Good morning. Earlier this week, more than 120 million Americans went to the polls and voted for a new President and Congress. No matter how we cast our ballots, all Americans have reason to be proud of our democracy. Our citizens have chosen a President who represents a triumph of the American story, a testament to hard work, optimism, and faith in the enduring promise of our Nation.
When I called President-elect Obama to congratulate him on his historic victory, I told him that he can count on my complete cooperation as he makes his transition to the White House. Ensuring that this transition is seamless is a top priority for the rest of my time in office. Our country faces economic challenges that will not pause to let a new President settle in. This will also be America's first wartime Presidential transition in four decades. We're in a struggle against violent extremists determined to attack us, and they would like nothing more than to exploit this period of change to harm the American people.
So my administration will work hard to ensure that the next President and his team can hit the ground running. For more than a year now, the White House and agencies throughout the Federal Government have been preparing for a smooth transition. We've provided intelligence briefings to the President-elect, and the Department of Justice has approved security clearances for members of his transition staff. In the coming weeks, we will ask administration officials to brief the Obama team on major ongoing policy issues, ranging from the financial markets to the war in Iraq. I will keep the President-elect fully informed on important decisions during this critical time for our Nation. Taken together, these measures represent an unprecedented effort to ensure continuity throughout the executive branch.
A successful transition is just one of the many important tasks remaining for my administration. Yesterday we learned that America's economy lost jobs in the month of October, and I will continue working hard to return our Nation to the path of prosperity and growth. To help address the global financial crisis, my administration will host an historic international summit in Washington on November the 15th. We will also keep urging Congress to approve America's free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama and South Korea. We will continue working to defeat the terrorists and extremists abroad to keep the American people safe here at home.
Americans expect their President to conduct the people's business. I will continue to uphold this solemn obligation for as long as this office remains in my trust. In the meantime, I join the American people in wishing President-elect Obama every success. Laura and I wish the Obama family as much joy and happiness as our family has found in this wonderful house.
Thank you for listening.