NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – With Hillary Clinton leading the popular vote for the office of president, and President-elect Donald Trump taking the win with 55 percent of electoral votes, Governor Bill Haslam is urging Americans to come together. Governor Haslam says a divided country accomplishes nothing.
“I think there is a chance for a fresh discussion on things,” said Governor Haslam on Donald Trump.
Haslam said he has a close relationship with Vice President-elect Mike Pence and thinks that will be beneficial for the state of Tennessee. Haslam said he thinks the first big topic Washington will take on in the new administration is healthcare.
In Knoxville, GOP leaders say this election is a wake-up call for both parties, and they’re not listening to their base. Sen. Becky Duncan Massey says it seemed more like people were voting against a candidate, rather than for one.
There have been signs, even homemade ones, popping up all over East Tennessee supporting Donald Trump.
“We’ve got to do something different. What’s been happening is not working, so it’s time for somebody to come in with some different ideas,” said Massey.
On November 8, that happened. Many Republicans in the Volunteer state feel Trump has changed the political landscape for years to come.
“I think he has absolutely shocked the world and the political establishment. Even I didn’t think he would do as well as he did last night. He broke through the blue wall by winning states such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin,” said Ryan Haynes the Chairman of Tennessee’s Republican Party.
“Of course I was pleased. I think it was pretty telling actually of the mood of the country. People are saying it’s a rebellion within the Republican party, there’s a rebellion nationwide,” said Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett.
There’s the hope president-elect Donald Trump follows through with the policy platforms discussed.
“I do believe he will surround himself with an excellent cabinet, excellent administrators to work alongside with him,” added Senator Duncan Massey.
This campaign has been a historic one in that a woman ran to be commander in chief.
“I don’t want anybody to ever vote for me because I’m a woman. I want people to vote for me because I’m the most qualified person. I think it’s important to mentor other women so they can get the skills they need,” said Senator Duncan Massey.
Many Republican leaders believe things are already changing.
“We need to give our new commander in chief the benefit of the doubt now that he has won the election, give him an opportunity to govern, and we should pray and wish him the best,” said Chairman Haynes.
Congressman Jimmy Duncan has supported Donald Trump for some time.
“I thought that he took the best position on the big national and international issues, the supreme court appointments, the economy, and taxes and jobs.”
He says he has an idea of what our president-elect will accomplish the first 100 days in office.
“He emphasized so much to repeal and replace Obamacare and that certainly is something we’ve got to work on, very important,” said Congressman Duncan.
Other leaders from across the state of Tennessee have also issued statements on the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States.
U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) congratulated President-elect Donald Trump following his victory in the U.S. presidential election:
“The American people and the citizens of Tennessee have spoken in a remarkable and resounding way, and I congratulate President-elect Trump on his hard earned win,” said Corker. “The real work now begins as we address the many challenges facing our great country, and I am looking forward to working with President Trump and the rest of the Congress to move our country forward.”
“It’s an honor to continue serving Middle Tennesseans in Congress. There has never been a more important time for civility,” Rep. Jim Cooper said. “I hope the president-elect will pledge to represent all people – including those who legitimately and genuinely feel threatened by him – not just those who voted for him.”
Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey issued a statement on the election on his Facebook page.
In truly historic fashion, Donald Trump has been elected President of United States capturing the votes of millions of forgotten Americans confounding experts and establishmentarians across the globe.
Quite simply, he has shocked the world. His “America First” positions on trade, immigration and foreign policy spoke to a large portion of the electorate which has been denied a voice for a long time. Trump has given voice to frustrated and alienated voters who had all but given up on the political process. Now that voice will be heard. Today we begin the hard work of fulfilling the Trump promise to make America great again. I hope all Americans join me in support of President-elect Trump as he endeavors to fulfill his essential mission.
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) issued the following statement Wednesday:
“Congratulations to President-elect Trump. The election belongs to the people and the people have voted for change. Donald Trump is the agent for that change. Now it is the responsibility of the President-elect and the Congress to work together to address the voices of anger and despair, and of hope, that we heard yesterday. This includes reducing Washington’s role in our lives, making it easier to find a good job and less expensive health care, and making our system more fair. It’s time to put the election behind us. The way to make change and move our country in the right direction is to work together to bring out the best in all of us.