Republican John McCain congratulated Democrat Barack Obama for winning the U.S. presidency on Tuesday, saying “the American people have spoken” and promising to help his former rival address the country’s many challenges.
McCain addressed his supporters in an emotional speech at a Phoenix hotel after telephoning Obama to concede the election. Obama later said McCain’s call had been “extraordinarily gracious.”
“We have come to the end of a long journey. The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly,” McCain said.
“Senator Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country. I applaud him for it.”
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The 72-year-old Arizona senator urged all Americans — including his supporters — to rally behind Obama, saying he planned to help the new president-elect tackle the myriad issues the country faced.
“It’s natural, tonight, to feel some disappointment. But tomorrow, we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again,” McCain told his supporters, shushing them occasionally with “please, please” when they booed his mentions of Obama.