My fellow Americans, supporters and others, alike:
This has been a hard-fought election process.
It was hard fought before the day everybody voted.
And it has been hard-fought since that day, as well.
To my supporters, I say thank you for a job well done.
To my opponent and those who supported him, I say, congratulations on a well fought campaign.
It is close.
At one point, my opponent led by 360 votes, officially.
At another point, my opponent led by over 900 votes, officially.
At certification, my opponent led by 500 some odd votes.
That's not very much.
We were right to contest the first counts and to insist on manual recounts.
We got those recounts.
The votes I needed to win were not there.
Even if the courts provide us another recount and we win, our margin likely be just as slim as theirs is.
If we will not accept their leadership with such a slim margin, how can we then ask them to accept ours with the same degree of margin?
If we are truly the party of the people, and I believe that we are, we must act like it.
We must show that we are willing to do what we would ask my opponent and his supporters to do if we had won by such a slim margin.
For the next four years, we must accept President George W. Bush as the legitimate holder of the office he has won.
During that time, we will work toward our goals just as diligently as we would have if I had won.
And in 2004, we will work even harder to place our candidate in the office of President.
But for now, America must move forward.
And with that thought in mind, I congratulate President George W. Bush on his victory and wish him the very best.
May God bless America.
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