WASHINGTON: Hillary Clinton today claimed the Democratic presidential nomination after decisive victories in he New Jersey and New Mexico primaries, creating history by becoming the first woman to lead a major American political party in the race to the White House.
"Thanks to you, we've reached a milestone, the first time in our nation's history that a woman will be a major party's nominee," Clinton, 68, told her supporters at her campaign headquarters in Brooklyn, New York.
US President Barack Obama congratulated Clinton for securing the 2,383 delegates necessary to clinch the Democratic party's presidential nominee.
However, Obama did not formally endorse Clinton – his former Secretary of State.
"Her historic campaign inspired millions and is an extension of her lifelong fight for middle-class families and children," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement.
Obama called both Clinton and her Democratic rival Bernie Sanders to applaud them for "running inspiring campaigns that energised Democrats." The President will meet Sanders at the White House tomorrow at the Vermont senator's request, the statement said.
In the November presidential elections, Clinton would face fellow New Yorker Donald Trump, from the Republican party, whom she said is not fit to lead the country.
If elected in the November general elections, she would be the first ever woman president of the US.
"To every little girl who dreams big: Yes, you can be anything you want—even president. Tonight is for you," Clinton said.
"We cannot let a man who demeans women, attacks people for their race or religion, and traffics in paranoid conspiracy theories take the oath of office," she said, attacking 69-year-old Trump.
"We won't let a man who said he'll order our troops to commit war crimes by killing the wives and children of suspected terrorists become Commander-in-Chief. This election isn’t about the same old fights between Democrats and Republicans...It's about who we are as Americans. And it is an argument we must win," Clinton said.
In most of the polls, Clinton is leading Trump, though the margin has been reducing every passing day.
Clinton said the Republican candidate would take America back "back to a time when opportunity and dignity were reserved for some, not all."
"He's not just trying to build a wall between America and Mexico, he's trying to wall off Americans from each other," she alleged.
"When Donald Trump says a distinguished judge born in Indiana can’t do his job because of his Mexican heritage, or he mocks a reporter with disabilities, or calls women pigs, it goes against everything we stand for because we want an America where everyone is treated with respect and their work is valued," Clinton said.
"It's clear that Donald Trump does not believe we're stronger together," Clinton continued.
"He has abused his primary opponents and their families, attacked the press for asking tough questions, denigrated Muslims and immigrants. He wants to win by stoking fear and rubbing salt in wounds and reminding us daily just how great he is. We believe we should lift each other up, not tear each other down," she said.
Clinton said she would reach out to Sanders and his supporters to unite the party. She now faces Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, in the November general elections. Sanders said he would consult his supporters about how to move forward if Obama endorses Clinton.