President-elect Donald Trump sought to cast himself as a unifier in his victory speech early Wednesday morning, calling for all Americans to come together to “bind the wounds of division.”
“To all Democrats, Republicans, Independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people,” Trump said, taking the stage just before 3 a.m. Eastern.
“For those who chose not to support me in the past, of which there are a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so we can reach out and unify our great country.”
Trump noted that Hillary Clinton had called to concede and congratulate him, and said the U.S. owes Clinton “a major debt for her service to our country.”
The real estate mogul sought to show he will be willing to work with others in his administration.
“While we will put Americans interest first, we will deal fairly with everyone,” Trump said. “We will seek common ground, not hostility.”
The unifying tone is a grand departure from Trump’s comments on the trail, where he regularly chided “Crooked Hillary” and called for her to be locked up.
Flanked by his family and the family of his vice presidential pick, Mike Pence, A gracious Trump called out to his own family, thanking them for putting up with the brutal campaign schedule.
He spotlighted some of his campaign staff as well as supporters like former New York City Mayor Rudi Giuliani, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee and former Gen. Michael Flynn.
And he called out to Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, downplaying reports of infighting and calling him an “unbelievable star.”
In an unconventional moment, Trump called Priebus up to the stage, urging him to say a few words despite his protests.
“It’s about time you did this, Reince,” Trump said with a smile, before Priebus briefly congratulated Trump.
To close, Trump argued that while his shocking victory was historic, he must perform well as president to truly be historic.”
“I promise you I will not let you down. I look very much forward to being your president,” he said.
“Hopefully at the end of two years, or three years, or four years, or maybe even eight years, you will say, so many of you worked so hard for us, but you will say that is something you were really proud to do.”
Just before he left the stage, Trump added a brief thank-you to Pence, reaching over to shake his future vice president’s hand. Trump walked off stage to the Rolling Stones’ “You Cant’ Always Get What You Want,” a song that usually closed out Trump campaign rallies.
The Associated Press declared Trump the election winner just after 2:30 a.m. Eastern Time after Wisconsin delivered Trump the pivotal electoral votes.
While Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta initially refused to concede in a brief speech early Wednesday morning, Clinton called Trump a bit later to concede.