After a highly contentious presidential campaign, Sen. John McCain held a rally in Phoenix, Ariz., where he conceded to Sen. Barack Obama.
“The American people have spoken. And they have spoken clearly,” McCain said. “I have the honor of calling Sen. Barack Obama to congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country that we both love.”
Some in the audience booed the senator when he mentioned Obama’s name.
“I’ve always believed that America offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it,” McCain continued. “Sen. Obama believes that too. We both recognize that the we have come along way from the old injustices that once stayed our nation’s reputation, and denied some Americans the full blessings of American citizenship, the memory of them still have the power to wound. A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt’s invitation to Booker T. Washington to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage in many quarters. America today is a world away from the cruel and prideful bigotry of that time.”
Moments after Obama’s victory was declared by news outlets including CNN, The New York Times, and the BBC based on an overwhelming lead averaging more than 270 electoral college votes, McCain addressed the Arizona crowd, urging unity moving forward.
Obama has been presumed the 44th president of the United States and the first African American to hold the office in the nation’s history.