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SEN. CHAMBLISS: (Cheers, applause.) Thank you very much, Mike Duncan. Thanks for your great leadership at the RNC. Thanks for your commitment to this campaign, both resource-wise as well as personnel- wise. You've been a great help and we simply could not have done it without you. Thank you very much, Mike. (Cheers, applause.)
To my good friend John Ensign at the National Republican Senatorial Committee -- John just called me a minute ago to congratulate me, and, again, without the great help of the Senatorial Committee committing resources, committing people on the ground, we would not have been successful. And I thank all my colleagues in the United States Senate. God bless them. (Cheers, applause.)
And to my campaign staff, gosh, what a terrific job my campaign staff has done. (Cheers, applause.) Tom Perdue has been with me in every successful campaign I've ever had. Derrick Dickey, Justin Tomczak, every single one of them have done a great job. Thank you all for being the loyal, dedicated, hardworking campaign staff that you have been. Thank you and God bless you. (Cheers, applause.)
And let me just say to all of you -- all of you Georgians, all of you volunteer Georgians, thank you. But you all know that we had some great help. We've got volunteers here from 43 states who came to Georgia. (Cheers, applause.)
These young people, these men, these women have done just a tremendous job of making the phone calls, of knocking on doors, of licking the envelopes, of doing everything that makes a great campaign successful. To all of you volunteers, both our Georgians as well as our out-of-state folks, we would not be where we are tonight without you. You're the reason this happened. Thank you, thank you, thank you. (Cheers, applause.)
And as I have been around the state, all of you know that I made it very plain that I know I would not be where I am today, in so many ways, without my best friend, my best adviser, my bride of -- within 26 days of 42 years, my wife, Julianne. (Cheers, applause.) This is the lady that kind of made all of this happen. (Laughter, cheers, applause.) All of you who've seen our commercials know who the star of the commercials was, that's my mother, Emma B. -- Emma B. Chambliss. (Cheers, applause.)
And to my children who have made such a sacrifice in sharing their mother and seeing us gone from home so much, but who have also made such a real contribution to this campaign. My daughter, Lia, couldn't be here tonight. She's with my granddaughter, who had a soccer game today, and Lia had to coach her. (Laughter.) But, needless to say, Parker and Lia are as excited as we all are tonight. But, my son-in-law, Joe; my grandson, John, come up here a minute. (Cheers, applause.)
This is my hunting buddy right here, and I look forward now to spending some time with this guy over the next few years. (Cheers, applause.) To my son -- to my son, Bo, and his bride, Bess, they -- (cheers, applause) -- they have both worked tirelessly and have made a real commitment to the campaign.
And without family and support of family you're not successful as a candidate. But, my family has been integrally involved and I am so thankful for them. And, again, I am so proud of these two because they're going to have our two granddaughters here come next spring. (Cheers, applause.)
Well, let me congratulate my opponent on running a very strong and forceful campaign. He was gracious in his commitment earlier tonight, and I thank him for that. (Applause.) But, you know, this has been a hard-fought campaign. And it's been a campaign that we were hoping would end on the 4th of November. And we came very close. With your help, we came within 8,000 of 4 million votes of winning it on November 4th.
But, you know, god works in strange ways sometimes, and we have a hard time understanding that. But, what we have seen over the last four weeks has truly been remarkable. And it has been so refreshing and so energizing to Julianne and me, our family, and the whole campaign staff, as well as folks who have gotten involved from a national perspective, because this race has been nationalized.
People all around the world have truly had their eyes on Georgia. And you have delivered tonight a strong message to the world that conservative Georgia values matter. (Cheers, applause.) You have delivered a message that a balance of government in Washington is necessary, and that's not only what the people of Georgia want but what the people of America want and have demanded by their participation. (Cheers, applause.)
This race truly is the first race of 2010. And we've got some work to do as Republicans in rebuilding our party and we're going to do it. And we now have the wind at our back to do that. We now have the momentum as we move ahead. We need to look back at the principles that Ronald Reagan taught us -- (cheers, applause) -- the principles of a smaller government, lower taxes, more individual rights and freedoms, and that things like the sanctity of life and the Second Amendment matter. (Cheers, applause.)
And you know, these four weeks have also done something for us here in Georgia, from a Republican Party standpoint. We have put aside all of our differences. And I have never, ever, in any campaign I've seen, nor have I talked to anybody who has seen anything like this ever happen before, the coalescing of all factions of Georgians has come together -- Republicans, conservative Democrats, and independents to gather around our candidacy and to show that you want to make sure that Georgia's voice is heard in Washington. And now we have that opportunity, thanks to you, because we are number 41. (Cheers, applause.)
We have also been very blessed and very humble, Julianne and I both, to receive the great national support that we've had. I was so proud of John McCain and the campaign that he ran for president of the United States of America. (Cheers, applause.) And I was humbled by John's acceptance the day after the election, when I called him and talked to him, when he offered to come to Georgia that night if that's when I needed him. And when I did call, he did come. I'm very pleased that Governor Huckabee, and Government Romney and Mayor Giuliani came down. (Cheers, applause.)
And they didn't come to Georgia to tell Georgians how to vote. They simply came down to talk about the values that you and I stand for, and how important this election is, and why it's important that we have the kind of turnout that we had today.
And in campaigns, what you do is you try to build that momentum every single day, and you try to reach your peak on the day of the election. Well, yesterday we had a great day with Governor Sarah Palin -- (cheers, applause) -- and we built that momentum, and we did peak at exactly the right time.
Now comes the hard work, because as we go back into session at the end of January we got some real challenges out there. All of us need to make sure that we keep President-Elect Obama in our prayers every day, because he is our leader. (Applause.)
And we've got a number of issues that are on our plate. We have the economic, financial crisis that we're in. We're still in an energy crisis. We still have a global war on terrorism that we were so reminded of just in the last few days. It's staring us in the eye every single day. We've got to make sure that we maintain a strong military to ensure that we claim victory in this global war on terrorism. (Cheers, applause.)
We've got to make sure that we have a health care system in this country that provides affordable opportunities to every single American and we're going to have a chance to work with President-Elect Obama provided he wants to make proposals that are in the best interest of Georgians.
And when he does that, I look forward to working with him. But, when he wants to raise your taxes; when he wants to tinker with the Second Amendment --
(Audience shouts "No!")
SEN. CHAMBLISS: -- when he wants to -- when he wants to make proposals with respect to health care that want to -- going to take your choice of choosing your doctor away from you --
(Audience shouts "No!", boos)
SEN. CHAMBLISS: -- then I'm going to be the 41st senator to stand up say, no. (Cheers, applause.)
(Audience chants "Saxby!")
SEN. CHAMBLISS: This has been a great four weeks. Julianne and I have had an awful lot of fun. Obviously, it's very exhausting but I just can't imagine how exhausted each and every one of you are too because you've been there with us and for us every single step of the way. My name was on the ballot, but it's your name that is represented on that ballot because of the values that you stand for and that I stand for, and that now have been set all across America where Georgians have said "conservative values do matter." And we care about the direction -- (cheers, applause) -- in which this country is going. (Applause.)
So, let me just close by saying that, once again, it is truly an honor to represent you in the United States Senate. Julianne and I are very blessed and very humbled to have that opportunity --
AUDIENCE MEMBER: It's our honor.
SEN. CHAMBLISS: -- and now we have another six years because of you.
And, again, from the bottom of our hearts, to all of you who reached in your pockets and gave us the resources to get our message out, to those of you who stayed on the telephone hour after hour and heard folks say, "I'm tired of you calling," -- (cheers, applause) -- to all of you who knocked on doors and said, would you please consider voting for Saxby Chambliss, -- (cheers, applause) -- to all of you who were the ones that really made today and tonight a huge success -- thank you, thank you, thank you. God bless you, and may god bless our great country. (Cheers, applause.)
Thank you very much. Thank you. (Cheers, applause.)