Republican candidate John McCain conceded defeat in the U.S. presidential election Tuesday night, clearing the way for Barack Obama to become the first African-American president in U.S. history.
Watch McCain concede
McCain told a crowd of supporters that "American people have spoken and they have spoken clearly."
He congratulated Obama for his victory which is "a great thing" for himself and the country.
"Senator Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country," McCain said.
Flanked by wife Cindy and running-mate Sarah Palin, McCain spoke to supporters outside the Arizona Biltmore Hotel shortly after election results showed that he failed the election by a big margin.
"It's natural tonight to feel some disappointment. Though we fell short, the failure is mine, not yours," he told his supporters.
He voiced respect for Obama for his success "in a contest as long and as difficult as this campaign has been".
"His success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance," McCain noted.
He said Obama managed to inspire the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president.
This was something "I deeply admire and commend him for achieving," McCain added.
Speaking of his decision to run for the presidency, he said he would not "spend a moment in the future regretting what might have been."
"I don't know what more we could have done to win this election, " McCain said.
This year's campaign was his second try for the White House, following his defeat in the battle for the GOP nomination in 2000.
(Xinhua News Agency November 5, 2008)