CHICAGO (CNN)- President Obama celebrated his re-election early this morning with a call for unity. “We are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation,” he told supporters at his campaign headquarters in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois, and millions watching on television “The best is yet to come,” he added, after walking on stage with his wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha to tumultuous cheers.
“And I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago,” the president said. “Let me say this publicly, Michelle I have never loved you more. I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you too as the nation’s first lady. Sasha and Malia, before our very eyes you’re growing up to become two strong, smart beautiful young women just like you’re mom.”
President Obama continued his campaign message of moving the country forward.
“Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward,” he said. “It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people.”
The president addressed Mitt Romney and their months-long campaign.
“We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future,” he said. “From George to Lenore to their son Mitt…the Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service and that is the legacy that we honor and applaud tonight.”
President Obama ended his victory speech with a passionate plea to the American people.
“I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggest. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe,” he said. “We are greater than the sum of individual ambitions. And we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America and together with your help and God’s grace we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on earth.”