Watch Clinton’s emotional concession speech: ‘Trump is going to be president. We owe him an open mind’

‘This loss hurts, but never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it’: Hillary Clinton

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 November, 2016, 1:57am
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 November, 2016, 7:57am

Hillary Clinton called on her supporters to accept the US election result on Wednesday as she delivered a concession speech in New York in which she pressed Donald Trump to hold fast to American values.

“Donald Trump is going to be our president,” she said. “We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead.”

But she said that in addition to respecting the election result, “we must defend” the values of non-discrimination and the rule of law and equality before the law, and advance the values “we hold most dear”.

And she directly addressed female voters who had hoped to see her become the US’s first woman president, saying: “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.

“I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling but I know someday someone will and hopefully sooner than we might think right now,” Clinton said.

“And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable ... and deserving of every chance ... to pursue your own dreams.”

Trump reaches out for unity after stunning upset US presidential win

The Democratic candidate said she had phoned her opponent on Tuesday night.

“Last night I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country,” she said. “I hope that he will be a president for all of our country. I’m sorry that we did not win this election for the values we all share.”

She added of her supporters: “You represent the best of America, and being your candidate has been one of the greatest honours of my life. I know how disappointed you feel, because I feel it too.

“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 … it was about building a country that we love.”

The election campaign, she said, had revealed that “our country was more deeply divided than we ever thought”.

Clinton had a particular message to her younger supporters members of her campaign team .

“This loss hurts, but never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it,” she said.

Clinton’s speech came the morning after Trump shattered expectations with an election victory that revealed deep anti-establishment anger among American voters and set the world on a journey into the political unknown.

After surprise early victories in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, it fell to the rust belt states of the industrial mid-west to determine the result of his stunning upset.

Wisconsin and Michigan, two states hit hard by a decline in manufacturing jobs and lost by Clinton to Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary, were led by Trump as the race headed for an early morning cliffhanger.

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Clinton called Trump to concede around 2.30 am, Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, told New York magazine . Conway said Trump told Clinton: “You’re a smart tough lady and you ran a great campaign. Thank you for calling. I respect you.”

Trump also spoke with Barack Obama, who called to congratulate Trump early on Tuesday morning. The White House said the president called Clinton and “expressed admiration for the strong campaign she waged throughout the country”.

Obama is set to speak more about the results later on Wednesday and has invited the president-elect to the White House on Thursday.