'I will be president for all Americans': Trump's victory speech
Published Wednesday, November 9, 2016 9:13AM EST
After a lengthy and contentious presidential campaign full of scandal and controversy, Donald Trump claimed victory in the early hours of Wednesday morning by exceeding the 270 electoral college votes he needed to become the 45th U.S. president. Trump appeared before a crowd of supporters assembled in the ballroom of the Hilton hotel in New York City just before 3 a.m. to deliver his victory speech.
The typically brash celebrity businessman adopted a more conciliatory tone than usual during his 15-minute address. Trump opened by telling the crowd that his democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, had called him to congratulate him on his win and that he congratulated her in return. After a bitter campaign that saw both candidates hurl personal insults at each other, Trump even complimented Clinton.
“Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.” Trump announced. “I mean that very sincerely.”
Trump also vowed that he would work to unite Americans following the deeply-divisive campaign that exposed profound differences among voters on issues including race, religion, gender, immigration and the economy.
“I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans,” Trump said. “This is so important to me.”
The president-elect even extended an olive branch to those who didn’t support him during his run. Trump said he would look to them for “guidance and help” in order to unify the country.
As for his plans for the future, Trump was light on specifics. He promised to renew the American dream and ensure that forgotten citizens would be able to realize their fullest potential under his presidency.
“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” Trump declared to thunderous applause.
Trump also pledged to fix inner cities and infrastructure including highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools and hospitals. He also touted his economic plan for the U.S. and said it would double the country’s growth. Additionally, Trump applauded veterans and said they would finally be cared for under his leadership.
“We will also finally take care of our great veterans,” Trump said. “The time I've spent with them during this campaign has been among my greatest honours. Our veterans are incredible people.”
In an effort to reassure an anxious international community, Trump said the U.S. would get along with other nations willing to work with him and that he would seek common ground instead of hostility or conflict.
“I want to tell the world community that while we will always put America's interests first, we will deal fairly with everyone.
Trump acknowledged how difficult the campaign had been and how thankful he was to his family for supporting him through it.
“This political stuff is nasty and it's tough. So I want to thank my family very much,” Trump said.
After thanking his family, campaign team and supporters, the future president ended his speech by expressing his gratitude for the honour and announcing his love for the U.S.
“I love this country!” Trump declared beaming.