President Barack Obama shared the sentiments of a grateful heart and his next steps in the White House after securing his re-election.
Although he won a second term in office, the president and his family offered a round of applause to the voters before delivering his victory speech. President Obama was welcomed to a cheer of "four more years" as he acknowledged that he would not still be in office had it not been for his supporters and their tireless efforts for his campaign.
Despite the different challenges that Americans have faced, the president commended the country for its resilience. "While our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come," he said. "I want to thank every American who participated in this election."
That gratitude wasn’t just extended to people that cast their ballot in his favor, but also to those that head to the polls for his challenger Mitt Romney. "Whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference," the president said.
As with his first election into office, President Obama made clear his intention to work with his opponents so they can figure out a way to work together to improve America’s future. "I just spoke with Governor Romney and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign," he said. "In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward."
President Obama also thanked Vice President Joe Biden, dubbing him "America’s happy warrior." However, Barack had to thank his right-hand woman, first lady Micelle Obama, for helping him be the best leader and person he can be.
"I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago," the president said, saluting her. "Let me say this publicly: Michelle, I have never loved you more. I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you, too, as our nation’s first lady." The president then went on to express how proud he is of their daughters, Sasha and Malia, who have grown up before the nation.
Finally, he called the campaign volunteers "the best ever" and shared that he considered them all very near and dear to his heart. Barack thanked them for lifting him up during this very hard election process and for all of the "incredible work" they’ve done, requiring long hours and time away from home. He argues that their collective push has established a bond that can never been broken.
"All of you are family," he said. "No matter what you do or where you go from here, you will carry the memory of the history we made together and you will have the life-long appreciation of a grateful president. Thank you for believing all the way, through every hill, through every valley."
While he won a majority of electoral votes, the president didn’t pretend to be ignorant of the fact that the popular vote was a very close race. The country was nearly split down the middle, with less than 3 million votes placing him in the lead. As of press time, President Obama had 50.3 percent of the popular vote while Mitt had 48.1 percent. Even so, the president remained optimistic that everyone is looking to fix America’s problems.
"Despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future," he said. "That common bond is where we must begin. Our economy is recovering. A decade of war is ending. A long campaign is now over."
He added, "Whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you, and you’ve made me a better president. And with your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead."
President Obama noted that the people who brought him back into office did so in hopes that he will continue to make changes that favor the common man’s bottom line. That means focusing on job growth among other things. "Reducing our deficit. Reforming our tax code. Fixing our immigration system. Freeing ourselves from foreign oil," he said, continuing to outline his list of priorities. "We’ve got more work to do."
Watch the president’s entire victory speech below!