US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has addressed her supporters for the first time since losing the White House race to Donald Trump, wishing success for the Republican president-elect.
Taking a relatively small stage at the New Yorker Hotel in New York City on Wednesday morning, Clinton congratulated Trump for his victory and offered to work with him after losing a tight race to him on Tuesday.
“Last night I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country,” the former secretary of state said to her emotional supporters. “I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans.”
“This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for, and I'm sorry we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country,” the former first lady said as she was flanked by her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
Clinton said the defeat was “painful,” specially after a race that showed “our nation is more deeply divided than we thought.”
She called on her supporters to back Trump, as all Americans “owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”
She pointed to the US Constitution’s order for a “peaceful transfer of power,” and indirectly reminded Trump of other constitutional values such as “the principle we are all equal in rights and dignity; freedom of worship and expression.”
She also extended her gratitude to President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle who did everything they could get Clinton elected.
Despite winning the popular vote by a narrow margin, Clinton was unable to defeat Trump, who pulled off an improbable victory by winning 289 electoral votes. Clinton won 228.
This year’s race for the White House was undoubtedly the darkest in the history of US elections, with the candidates attacking each other on any level imaginable.
Trump took a reconciliatory tone in his standing speech on Tuesday night, giving Clinton credit for her track record by saying, “We owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.”