NEW YORK (Christian Examiner) – Republican Donald Trump called for unity among Americans in the early morning hours as he thanked supporters for his historic win of the presidency.
Trump, who lost the popular vote but won the Electoral College by a wide margin, took advantage of voter discontent in the traditionally Democrat stronghold known as the "rust-belt," an area hit hard by the Obama administration's war on coal and its failure to create factory jobs. He added Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, and, likely, Michigan to the Republican column.
Michigan had not been called as of early morning.
Trump said the hard fought campaign, which he described as "complicated business," was over and that he had received a call from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conceding the election. He said Clinton should be thanked for her service to the country.
While there were some protests in California and Oregon over the outcome of the election, most cities were calm as the results of the election sunk in. Trump said he believed "it is time for America to bind the wounds of division" and citizens "have to get together."
"To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people," Trump said.
"It is time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me. For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I'm reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country," Trump said.
Trump said his run for the White House was not a "campaign" like others, but a "great movement" made up of discontented voters who – he said during the campaign – have seen their lives grow more difficult because of stagnant wages, job losses, and soaring health care costs.
They are people, he said, "hard-working men and women who love their country and want a better, brighter future for themselves and for their family."
He also said the movement he led was diverse, pulling in people from all races, religions, backgrounds and beliefs.
"Working together, we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation and renewing the American dream. I've spent my entire life in business, looking at the untapped potential in projects and in people all over the world," Trump said.
"That is now what I want to do for our country. Tremendous potential. I've gotten to know our country so well. Tremendous potential. It is going to be a beautiful thing. Every single American will have the opportunity to realize his or her fullest potential. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer."
Trump said he wants to begin working to rebuild America's aging infrastructure, renew its promises to veterans, and double the growth of the U.S. economy. He also pledged to get along with other countries and restore relationships damaged by eight years of the Obama administration.
"No dream is too big, no challenge is too great. Nothing we want for our future is beyond our reach," Trump said.
"America will no longer settle for anything less than the best. We must reclaim our country's destiny and dream big and bold and daring. We have to do that. We're going to dream of things for our country, and beautiful things and successful things once again."
Trump's election rocked the world, with leaders in Russia, Germany, Iran and China congratulating the president-elect but warning that dialogue would be necessary to ensure relationships do not deteriorate further. To those leaders, Trump said he will seek "common ground, not hostility – partnership, not conflict."
"I want to tell the world community that while we will always put America's interests first, we will deal fairly with everyone, with everyone. All people and all other nations," Trump said.
Trump thanked his family, former Republican presidential candidates Rudy Giuliani, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Dr. Ben Carson, and Chris Christi, New York police officers and the U.S. Secret Service for their roles in the campaign, and Gov. Mike Pence, his running mate.
Trump said he was excited about taking on the presidency, but even though the campaign was over, "this movement is now really just beginning."
"We're going to get to work immediately for the American people, and we're going to be doing a job that hopefully you will be so proud of your president," Trump said.
"I look very much forward to being your president, and 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, with you."