How to concede a presidential election

On Saturday morning, the Associated Press projected that former Vice President Joe Biden had defeated President Trump to become the 46th president of the United States. However, breaking from tradition, the current president has yet to concede the race or acknowledge Biden’s position as president-elect. Yahoo News has compiled a look back at how previous presidential hopefuls — from Hillary Clinton to Richard Nixon — have successfully conceded their candidacy.

Video Transcript


HILLARY CLINTON: Thank you, all! Last night, I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country. I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans.

MITT ROMNEY: I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory. His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations. I wish all of them well, but particularly the president, the first lady, and their daughters. This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation.

JOHN MCCAIN: A little while ago, I had the honor of calling Senator Barack Obama to congratulate him--



--to congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country that we both love.

JOHN KERRY: Earlier today, I spoke to President Bush, and I offered him and Laura our congratulations on their victory.

AL GORE: Just moments ago, I spoke with George W. Bush and congratulated him on becoming the 43rd president of the United States. And I promised him that I wouldn't call him back this time.

BOB DOLE: I have said repeatedly in this campaign that the president is my opponent, not my enemy. And I wish him well, and I pledge my support.

GEORGE H.W. BUSH: I just called Governor Clinton over in Little Rock and offered my congratulations. He did run a strong campaign. I wish him well in the White House. And I want the country to know that our entire administration will work closely with his team to ensure the smooth transition of power.

MICHAEL DUKAKIS: Just a few minutes ago, I called Vice President Bush and congratulated him on his victory.


And I wanna--


And I know I speak for all of you and for all the American people when I say that he will be our president, and we'll work with him. This nation faces major challenges ahead, and we must work together.

WALTER MONDALE: A few minutes ago, I called President of the United States and congratulated him on his victory--


- --for reelection as President of the United States. Please.

JIMMY CARTER: About an hour ago, I called Governor Reagan in California, and I told him that I congratulated him for a fine victory. I look forward to working closely with him during the next few weeks. We'll have a very fine transition period. I told him I wanted the best one in history.

RICHARD NIXON: My congratulations to Senator Kennedy for his fine race in this campaign-- and to all of--


I am-- I am-- I am sure-- I am sure his supporters are just as enthusiastic as you are for me, and I thank you for that.

GERALD FORD: But I do want to express, on a personal basis, my appreciation and that of my family for the friendship that all of us have had.

JIMMY CARTER: I promised you four years ago that I would never lie to you. So I can't stand here tonight and say it doesn't hurt.

MICHAEL DUKAKIS: And tonight my heart is filled with gratitude to everyone who has made this extraordinary experience of ours possible.

GEORGE H.W. BUSH: And to all who voted for us, voted for me, here-- especially here, but all across the country-- thank you for your support. And we have fought the good fight, and we've kept the faith, and I believe I have upheld the honor of the presidency of the United States.


BOB DOLE: But because of your support, I am still the most optimistic man in America.


AL GORE: And, tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession.

JOHN KERRY: Today, I hope that we can begin the healing.

JOHN MCCAIN: It's natural tonight to feel some disappointment. But, tomorrow, we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again.

MITT ROMNEY: The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can't risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people's work.

HILLARY CLINTON: Our campaign was never about one person or even one election. It was about the country we love and about building an America that's hopeful, inclusive, and big-hearted. We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. But I still believe in America, and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future.


- Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!