NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In what was likely her final speech of the presidential election, Hillary Clinton told supporters Wednesday “we must accept this result and then look to the future” following her devastating loss to Donald Trump.
Clinton emerged to a standing ovation at her hotel in Manhattan, addressing her team and supporters. She said she congratulated Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of the country.
“This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for and I’m sorry that we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country,” she said.
Clinton, joined by her family, offered her thanks to those who stood by her.
“I know how disappointed you feel because I feel it too and so do tens of millions of Americans who invested their hopes and dreams in this effort,” she said. “This is painful and it will be for a long time.”
Clinton said the nation “is more deeply divided than we thought.”
“Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead,” she said. “Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power and we don’t just respect that, we cherish it. It also enshrines other things, the rule of law, the principle that we are all equal in rights and dignity, freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these values too and we must defend them.”
She described the campaign as “one of the greatest honors” of her life and said “our responsibility as citizens is to keep doing our part to keep building that better, stronger, fairer America.”
“I still believe in America, and I always will,” she said.
The first female nominee of a major party, Clinton ended her remarks with a message to young girls and women.
“I know we have still not shattered the highest, hardest glass ceiling but someday, someone will,” she said. “And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and every opportunity in the world.”
She added: “Nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.”
Supporters gathered outside of the hotel entrances for the speech.
“I believe in her, she’s a decent human being with an inner spirit that is only out to help the world and make it a better place to be,” a woman from Weehawken, New Jersey said.
“There are very few people like this in the world,” Tessa Gordan, of Boston, said. “We’ve lost the chance that will never come back again.”
Gordan who went down to Florida for two months to campaign for Clinton said the uncertainty of a Trump presidency is unnerving.
“This country, I fear for it and I’m seriously considering going back to my home which is South Africa. The irony of that, because i saw many Donald Trumps while I was growing up and they are not a pretty sight,” she said.
Many supporters agree that losing the historic election would be easier to accept if Clinton had lost to someone other than Trump, 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern reported.
“That we have an racist, bigot, misogynistic president,” a woman from Bedford-Stuyvesant said.
Trump won the White House with 289 electoral votes to Clinton’s 218. But despite losing the election, Clinton maintains a narrow lead in the popular vote, with several million votes still to be counted.
Many of her supporters were shocked by the outcome and were in tears at her election headquarters at the Javits Center as it became apparent she would not prevail.
Clinton campaign manager John Podesta took to the stage at the Javits Center around 2 a.m., telling her supporters to go home.
“I want every person across the country that supports Hillary to know that your voices and your enthusiasm means so much to her, and to Tim and to all of us,” Podesta said. “We are so proud of you. And we are so proud of her.”
There were tears as Clinton supporters left the election headquarters.
“I don’t think a lot of us can handle it,” one supporter told 1010 WINS’ Samantha Liebman. “I think we just had to go home, be with the ones that we love and try to be optimistic.”
“When this is over, the reflection I have to take on my neighbors, my friends, my co-workers, who possibly went into the booth and closed the curtain and voted for Donald Trump,” Jeremy McConnell, a Clinton supporter from Baltimore, said.
Many expected to end the night with a huge historic win for women.
“I have a 2-year-old niece and today brought her to the election booth and we voted for an American president that happened to be female,” John Borruso, of Brooklyn, said. “I hope in her lifetime we’ll have a female president.”
Stephanie, a Clinton supporter, told 1010 WINS’ John Montone that she was ‘heartbroken and scared’ and blamed ‘angry white men’ for the loss.
“They had nothing to lose in this election,” she said. “So uneducated straight white males had nothing to lose. They don’t have reproductive rights to worry about like women, bisexual and gay rights are not a huge problem for them or they don’t really care as much.”
One college student told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond that he believes the United States is the laughing stock of the world following Trump’s win.
“We are a joke, I visited Europe last summer for a month and everybody said ‘what is happening,” he said.
NAACP President Cornell William Brooks said Trump’s victory took place amid an atmosphere of voter intimidation and a rollback of voting rights.
“This was the first presidential election in more than 50 years where voters did not have the full protection of the Voting Rights Act,” Brooks said. “We confronted all manners of ugly, unconstitutional voter suppression, including voter purging, long lines and intimidation and misinformation.”
“Now that the election is over, the first priority for a new Congress and a new president must be restoring the badly-broken Voting Rights Act. We cannot afford to send untold teams of lawyers to court and spend incalculable sums of money to defend our right to vote in the courts and in the streets again and again and again,” Brooks said. “Any effort to suppress the vote, whether at the hands of lawmakers, judges or everyday people, is and must continue to be considered unjust, un-American and utterly unacceptable. The NAACP will not rest until full and equal voting rights are restored for each and every American citizen.”
An advocacy group for immigrants called Trump’s victory “the darkest of days for our community.”
“A demagogue who has consistently vilified our families has won the nation’s highest office,” said Javier Valdes, co-executive director of Make the Road New York.
In his victory speech early Wednesday morning, Trump pledged to be a “president for all Americans.”