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Biden tells Americans "we have to bring the nation together" in Thanksgiving comments

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President Biden told Americans that "we have to bring the nation together" when he called into the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on Thursday.

"On this Thanksgiving Day, Al, we have to come together," Mr. Biden told Al Roker. "You know, we have — we can have different political views, but there's — we have one view. The one view is, we're the finest, greatest nation in the world."

Mr. Biden continued that "we should focus on dealing with our problems and being together." 

"And stop the rancor," Mr. Biden added. "We have to bring the nation together, and we have to treat each other with a little bit of decency." 

Mr. Biden and his family are spending Thanksgiving in Nantucket, Massachusetts, per their family's tradition.

US President Joe Biden answers questions from the press after visiting the Nantucket Fire Department on Thanksgiving November 23, 2023 in Nantucket, Massachusetts. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

After calling Roker, Mr. Biden and the first lady visited the Nantucket fire station, where they brought five pumpkin pies. Speaking to reporters at the fire station, Mr. Biden wouldn't comment on the delay in the deal to free dozens of Israeli hostages in exchange for the release of some 150 Palestinian prisoners. He said that he is "not prepared to give you an update" until the deal is "done." He said he hoped he could say more on Friday. 

The Bidens' granddaughter, Naomi, the daughter of Hunter Biden, posted on social media a photo of some members of the family, including Mr. Biden, at the beach after participating in the polar bear plunge. 

Jill Biden wrote in her memoir, "Where the Light Enters," that the family began spending Thanksgiving on Nantucket when she and Mr. Biden began dating. 

"Nantucket Thanksgiving became our tradition for the next four decades," Jill wrote. "With a few exceptions, we've made the trek every year since, creating rituals that would become a key part of our family along the way."

The Bidens' late son Beau Biden proposed to his wife Hallie at the annual Nantucket tree lighting in 2001 that is held Thanksgiving weekend, and they were married at St. Mary's Church in downtown Nantucket. 

Jill Biden wrote that the family skipped Nantucket in 2015, the first Thanksgiving after Beau died. But she said the following year, their grandchildren asked to return to Nantucket.

"Thanksgiving was Nantucket," she wrote. The Biden grandchildren "missed the little shops, the ice cream parlor we always visited, the traditional Friday lunch. They wanted to watch the Christmas tree lighting and wander the cobblestone streets. They wanted to be together. To feel normal again."

According to Mr. Biden's memoir, "Promise Me, Dad," Nantucket is where Beau and younger son Hunter in 2014 told him to run for president. 

"'Dad, you've got to run,'" Mr. Biden wrote that Beau told him, and he wrote that Hunter said, "'We want you to run.'"  

Beau Biden died in May 2015, and Mr. Biden ultimately opted not to run for president in 2016 amid the family tragedy. 

This year, the Bidens are staying at the home of billionaire David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group.

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