3 November 2004 -- U.S. President George W. Bush today thanked voters for giving him another four years in office and promised to continue a series of initiatives, including bringing democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan, fighting terrorism, reducing taxes, and reviving the economy.
"America has spoken and I am humbled by the trust and the confidence of my fellow citizens," Bush said. "With that trust comes the duty to serve all Americans and I will do my best to fulfill that duty every day as your president."
Bush declared victory in Washington today about one hour after his challenger, Senator John Kerry, delivered a concession speech in his hometown of Boston. Kerry lost the popular vote by 51 percent to 48 percent and said it became obvious he could not win the crucial electoral votes in the state of Ohio that decided the race.
"I would not give up this fight if there was a chance that we would prevail," Kerry said. "But it is now clear that even when all the provisional ballots are counted -- which they will be -- there won't be enough outstanding votes for us to be able to win Ohio, and therefore we cannot win this election."
Kerry said he hopes they "can begin the healing" after a divisive race. Bush also urged unity, and said "a new term is an opportunity to reach out to the whole nation."
(AP/CNN/BBC/Reuters)[For reaction from around the world to the U.S. presidential election, see RFE/RL's webpage "World Reacts To U.S. Election".]