Alaska governor Sarah Palin refused to take the blame for Republican John McCain's defeat in the White House race and said it was time for Americans to come together, in a CNN interview broadcast on Wednesday.
Palin dismissed reports that some people deliberately voted against the Republican ticket because she was McCain's running mate, despite recent polls which suggested she was dragging him down.
"I don't think anybody should give Sarah Palin that much credit that I would trump an economic time in this nation that occurred about two months ago," she told CNN late yesterday.
"That my presence on the ticket would trump the economic crisis that America found itself in a couple of months ago and attribute John McCain's loss to me."
But she said if her presence had in any way damaged McCain's chances at the polls she would regret it.
"If I cost John McCain even one vote, I am sorry about that because John McCain, I believe, is the American hero.
"I had believed it was his time. He being so full of courage and wisdom and experience. That knowledge he embodies, I believe he would have been the best pick. But that is not the Americans' choice at this time."
The 44-year-old governor of the far northwest state of Alaska, the mother-of-five and a devout Christian, said it was time to turn to the future.
"This being a chapter now that is closed and realising that it is a time to unite, and all Americans need to get together and help with this new administration being ushered in," she said.
She said the Republicans, who lost several traditional stronghold states to Democratic president-elect Barack Obama, as well as a chunk of seats in the Congress, now had to look ahead to the presidential elections in 2012.