Trump: You Will Be ‘So Proud of Your Country Again’

President-elect relishes victory and pushes back against Paul Ryan boos — but not without a warning

President-Elect Donald Trump on Tuesday reveled in his historic victory, mocked a recount effort, and defended the Electoral College.

Suburban Milwaukee was the latest stop on Trump’s “thank you” tour. It is a state with a disproportionate number of nationally prominent Republicans, and they were all there. It also is one of three states whose results came under attack by Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein.

“All that money, all that time, all that effort, we got, we added 131 votes more than we had before … I think it was worth it.”

It was an effort that amounted to millions of dollars and hours wasted, Trump said.

“She got less than 1 percent, but she thought she was going to catch us,” he said. “All that money, all that time, all that effort, we got, we added 131 votes [in Wisconsin] more than we had before … I think it was worth it.”

Trump promoted party unity, praising his onetime primary opponent, Gov. Scott Walker, and his soon-to-be chief of staff, Reince Priebus. He even beat back boos when he mentioned the speaker of the House of Representatives, Wisconsin’s own Paul Ryan.

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“Oh, no, I’ve come to appreciate him,” he said.

At different times during the campaign, Trump allowed — even encouraged — boos at the mention of Ryan’s name. On Tuesday, though, Trump praised the speaker and promised to work with him on issues like tax reform and repealing the Affordable Care Act.

“You know, honestly, he’s like a fine wine,” Trump said. “Every day that goes by, I really get to appreciate his genius more and more. Now, if he ever goes against me, I’m not gonna say that, OK?”

But just so Ryan doesn’t mistake whose government it is, Trump added, “We’re going to work on the wall, Paul.”

Trump repeated promises to avoid nation-building projects in foreign countries and to crush ISIS.

“We’ll also rebuild our badly depleted military and take care of our veterans … Our military is going to be modern and powerful again,” he said.

Sensitive to reminders that Democrat Hillary Clinton won the national popular vote, Trump said there was a “genius” to the Electoral College system devised by the founding fathers.

Trump said it would be easier to run for election without the Electoral College. He said he would have concentrated on California, Texas, New York, and Florida. The current system forces candidates to seek votes all across the country, he said.

“Unless you see it — it’s a very different way of campaigning; it’s sort of like if you play golf,” he said. “It’s match play vs. stroke play. You know it’s very different.”

Much of Trump’s address was an inside account of the days leading up to the election and Election Day itself. He said he already was on a frenetic pace during the last few days when he decided at the last minute to go to Michigan the night before the election.

“I said at 6 o’clock, let’s go to Michigan … and my people said, ‘Are you crazy?'” he said.

He spoke after midnight to a crowd he said numbered 31,000 inside and outside the building. Less than 24 hours later, he became the first Republican presidential candidate since 1984 to win the state.

Trump said he believed, based on early exit polls that he was going to lose. But he said his wife, Melania, insisted he would win. Then he described watching on TV as state after state fell into place — by margins that far exceeded the pre-election polls.

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He relished the sight of a TV analyst who had insisted that Trump had “no path” to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election had to acknowledge that it was Clinton who had no path.

“But there was a path to 306,” he said, referring to the his final Electoral College total.

Trump ended with a promise he made many times on the campaign trail.

“Here’s the bottom line: We are going to make you so proud of your country again, so proud,” he said.

It set off chants of “USA! USA!”

Added Trump: “We are never, ever going to let you down.”

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