My friends (there has to be one of those), this has been a historic election. We fought hard and we lost. We lost to the better man because I allowed myself to be convinced that anything could be said or implied or done to win. And I apologize.
We fought hard and we fought dirty. I have told more lies and allowed more lies to be told in my name than I can count. I did not stop those who cried out "Terrorist" or "Kill Him" or "Muslim" because those people would vote for me. I encouraged and played to their fears; the fear of the Other; the unspoken racism that still lingers in far too many places in our great nation. And I apologize.
I made mistakes. Many mistakes. One of biggest is standing next to me tonight on this stage, My choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate may well have cost me this election. Her appeal to the far right wing of my party is unequivocal. But it has also driven many moderate, thinking Republicans to the other side. It has fractured the Republican party in ways that we cannot even begin to appreciate. It was a mistake. And I apologize.
I did not understand the potential of the Internet but relied on the tried and true methods. They no longer work. I have learned the hard way the lesson of this election. That everything I do or say will be recorded and uploaded to the Internet. That those who profess to speak for me or in support of me will likewise be recorded and have that video uploaded to use against me. I did not see that the Internet could be a tool for positive networking and creating an educated, motivated political machine. And I apologize.
Most of all I apologize to the American people for running the very type of campaign I swore I would not run. I hired the same SOBs that spread lies about my daughter to spread lies about Obama. And I defended that choice. I did not silence those around me that pandered to the worst in all of us. And I defended what they said as truth. I was guided only by my desire to win. And I apologize.
I pledge to you that I will return to the Senate and truly work with President Obama. I will work to end the divisiveness that has been the hallmark of my campaign. I promise to remember the man I was in 2000 and earn your respect once more.
I thank you for your vote and I urge you to set aside your fear and disappoint. Let us come together as a nation to solve the many problems facing us. They will not be solved by politics as usual. We must look forward as one nation. God Bless America and God Bless Barack Obama.