President Bush has cast his ballot in the US presidential election.
The president and Mrs. Bush, along with their twin daughters, voted at precinct 80, in a small fire station here in Crawford, Texas, near their ranch. Under overcast skies, the Bush family was cheered by a small group of supporters behind police barricades. Holding hands with his wife, the president told reporters he is optimistic about his chances for four more years in office.
"This election is in the hands of the people, and I feel very comfortable about that," he said. "People know where I stand. I've enjoyed this campaign. It's been a fantastic experience traveling this country, talking about what I believe and where I'm going to lead this country for four more years. There's something refreshing about giving it your all and then saying the people will make the right decision, and I believe I'm going to win."
In the last day of what he says is his last campaign, the president left nothing to chance, with 19 hours of campaigning at seven stops in six states. Mr. Bush told reporters he has given the campaign his all, and now feels calm, confident in the judgment of the people.
"There have been a lot of issues we have debated, big issues of war and peace and the economy," he said. "I've got a philosophy everybody understands. I've got a clear view about how to lead, but we'll see how it goes tonight. I'm not a very good prognosticator. You're the pundit. You're the person who makes all the forecasts, and we'll see what the people say. That's where we are. Now is the time for the people to express their will."
The president says this is an election about who people trust to lead the country, and he is confident that he has clarified the differences between himself and Democratic challenger Senator John Kerry.
"Who do you trust to secure this country?" he asked. "Who do you trust to lead with firmness and steadfast resolution to protect the American people? Who do you trust to adhere to the values that most people agree with, and who do you trust to keep this economy growing?"
After a stop in Ohio to thank election volunteers, the Bush family returns to the White House to await the outcome of an election that is still too close to call.