Clinton and Obama ask America to accept Trump
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have asked the American people to accept Donald Trump as their next president, even as they expressed deep regret that the former secretary of state failed in her quest to become the first female president of the United States.
The wounded Democrats stoically set about their mission of helping unify the country after one of the most vicious presidential fights in the country’s history.
Clinton, offering her formal concession speech in New York, told supporters “we owe him an open mind,” while Obama held a Rose Garden news conference to tell the country that “we are now all rooting for his success.”
It was a dramatic reversal in tone for Clinton and Obama, who spent the closing weeks of the presidential campaign skewering Trump as a dangerous candidate who threatened to bring the country to its knees.
Speaking before dozens of her loyal aides, an emotional Clinton spoke frankly about the raw wound of the election, but she asked disappointed Americans to look past the immediate disappointment. “This is painful and it will be for a long time,” Clinton said. “But I want you to remember this: Our campaign was never about one person or even one election. It was about the country we love and about building an America that’s hopeful, inclusive and big-hearted.”
She also officially and publicly acknowledged Trump as Obama’s successor. “Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead,” she said.
Obama, speaking shortly after Clinton wrapped, made good on his promise to smooth the way for Trump, telling Americans that “we are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country.” He asked Clinton’s supporters to not be sore losers. “Everybody is sad when their side loses an election, but the day after we have to remember that we’re actually all on one team. This is an intramural scrimmage,” Obama said. “We’re not Democrats first. We’re not Republicans first. We are Americans first. We’re patriots first. We all want what’s best for this country.”
Obama reviled the Republican candidate on the trail, flatly calling him unfit for the presidency, laughing at the notion that he’s a champion for the working class and urging Clinton’s supporters not to boo but to express themselves by voting against the brash billionaire and his bluster.