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Former presidents deliver message to Biden on inauguration night

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Former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama delivered a recorded message to President Biden on Wednesday night.

Video Transcript

BARACK OBAMA: Good evening, America. Obviously, there was a personal element to see my former Vice President become the 46th President, to see Kamala Harris as our first woman Vice President, but more broadly, I think inaugurations signal a tradition of a peaceful transfer of power that is over two centuries old.

GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, I think the fact that the three of us are standing here talking about a peaceful transfer of power speaks to the institutional integrity of our country.

BILL CLINTON: So this is an unusual thing. We are both trying to come back to normalcy, deal with totally abnormal challenges, and do what we do best, which is try to make a more perfect union. It's an exciting time.

BARACK OBAMA: We've got to not just listen to folks we agree with, but listen to folks we don't. One of my fondest memories of the inauguration was the grace and generosity that President Bush showed me, and Laura Bush showed Michelle. It was a reminder that we can have fierce disagreements and yet recognize each other's common humanity, and that, as Americans, we have more in common than what separates us.

GEORGE W. BUSH: I think if Americans would love their neighbor like they would like to be loved themselves, a lot of the division in our society would end.

BILL CLINTON: That's what this means. It's a new beginning, and everybody needs to get off their high horse and reach out to their friends and neighbors and try to make it possible.

BARACK OBAMA: If, in fact, as George said, we're looking for what binds us together, the American people are strong, they're tough, they can get through hardship. There's no problem they can't solve when we're working together. I think that was the theme of Joe's inaugural speech, and I think all of us discovered that we're at our best when we're all moving in the same direction.

GEORGE W. BUSH: America is a generous country with people with great hearts. All three of us were lucky to be the President of this country. Mr. President, I'm pulling for your success. Your success is our country's success, and God bless you.

BILL CLINTON: I'm glad you're there, and I wish you well. You have spoken for us today, now you will lead for us, and we're ready to march with you. Good luck. God bless.

BARACK OBAMA: Joe, I'm proud of you. You and Kamala need to know that you've got all of us here rooting for your success, keeping you in our prayers, and we will be available in any ways that we can as citizens to help you guide our country forward. We wish you godspeed.

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