Obama calms nation after 2016 election, Trump victory: 'It's OK'

Posted at 12:10 PM, Nov 09, 2016

President Barack Obama addressed the nation and the world on Wednesday afternoon, telling people stunned by Donald Trump's election victory, "It's OK."

"I had a chance to talk to Trump last night at about 3:30 a.m. to congratulate him on the election," Obama said. "It is no secret that we have some pretty significant differences. But remember, eight years ago, President [George W.] Bush and I had some pretty significant differences."

Obama kept a calming tone during his speech, seemingly talking to Democratic voters who were disappointed to see Hillary Clinton lose her election bid.

"We have to remember that we're all actually on one team," Obama said. "This is an intramural scrimmage ... We all want what's best for this country."

"The peaceful transitions 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," he said, alluding to the handover of power, which will happen on Jan. 20, 2017.



"I have instructed my team to follow the example that President Bush's team set eight years ago," Obama said. His speech was given at the White House, where he was joined by Vice President Joe Biden.

"I could not be prouder of [Hillary Clinton.] ... A lot of Americans look up to her. Her nomination was historic," Obama said, referencing the fact that Clinton was the first woman to ever be nominated for president by one of the major parties. "I am confident that she and President [Bill] Clinton will continue to do great work."

Obama also referenced the toxic rhetoric of the 2016 election campaign between Trump and Clinton.

"It's not always inspiring," Obama said on politics. He urged young people who were new to the process to "stay encouraged" and "don't ever think you can't make a difference."

Biden brought a moment of levity to the speech, when Obama remarked that he himself had "lost elections before" but that "Joe hasn't." Biden put his arm around the president, leaned toward the podium and said, "You beat me pretty bad." Biden was referring to the 2008 Democratic primary season when he initially ran against Obama to become the party's nominee.

"I told my team today to keep their heads up," Obama said. "The remarkable work they've done ... that remarkable work has left the next president with a more strong and better country. That was our mission from day one."

Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were among the most active campaigners for Clinton's cause during her hopeful run to the presidency. Clinton's election would have been seen by many as an affirmation of Obama's eight years in the White House.

Clint Davis covers trending news topics for the Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.