"Thank you for coming here on this beautiful Arizona evening.
Republican candidate McCain said the American people had 'spoken and spoken clearly' [Reuters]
We have come to the end of a long journey. American people have spoken and they have spoken clearly.
A little while ago I had the honour of calling Obama to congratulate him on being elected next president of the country we both love.
His success alone commands my respect ... that he managed to do so by inspiring millions of Americans who once wrongly believed they have little influence in elections is something I admire.
This is a significant election and something I recognise for African-Americans.
I have always believed America offers opportunities to Americans who have the will.
We have come a long way ... the memory of these events has the ability to wound.
A century ago, the invitation to Booker T Washington to dine at the White House was taken as a slight. There is no better indication of the change than the election of an African-American to the White House.
Obama has achieved something great – I applaud him and offer my sympathy for his grandmother’s death.
Obama and I have had and argued over our differences and he has prevailed. No doubt many of these differences remain.
These are different times for our country. We face difficult times ... I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him but offering our next president ways to come together to find compromises to bridge our differences ... defend security in a dangerous world ... leave a better country than what we inherited.
We are fellow Americans, and please believe me when I say no association has meant more to me than that. It’s natural tonight to feel disappointment ... tomorrow we must move forward.
Though we fell short, the failure is mine, not yours.
I am so deeply grateful to all of you for your support ... I wish the outcome had been difficult. Your support never wavered. I cannot express how indebted I am to you. I am grateful to my family, mother, old and dear friends who have stood by my side through this campaign.
|Vice presidential candidate Palin was described by McCain as the best candidate [Reuters]
Campaigns are often harder on a candidates family than on a candidate. That has been true in this campaign. All I can offer is more peaceful years ahead. I am also grateful to governor Palin, one of the best candidates I have ever seen.
One of the best campaigners I have ever seen and an impressive new voice in our party. Her husband Todd and their five beautiful children, for their dedication to our cause. We can all look forward to her service to the state of Alaska, the Republican party, and the country.
To all my campaign workers who fought valiantly month after month, thank you so much. A lost election will never mean more to me than the privilege of your faith and friendship.
I do not know what more we could have done to win the election. I will not spend a moment regretting what might have been. This campaign will remain the highlight of my life.
I was given a fair hearing before the country decided that Obama and my old friend Biden will have the honour of leading us for the next 4 years.
I have had the extraordinary privilege of serving the country for half a century ... I thank the people of Arizona.
Tonight more than any night, I hold in my heart love for my country and its citizens whether they supported me or Obama, and I wish godspeed to the man who was my opponent.
I call on Americans not to despair about our difficulties - Americans never quit. We never hide from history, we make history.
Thank you and God bless America."