He spoke at a goodbye event at the Major Joseph R. ‘Beau’ Biden III National Guard / Reserve Center, which is located on the New Castle Airport’s campus, breaking down as he payed tribute to his late son, and saying that it was Beau who should be president.
‘Ladies and gentleman, I only have one regret, he’s not here because we should be introducing him as president,’ Biden told the crowd, filled with friends and family, including son Hunter and daughter Ashley. ‘But we have great opportunities, Delaware has taught us anything’s possible, anything’s possible in this country.’
President-elect Joe Biden cried as he said goodbye to his home state of Delaware and when talking about his late son Beau
Incoming first lady Jill Biden (left) waves to the audience at a ceremony at the Major Joseph R. ‘Beau’ Biden III National Guard /Reserve Center at the New Castle Airport, before President-elect Joe Biden’s (right) inauguration
Incoming first lady Jill Biden (left) watches her husband speak alongside Hunter Biden (center) and baby Beau
Beau Biden was Delaware’s attorney general and expected to pursue higher political office, but died of cancer in 2015
Beau Biden had been Delaware’s attorney general and was long thought to hold higher political ambitions before being killed by brain cancer in 2015.
Biden is flying from the New Castle Airport to Joint Base Andrews.
‘It’s deeply personal that our journey to Washington starts here,’ Biden said, speaking from a podium inscribed with his son’s name.
He had originally hoped to take Amtrak – how he commuted back and forth between Washington and Wilmington for years as a U.S. senator – but the heightened security risk surrounding the inauguration killed off those plans. The Wilmington, Delaware Amtrak station is named after Biden.
In 2009, President-elect Barack Obama took a train from Philadelphia and picked up Biden, the vice president-elect in Wilmington, traveling to Washington, D.C.’s Union Station.
Biden recalled that day – and what a big deal it was that a black man was become president of the United States.
‘And here we are today – my family and I – about to return to Washington to meet a black woman, of south Asian descent, to be sworn in as president and vice president of the United States,’ Biden said, referring to his running mate, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
‘As I told Beau on that station waiting for Barack – and Hunter and Ashley – I said don’t tell me things can’t change,’ Biden continued. ‘They can and they do.’
He said this hopeful mentality was thanks to Delaware.
‘That’s America. That’s Delaware. A place of hope and light and limitless possibilities,’ Biden said.
He asked the audience to excuse his emotion as he talked about his adopted home state, one that gave his parents ‘a home and a livelihood when they needed it most.’
The Bidens arrive onstage at the Major Joseph R. ‘Beau’ Biden III National Guard / Reserve Center on Tuesday for a Delaware farewell event before flying to Washington, D.C.
President-elect Joe Biden (right) and incoming first lady Jill Biden (second from right) greet supporters at an event in Delaware Tuesday before they fly to Joint Base Andrews ahead of Wednesday’s inauguration ceremonies
And sent him as a ‘kid’ to the U.S. Senate.
Biden was elected at age 29 and sworn-in, as the Constitution permits, at age 30.
‘When I die, Delaware will be written on my heart and the hearts of all of the Bidens,’ he said.
‘We love you all, you’ve been there for us in the good and the bad, you never walked away,’ Biden continued. ‘And I am proud – proud, proud, proud to be a son of Delaware and I am even more proud to be standing here doing this from the Major Beau Biden facility.’
That’s when the president-elect wished his son would have been the Biden to make it to the White House.
Before his death, Beau Biden had encouraged his father to run for president in 2016, instead of letting Hillary Clinton become the heir to President Barack Obama’s legacy.
After Beau Biden died, Joe Biden sat out the 2016 race, which saw Clinton lose to Republican President Donald Trump.
Biden decided to run for president in 2020 after watching Trump handle the racial violence in Charlottesville in 2017.
Biden was introduced by Delaware’s Democratic Gov. John Carney, who said the president-elect was ‘born for this moment.’
‘I have one particular feeling that’s hard to describe and it’s one that so many Americans haven’t felt for so long,’ Carney said, explaining that that feeling was ‘hope.’
Carney also spoke of Beau Biden’s death, calling him Joe Biden’s ‘pride and joy.’ ‘And Delaware’s as well,’ Carney said.
‘He has picked himself up and brought us along with him,’ Carney said of the incoming president. ‘Now he stands ready to pull the country out of this morass out of the chaos and onto higher ground.’
At Wednesday’s swearing-in ceremony, Biden’s inaugural address will center on unifying the country in the post-Trump era.
Biden is expected to speak for between 20 and 30 minutes.