President Barack Obama said early Wednesday the American people have “picked ourselves up” and fought back during tough economic times, declaring after winning re-election that the “best is yet to come.”
Obama said he wants to meet with Republican rival Mitt Romney to discuss how they can work together. He says they may have “battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply.”
The president rolled to a second term over Romney, winning more than 300 electoral votes.
Obama was welcomed by thunderous applause as he arrived on stage at McCormick Place in his hometown, joined by first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia.
Obama sounded a conciliatory tone after his victory, saying he has learned from those who supported him and those who opposed him. And he says he returns to Washington “more determined” and “more inspired.”
He said he’s hoping to work with Republicans to solve the nation’s problems.
He spoke to a cheering crowd shortly after Romney told supporters in Boston that it’s time for the nation to unite behind the president.
Romney said earlier he called Obama to congratulate him on his victory, adding that he prays “the president will be successful in guiding our nation.”
He alluded to his running mate, Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, when he said, “Like so many of you, Paul and I have left everything on the field. We have given our all to this campaign.”
Looking out on the crowd of several hundred people in a half-filled ballroom at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Romney said, “I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader, so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and this great nation.”