President-elect Donald Trump took the stage to riotous applause and cheers from supporters at his celebratory party in New York City in the early hours of Wednesday, November 9.
“It is time for us to come together as one united people,” he said. “I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me. For those who have chosen to not support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I am reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so we can unify our great country.”
“As I’ve said from the beginning, ours was not a campaign but rather an incredible and great movement made up of millions of hardworking men and women who love their country and want a better and brighter future for themselves and for their family,” he continued. “It’s a movement comprised of Americans from all races, religions, backgrounds and beliefs who expect our government to serve the people, and serve the people it will. Working together, we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation and renewing the American dream. I’ve spent my life in business looking at the untapped potential in projects and in people all over the world, that is now what I want to do for our country. Tremendous potential … It’s gonna be a beautiful thing.”
“Every single American will have the opportunity to realize his or her fullest potential. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”
The Republican candidate, 70, defeated Democratic contender Hillary Clinton in a hard-fought race that was too close to call for hours after the polls closed on Tuesday, November 8. The former secretary of state called Trump to concede defeat shortly before he took the stage at 2:48 a.m. ET. “I’ve just received a call from Secretary Clinton,” the president-elect told his supporters. “She congratulated us — it’s about us — on our victory and I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign. She fought very hard.”
The Apprentice alum watched results roll in alongside his family, including wife Melania and daughter Ivanka, and vice presidential candidate Mike Pence at Trump Tower, before traveling the short distance to the Hilton Hotel in midtown Manhattan, where his supporters had been gathered for hours.
The real estate mogul contemplated running for the presidency in 1988, 2004 and 2012 before announcing his candidacy in June 2015.
The New York native made headlines throughout his campaign for his controversial comments targeting minorities, including Mexicans and Muslims, and was criticized for making inaccurate claims during speeches. Multiple women also came forward to claim sexual misconduct by Trump.
Former secretary of state Clinton had hoped to become the first female president of the U.S.
Trump, who follows President Barack Obama into the White House, is the first person to be elected president of the United States without prior military or government experience.