Monday, September 20, 2021

Obama promises smooth transition despite “differences” with Trump

US President Barack Obama (R) delivers remarks on the victory of President-elect Republican Donald Trump in the 2016 election, beside US Vice President Joe Biden (L), in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 09 November 2016. Obama encouraged Americans to unite and work for change despite Trump's victory. EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

US President Barack Obama (R) delivers remarks on the victory of President-elect Republican Donald Trump in the 2016 election, beside US Vice President Joe Biden (L), in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 09 November 2016. Obama encouraged Americans to unite and work for change despite Trump’s victory. EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

Washington, Nov 9 (EFE).- U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday promised to implement a “successful transition” of power, something that he said is “one of the hallmarks” of U.S. democracy, although he admitted that he has some “pretty significant differences” with Republican President-elect Donald Trump.

“We have to remember that we’re actually all on one team. … We’re not Democrats first. We’re not Republicans first. We are Americans first. We’re patriots first. We all want what’s best for this country,” Obama emphasized in his first public appearance at the White House after Tuesday’s election, which resulted in an unforeseen upset victory for Trump over his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

According to Obama, that was the message he “heard in Mr. Trump’s remarks last night. That’s what I heard when I spoke to him directly. And I was heartened by that. That’s what the country needs – a sense of unity; a sense of inclusion,; a respect for our institutions, our way of life, rule of law; and a respect for each other.”

“I hope that he maintains that spirit throughout this transition, and I certainly hope that’s how his presidency has a chance to begin,” Obama said, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden.

Obama also said that the presidency is something that is “bigger than any of us,” adding that he had instructed his team to “follow the example that President (George W.) Bush’s team set eight years ago, and work as hard as we can to make sure that this is a successful transition for the president-elect – because we are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country.”

In speaking about Clinton, who served as his secretary of state from 2009-2013, Obama said “I could not be prouder of her. She has lived an extraordinary life of public service.”

The president also directed a message to young people who voted for the first time in this election and “may be disappointed by the results,” saying that “you have to stay encouraged. Don’t get cynical. Don’t ever think you can’t make a difference. As Secretary Clinton said this morning (in her concession speech), fighting for what is right is worth it.”

Trump won the presidential election against virtually all the forecasts, which had put Clinton as the hands-down favorite to garner the required 270 electoral votes but in which she was unable to win important states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida or North Carolina.

Obama, who campaigned up until the last minute for Clinton prior to the balloting, repeatedly had said that Trump is not prepared – and, in fact, is “unfit” – to occupy the Oval Office.