothing we can’t do, if we do it together."

Harris tweeted a video of her joyfully reacting to the news, captioning it, "We did it, @JoeBiden."

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, released a defiant statement through his campaign, claiming "this election is far from over" and touting unfounded claims about his coming legal fight. The White House declined to comment on several news organizations projecting Joe Biden as the apparent winner of the election.

MORE: Joe Biden apparent winner of presidency

Other public figures and more, however, were quick to congratulate Biden and Harris on their historic victory.

The NAACP welcomed the news in a statement, saying, "At this historical moment, the voters have made it clear that they want a country that works for all people."

"They want a country that is not broken by racism and bigotry," the statement added. "They want leadership that can create opportunities for all Americans to succeed in all aspects of society, without fear of over-policing, discrimination, and destructive policies at our expense."

Harris' alma mater, Howard University, called her rise "an important testament of what is possible in our imperfect nation." Adding to a long list of firsts, Harris' apparent victory marks the first time a graduate of a historically black college and university will become vice president.

PHOTO: People react as media announce that Joe Biden is the apparent winner of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, in, Philadelphia, Nov. 7, 2020. (Rachel Wisniewski/Reuters)
PHOTO: People react as media announce that Joe Biden is the apparent winner of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, in, Philadelphia, Nov. 7, 2020. (Rachel Wisniewski/Reuters)

A slew of lawmakers and politicians -- largely Democratic but also from both sides of the aisle -- congratulated the pair on Twitter and elsewhere.

Former President Barack Obama released a statement saying he "could not be prouder" to congratulate Biden and Harris.

"In this election, under circumstances never experienced, Americans turned out in numbers never seen. And once every vote is counted, President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris will have won a historic and decisive victory," Obama said. "We’re fortunate that Joe’s got what it takes to be President and already carries himself that way. Because when he walks into the White House in January, he’ll face a series of extraordinary challenges no incoming President ever has -- a raging pandemic, an unequal economy and justice system, a democracy at risk, and a climate in peril."

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said today "marks the dawning of a new day of hope for America," in a statement Saturday.

"A record-shattering 75 million Americans cast their ballots to elect Joe Biden President of the United States -- a historic victory that has handed Democrats a mandate for action," Pelosi added.

She pledged that Americans will have a leader ready "on Day One" with Biden's win.

"President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris won with a strong margin, and they will have a strong Democratic House Majority by their side," Pelosi said. "Working together, we have the opportunity to deliver extraordinary progress For The People."

Hillary Clinton tweeted that the history-making ticket is a "a repudiation of Trump, and a new page for America."

"Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen," Clinton added. "Onward, together."

Stacey Abrams, who is credited for helping aid voter turnout this election in Georgia, tweeted: "Congratulations, Mr. President-Elect! Georgians look forward to adding our votes to the total once all voices are heard -- and together, we will restore the soul of this nation."

Former President Jimmy Carter released a statement saying, "Rosalynn joins me in congratulating our friends President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. We are proud of their well-run campaign and look forward to seeing the positive change they bring to our nation."

Former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush also tweeted a note of congratulations adding that he will be "praying" for Biden and Harris' success.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren also tweeted her congratulations, writing, "Americans chose Joe and Kamala to lead us forward with purpose and moral clarity. We’ve got a lot to do. Let's get to work."

Sen. Chuck Schumer wrote that Biden and Harris "will be a great President and a great Vice President for all Americans."

Progressive congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also tweeted a congratulatory message to Biden and Harris.

Sen. Bernie Sanders said his congratulations in a statement celebrating "all those who worked so hard to make this historic day possible."

"Now, through our continued grassroots organizing, let us create a government that works for ALL and not the few," Sanders said. "Let us create a nation built on justice, not greed and bigotry."

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted his congratulations to both Biden and Harris, calling it a "historic day" and lauding Harris for shattering "two ceilings."

"After the darkness, division and hate of the past four years, America has spoken and rejected more of the same," Cuomo wrote.

Celebrities respond

In addition to lawmakers, a slew of celebrities have responded to the news as well.

"Veep" actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus tweeted that, "Madam Vice President' is no longer a fictional character."

John Legend and Common, who both performed during the Democratic National Convention, offered their congratulations to Biden and Harris.

"Thank you for choosing to serve your country during these challenging times," Legend tweeted.

"Today is A New Beginning and A Celebration of The People and The Power and Capacity we have. We Changed the World by thinking about Better Days and Acting On it," tweeted Common, sharing a photo of himself with Biden.

Mindy Kaling spoke to the significance of Harris, who is Black and Indian, as the first woman of color set to be vice president. The actress shared two photos of Harris, including one as a child, and said, "Crying and holding my daughter, 'look baby, she looks like us.'"

Actor Mark Ruffalo tweeted a selfie with his daughter, wearing a face mask with the word "Vote" on it and captioning it, "We are sooo happy today."

Pop star Ariana Grande posted a video of cheering crowds taken while driving through West Hollywood, California.

"The people have spoken!" actress Kerry Washington tweeted. "Thank you to everyone who used your vote and your voice to make history."

Lady Gaga tweeted a photo of herself with Biden, saying she had "nothing but love" for him and Harris.

'A new day of hope for America': Nation reacts to Biden's apparent win originally appeared on abcnews.go.com