US President-elect Joe Biden has given an emotional speech where he fought back tears as he commemorated his deceased son and gave thanks to his home state of Delaware.
“I only have one regret, that he’s not here,” Biden said on Tuesday, referring to his son Beau, a former attorney-general who died of brain cancer in 2015.
“Because we should be introducing him as president.”
Biden choked up during the speech in Delaware, the state Biden represented as a senator for over three decades.
“Excuse the emotion, but when I die, Delaware will be written on my heart,” the 78-year-old Biden added.
The speech in the city of New Castle was a send-off event for Biden as he heads to Washington to be inaugurated as the 46th president.
Mr Biden reflected on his term as Vice President to Barack Obama and said he would be a leader for all Americans.
“Here we are today … about to return to Washington, to meet a black woman of South Asian descent — to be sworn in as president and vice president,” he said.
“Don’t tell me things can’t change.”
Biden has long been known as a politician open to displays of emotion, especially after multiple family tragedies.
His penchant for self-reflective and sometime tearful rhetoric stands in stark contrast to President Donald Trump whose speeches are best known for fiery attacks on the media and political opponents.
The inauguration has been beset by security concerns after supporters of the outgoing president attacked the Capitol building earlier this month. Thousands of troops in the National Guard have been deployed to the capital city.
Trump said he would not attend the inauguration, becoming the first president to break with tradition in over 150 years.
He gave his farewell address via a YouTube video this morning.
“Four years ago, we launched a great national effort to rebuild our country, to renew its spirit, and to restore the allegiance of this government to its citizens. We did what we came here to do—and so much more,” Trump said.
“I took on the tough battles, the hardest fights, the most difficult choices – because that’s what you elected me to do.
“Our agenda was not about right or left, it wasn’t about Republican or Democrat, but about the good of a nation, and that means the whole nation.
“We restored American Strength at home—and American leadership abroad.”
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The outgoing President thanked his family, Vice President Mike Pence, his family and all of his staff and administration.
He also gave a shout out to the Secret Service, military office and law enforcement officers.
And of course, the American people.
Melania Trump also gave a farewell address, posted on Twitter.
It comes as Mrs trump officially switched from her FLOTUS account to her personal account on Twitter.