Hillary Clinton gave a heartfelt speech in Manhattan Wednesday morning after her stunning loss in the presidential election. Hours after phoning Donald Trump to concede, Clinton called for unity for the nation and asked women and girls not to give up hope.
After brief, emotional remarks by running mate Tim Kaine, the two-time Democratic presidential candidate – and the first woman to lead the ticket of a major party – took the stage at the New Yorker hotel around 11:40 a.m. to raucous applause and shouts of “I love you!”
Clinton said of President-elect Trump that she “hope[s] that he will be a successful president for all Americans,” noting that “we owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”
“We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought, but … we must accept this result and then look to the future,” she said, reiterating the importance of the rule of law and the ned to uphold Americans’ civil rights,” she said.
This loss “is painful, and it will be for a long time,” the former secretary of state acknowledged. But, she said, “please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.” Clinton thanked Kaine and his wife Anne Holton, the Obamas, her own family members, her campaign staff and volunteers, and her supporters, including members of private Clinton Facebook groups like Pantsuit Nation.
In particular, she called out her female supporters. “To all the women, and especially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and in me: I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion,” she said, urging them to have faith that “someday someone will” break that “highest, hardest glass ceiling.”
“Never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams,” she said.
Clinton’s concession remarks followed Trump’s acceptance speech, which he delivered in Manhattan around 3 a.m., after Clinton campaign chair John Podesta told a roomful of shocked and weary Hillary supporters gathered under the glass ceiling of the Javits Center that the campaign would say nothing else publicly until morning. (Transcript via Vox.)
Thank you. Thank you all.
Thank you. Thank you all have much.
Thank you. Thank you all very much. Thank you so much. A very rowdy group. Thank you, my friends. Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you so very much for being here. I love you all, too. Last night I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country.
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.
But I feel pride and gratitude for this wonderful campaign that we built together. This vast, diverse, creative, unruly, energized campaign. You represent the best of America, and being your candidate has been one of the greatest honors of my life.
I know how disappointed you feel, because I feel it too. And so do tens of millions of Americans who invested their hopes and dreams in this effort. This is painful, and it will be for a long time. 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 building an America that is hopeful, inclusive, and big-hearted. We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. But I still believe in America, and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power.
We don’t just respect that. We cherish it. It also enshrines the rule of law; the principle we are all equal in rights and dignity; freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these values, too, and we must defend them.
Let me add: Our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just every four years, but all the time. So let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear. Making our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top, protecting our country and protecting our planet.
And breaking down all the barriers that hold any American back from achieving their dreams. We spent a year and a half bringing together millions of people from every corner of our country to say with one voice that we believe that the American dream is big enough for everyone.
For people of all races, and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people, and people with disabilities. For everyone.
I am so grateful to stand with all of you. I want to thank Tim Kaine and Anne Holton for being our partners on this journey.
It has been a joy get to go know them better and gives me great hope and comfort to know that Tim will remain on the front lines of our democracy representing Virginia in the Senate.
To Barack and Michelle Obama, our country owes you an enormous debt of gratitude.
We thank you for your graceful, determined leadership that has meant so much to so many Americans and people across the world. And to Bill and Chelsea, Mark, Charlotte, Aidan, our brothers and our entire family, my love for you means more than I can ever express.
You crisscrossed this country, even 4-month-old Aidan, who traveled with his mom. I will always be grateful to the talented, dedicated men and women at our headquarters in Brooklyn and across our country.
You poured your hearts into this campaign. To some of you who are veterans, it was a campaign after you had done other campaigns. Some of you, it was your first campaign. I want each of you to know that you were the best campaign anybody could have ever expected or wanted.
And to the millions of volunteers, community leaders, activists and union organizers who knocked on doors, talked to their neighbors, posted on Facebook — even in secret private Facebook sites.
I want everybody coming out from behind that and make sure your voices are heard going forward.
To anyone that sent contributions, even as small as $5, that kept us going, thank you. To all of us, and to the young people in particular, I hope you will hear this — I have, as Tim said, I have spent my entire life fighting for what I believe in.
I’ve had successes and setbacks and sometimes painful ones. Many of you are at the beginning of your professional, public, and political careers — you will have successes and setbacks too.
This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.
It is, it is worth it.
And so we need — we need you to keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives. And to all the women, and especially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and in me: I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.
Now, I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday someone will — and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.
And to all of the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.
Finally, finally, I am so grateful for our country and for all it has given to me.
I count my blessings every single day that I am an American, and I still believe, as deeply as I ever have, that if we stand together and work together with respect for our differences, strengthen our convictions, and love for this nation, our best days are still ahead of us.
Because, you know, I believe we are stronger together and we will go forward together. And you should never, ever regret fighting for that. You know, scripture tells us, let us not grow weary of doing good, for in good season we shall reap. My friends, let us have faith in each other, let us not grow weary and lose heart, for there are more seasons to come and there is more work to do.
I am incredibly honored and grateful to have had this chance to represent all of you in this consequential election. May God bless you and may God bless the United States of America.