Following Hillary Clinton’s concession speech on Wednesday morning, President Obama stepped forward to address the country regarding Donald Trump’s election win.
“Everybody is sad when their side loses an election,” said Obama, reiterating that the American people must root for the president-elect’s success in “uniting and leading” the country. “But the day after, we have to remember that we are actually all on one team. This is an intramural scrimmage. We’re not Democrats first. We’re not Republicans first. We’re Americans first. We all want what’s best for our country.”
Obama also complimented Clinton, calling her candidacy and presidential nomination historic. “It sends a message to our daughters all across the country that they can achieve at the highest levels of politics.”
The president then turned his attention to the young voters disappointed by the election results. “You have to stay encouraged. Don’t get cynical. Don’t ever think you can’t make a difference,” said Obama, before quoting Clinton’s speech earlier in the day: “Fighting for what’s right is worth it.”
He then added, “The path this country has taken has never been a straight line. We zig and zag.”
This allowed the president to reference his and vice president Joe Biden’s own political records. “I’ve lost elections before,” Obama said, before adding jokingly, “Joe hasn’t.”
In response, Biden made the sign of the cross before teasingly saying, “Remember, you beat me badly.”
However, President Obama quickly came back to the matter at hand as he attempted to bridge the gap between supporters of both political parties.
“Go forward with a presumption of good faith in our fellow citizens,” said Obama. “Because that presumption of faith is essential to a vibrant and functioning democracy.”