Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that her crushing loss to Donald Trump exposed the nation’s deep and difficult divisions, but she urged her backers to give him “a chance to lead.”
In her first public statements since the stunning election results, Clinton also called on other women to take up where she left off and continue the push for the White House, suggesting she may not make another run in four years.
“We need you to keep up these fights,” Clinton said in New York, making special mention of the many women who hoped the former secretary of state was on her way to become the first female president.
“I know how disappointed you feel because I feel it, too,” said Clinton, less than 24 hours after calling the president-elect to concede after his history-shaping run that defied pollsters and galvanized legions of aggrieved voters in a loud repudiation of the status quo. “This is painful, and it will be for a long time.”
She said the long and bitter campaign against Trump showed that “our nation is more deeply divided that we thought.”
But she told her backers: “We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead.”
Clinton and her allies are now left to sort out how Trump upended her once-clear path to become America’s first female president. Clinton called Trump to concede as the results were clear.
Trump — who had used social media as a tool to court support and mock foes during the campaign — sent a tweet at 6:30 a.m.: “Such a beautiful and important evening! The forgotten man and woman will never be forgotten again. We will all come together as never before”.