Barack Obama congratulates Mitt Romney on 'spirited campaign'

Congratulating his Republican rival Mitt Romney for running a spirited campaign, US President Barack Obama expressed confidence he would win re-election during a surprise stop at a local campaign office to thank volunteers.

"The great thing about these campaigns is after all the TV ads and all the fundraising and all the debates and all the electioneering, it comes down to this. One day and these incredible folks who are working so hard, making phone calls, making sure that people go out to vote. So I just want to say thank you to the American people," Obama said making a stop at one of his Chicago campaign office.

"It's a source of great optimism for me whenever I come to Election Day because I end up having so much confidence in the decency and goodness and wisdom of the very folks who are working so hard trying to move their own small piece of this country forward," he told the pool of reporters accompanying him.

He also congratulated Romney for running a spirited campaign.

"I also want to say to Governor Romney, congratulations on a spirited campaign. I know that his supporters are just as engaged and just as enthusiastic and working just as hard today.

He asked the voters to go out and vote.

"We feel confident we've got the votes to win that it's going to depend ultimately on whether those votes turn out. And so I would encourage everybody on all sides just to make sure that you exercise this precious right that you have that people fought so hard for, for us to have," Obama said.

Obama said he was looking forward to the results.

"I expect that we’ll have a good night. But no matter what happens, I just want to say how much I appreciate everybody who has supported me, everybody who has worked so hard on my behalf. And again, I want to congratulate Governor Romney and his team for a hard-fought race as well. OK?" said the US President.

Earlier Obama made phone calls to voters to come out and vote from his campaign office.

Obama said he has "butterflies" in his stomach since the decision to choose the country's next president now rests with the voters.

"Anybody who is running for office would be lying if they say there are not some butterflies before the polls come in because anything can happen. That is the magic of democracy, it is upto the people to decide," Obama said in a radio interview with TV personality Ryan Seacrest when asked if he was  nervous and anxious in the final hours before the verdict is announced.

"But at a certain point you get calm because you know if you have done everything you can do then the process is working the way it is supposed to which is that the power now resides with individual voters. They get to make a decision."

The race to White House is now inching towards the finish line as voters across the nation head to the polling stations to decide who the next president of the country will be.

Various polls in the days ahead of the election show Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney caught in a razor thin contest.

Obama said his message to citizens on election day would be to go out and vote.

"Regardless of who you’re voting for our democracy works when the American people get involved. The American people are decent, hard working, and they’ve got great instincts. The more people participate the better the outcome."

In a lighter vein, when asked if he would allow dating for his young daughters Malia and Sasha if they continue to live in the White House for the next four years, Obama said "any young man who has the guts to get through Secret Service deserves a hearing."

He said his daughters are "wonderful young" ladies, who are kind and respectful to everybody and want to be treated like everyone else.

The President said he would have to consult his wife on what song they would dance to if he wins the election.

In his inaugural ball four years ago, the First couple had danced to a song sung by Beyonce.

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