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Special Inauguration Day Coverage. Aired 4-4:10a ET
Aired January 21, 2021 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Twenty, 46 and first are three numerical terms that factor into today`s special edition of CNN. And we`ll be explaining
all of that in a couple minutes.
Welcome to everyone watching worldwide. I`m Carl Azuz.
Twenty is the amendment to the U.S. Constitution that sets January 20th as the date when new or re-elected U.S. presidents are inaugurated and when
the terms of their predecessors end. It`s also the Constitution that includes the words of the president`s oath of office.
Chief Justice John Roberts led new President Joe Biden in those words yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS, U.S. SUPREME COURT: I, Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., do solemnly swear --
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATE: I, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., do solemnly swear --
ROBERTS: -- that I will faithfully execute --
BIDEN: -- that I will faithfully execute --
ROBERTS: -- the office of president of the United States --
BIDEN: -- office of president of the United States --
ROBERTS: -- and will to the best of my ability --
BIDEN: -- and will to the best of my ability --
ROBERTS: -- preserve protect and defend --
BIDEN: -- preserve protect and defend --
ROBERTS: -- the Constitution of the United States.
BIDEN: -- the Constitution of the United States.
ROBERTS: So help you God?
BIDEN: So help me God.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: Forty-six is the second number I mentioned at the beginning of today`s show. With his oath of office, Joseph R. Biden Jr. officially
became America`s 46th president. But he`s not the 46th person to hold the job.
Grover Cleveland served as both the 22nd president and the 24th president because the two terms he served in the late 1800s were not back-to-back. He
lost the election in between them to President Benjamin Harrison. So, Mr. Biden is the 46th president but the 45th individual to serve in the role
and that role began yesterday with his plan to sign executive actions.
These are orders for members of the executive branch. They don`t usually affect as many people as the laws Congress passes but they do establish
presidential policy. President Biden`s new executive actions concern the coronavirus pandemic, the environment immigration and government
regulations, some of them undo the actions signed by former president Donald Trump, some of them returned to policies set by former President
Barack Obama when Biden served as vice president.
And that brings us to another numerical term I mentioned, first. There`s more than one first concerning this presidency. At age 78 when he took the
oath of office, President Biden became the oldest American ever to assume the role.
And Vice President Kamala Harris has made history. Her mother was Indian and her father is Jamaican. So, Mrs. Harris is both the first woman and the
first woman of color to become U.S. vice president. The first day for new leaders is usually a busy one, lots of ceremonies, lots of greetings.
But there is no traditional parade to the White House from the Capitol and there was no inaugural ball this time around. Because of coronavirus
concerns, virtual and televised events helped mark the transition of power in the United States.
Americans got a glimpse of the new president`s vision for the country and is outlined for the next four years in his inaugural speech.
Here are some highlights.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: Today, we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate but of a cause - - the cause of democracy. The people -- the will of the people has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded.
We`ve learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.
So, now, on this hallowed ground were just a few days ago violence sought to shake the Capitol`s very foundation, we come together as one nation
under God, indivisible, to carry out the peaceful transfer power as we have for more than two centuries. This is a great nation. We are good people and
over the centuries through storm and strife, in peace and in war, we`ve come so far.
But we still have far to go, we`ll press forward with speed and urgency for, we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant
possibilities, much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build and much to gain.
Few people in our nation`s history have been more challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we`re in now. Once in a
century virus that silently stalks the country has taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of World War II. Millions of jobs have been
lost. Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed.
A cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making moves us. This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge and unity is the path forward. And
we must meet this moment as the United States of America. If we do that, I guarantee you we will not fail.
For all those who supported our campaign, I`m humbled by the faith you`ve placed in us. To all those who did not support us, let me say this -- hear
me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart. And if you still disagree, so be it. That`s democracy, that`s America. The right to
dissent peaceably then the guard rails of our republic is perhaps this nation`s greatest strength.
I understand that many of my fellow Americans view the future as fear and trepidation. I understand they worry about their jobs. I understand like my
dad, they lay at bed staring -- at the night, staring at the ceiling wondering, can I keep my health care? Can I pay my mortgage? Thinking about
their families, about what comes next.
I promise you, I get it. But the answer is not to turn inward, to retreat into competing factions, distrusting those who don`t look like -- look like
you, or worship the way you do or don`t get their news from the same sources you do.
We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban (ph) -- or rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this
if we open our souls, instead of hardening our hearts, if we show a little tolerance and humility.
Together, we shall write an American story of hope not fear, of unity not division, of light not darkness. A story of decency and dignity, love and
healing, greatness and goodness. May this be the story that guides us, the story that inspires us, and the story that tells ages yet to come that we
answer the call of history.
May God bless America and may God protect our troops. Thank you, America..
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:
The 20th Amendment specifies what time is the end of an outgoing president`s term?
Eight-thirty a.m., 11:59 a.m., 12:00 noon or no time specified.
The 20th Amendment says at noon, the term for an outgoing president and vice president ends.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: Forty-fifth U.S. President Donald Trump left the White House before the inauguration on Wednesday morning. He said it was the honor of a
lifetime to serve the greatest people in the world, and that while he wanted to say goodbye, he was hopeful it was not a long term goodbye.
During remarks he gave afterward in front of Air Force One, the outgoing leader thanked his family and First Lady Melania Trump for their hard work.
He highlighted his administration`s work to help veterans, cut taxes, improve the economy and develop a coronavirus vaccine. President Trump also
wished the new administration great success and told his supporters, quote, we`ll see you soon.
Afterward, Mr. Trump stepped aboard Air Force One for his last flight as 45th president. The plane carried him to his primary home in Florida.
Outside of President Biden`s inauguration, it was a quiet day in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. There were a few protesters there and at some state
capitals in the U.S. following some of the demonstrations seen over the weekend. But observers say the events were peaceful. There was also heavy
security around government buildings.
With the nation in transition, we conclude today`s special inauguration coverage on CNN 10. We`re thankful to have you watching and hope you`ll
join us again tomorrow.