Obama Urges Unity After Election Day: 'We Are Americans First'

He also praised Hillary Clinton for her historic campaign.

WASHINGTON 鈥 President Barack Obama reminded a stunned nation on Wednesday morning that people across the country 鈥渁re Americans first鈥 and encouraged younger generations to not be 鈥渃ynical.鈥

Obama stood in the White House Rose Garden to deliver remarks hours after Donald Trump was declared the president-elect of the United States. Obama, who said he had spoken to Trump on Wednesday morning, promised to make the transition between his administration and Trump鈥檚 as seamless as possible.

鈥淓verybody is sad when their side loses an election. But the day after, we have to remember we鈥檙e actually all on one team,鈥 Obama said. 鈥淭his is an intramural scrimmage. We are Americans first; we are patriots first.鈥

A peaceful transition is key, Obama said, because everyone is now 鈥渞ooting for [Trump鈥檚] success in uniting and leading the country.鈥

鈥淎 peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of our democracy, and over the next few months we are going to show that to the world,鈥 he said.

鈥淓verybody is sad when their side loses an election. But the day after, we have to remember we鈥檙e actually all on one team. This is an intramural scrimmage.鈥

- President Barack Obama

Obama said he was 鈥渉eartened鈥 by his conversation with Trump, who agreed that unity was important after such a bitter election cycle.

鈥淭hat鈥檚 what the country needs,鈥 Obama said. 鈥淎 sense of unity, a sense of inclusion.鈥

Obama said he is hopeful that Trump will maintain 鈥渢hat spirit throughout this transition.鈥

The president then urged younger voters to continue fighting for what is right.

鈥淭o the young people who got into politics for the first time and may be disappointed by the results, I just want you to know you have to stay encouraged,鈥 he said. 鈥淒on鈥檛 get cynical. Don鈥檛 ever think you can鈥檛 make a difference.鈥

Obama praised Hillary Clinton for her hard-fought campaign and her service to the country.

鈥淗er candidacy and nomination was historic and sends a message to our daughters all across the country that they can achieve at the highest level of politics,鈥 he said.

But, Obama added, 鈥渢he path this country has taken has never been a straight line 鈥 we zig and zag.鈥

鈥淭he point, though is, is that we all go forward with the presumption of good faith in our fellow citizens because that presumption of good faith is essential to a vibrant and functioning democracy,鈥 he said. 鈥淭hat鈥檚 how this country has moved forward for 240 years.鈥

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