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7 September, 2012

Barack OBAMA’S SPEECH, Jan. , 2015

Filed under: Barack obama's speech (video) — csa1 @ 22:33

For my students who want to learn authentic English :

https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=Barack+obama+state+of+the+union+address+2015&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-002

 

President Barack Obama’s 2015 State of the Union speech, as delivered.

Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you so much, please. Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, my fellow Americans.

We are fifteen years into this new century. Fifteen years that dawned with terror touching our shores; that unfolded with a new generation fighting two long and costly wars; that saw a vicious recession spread across our nation and the world. It has been, and still is, a hard time for many.

But tonight, we turn the page.

Tonight, after a breakthrough year for America, our economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999.

Our unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis. More of our kids are graduating than ever before; more of our people are insured than ever before. We are as free from the grip of foreign oil as we’ve been in almost 30 years.

Tonight, for the first time since 9/11, our combat mission in Afghanistan is over.

Six years ago, nearly 180,000 American troops served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, fewer than 15,000 remain. And we salute the courage and sacrifice of every man and woman in this 9/11 generation … who has served to keep us safe. We are humbled and grateful for your service.

America, for all that we’ve endured, for all the grit and hard work required to come back, for all the tasks that lie ahead, know this: The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong.

At this moment, with a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, booming energy production, we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth. It’s now up to us to choose who we want to be over the next fifteen years, and for decades to come.

Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well? Or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and chances for everyone who makes the effort?

Will we approach the world fearful and reactive, dragged into costly conflicts that strain our military and set back our standing? Or will we lead wisely, using all elements of our power to defeat new threats and protect our planet?

Will we allow ourselves to be sorted into factions and turned against one another, or will we recapture the sense of common purpose that has always propelled America forward?

In two weeks, I will send this Congress a budget filled with ideas that are practical, not partisan. And in the months ahead, I’ll crisscross the country making a case for those ideas.

So tonight, I want to focus less on a checklist of proposals, and focus more on the values at stake in the choices before us.

It begins with our economy.

Seven years ago, Rebekah and Ben Erler of Minneapolis were newlyweds.

She waited tables. He worked construction. Their first child, Jack, was on the way. They were young and in love in America, and it doesn’t get much better than that.

“If only we had known,” Rebekah wrote to me last spring, “what was about to happen to the housing and construction market.”

As the crisis worsened, Ben’s business dried up, so he took what jobs he could find, even if they kept him on the road for long stretches of time.

Rebekah took out student loans and enrolled in community college and retrained for a new career.

They sacrificed for each other, and slowly, it paid off. They bought their first home. They had a second son, Henry. Rebekah got a better job, and then a raise. Ben’s back in construction and home for dinner every night.

“It is amazing,” Rebekah wrote, “what you can bounce back from when you have to. We are a strong, tight-knit family who has made it through some very, hard times.”

“We are a strong, tight-knit family who has made it through some very, hard times.”

America, Rebekah and Ben’s story is our story. They represent the millions who’ve worked hard and scrimped and sacrificed and retooled.

You are the reason that I ran for this office. You are the people I was thinking of six years ago today in the darkest months of the crisis when I stood on the steps of this Capitol and promised we would rebuild our economy on a new foundation. And it has been your resilience, your effort that has made it possible for our country to emerge stronger.

We believed we could reverse the tide of outsourcing, and draw new jobs to our shores. And over the past five years, our businesses have created more than 11 million new jobs.

We believed we could reduce our dependence on foreign oil and protect our planet. And today, America is number one in oil and gas. America is number one in wind power. Every three weeks, we bring online as much solar power as we did in all of 2008.

And thanks to lower gas prices and higher fuel standards, the typical family this year should save about $750 at the pump.

We believed we could prepare our kids for a more competitive world. And today, our younger students have earned the highest math and reading scores on record. Our high school graduation rate has hit an all-time high. More Americans finish college than ever before.

We believed that sensible regulations could prevent another crisis, shield families from ruin, and encourage fair competition.

Today, we have new tools to stop taxpayer-funded bailouts, and a new consumer watchdog to protect us from predatory lending and abusive credit card practices. And in the past year alone, about ten million uninsured Americans finally gained the security of health coverage.

At every step, we were told our goals were misguided or too ambitious, that we would crush jobs and explode deficits. Instead, we’ve seen the fastest economic growth in over a decade, our deficits cut by two thirds, a stock market that has doubled and health care inflation at its lowest rate in 50 years.

There’s good news, people.

So…

So — so the verdict is clear. Middle-class economics works, expanding opportunity works, and these policies will continue to work as long as politics don’t get in the way.

We can’t slow down businesses or put our economy at risk with government shutdowns or fiscal showdowns. We can’t put the security of families at risk by taking away their health insurance or unraveling the new rules on Wall Street or refighting past battles on immigration when we’ve got to fix a broken system.

And if a bill comes to my desk that tries to do any of these things, I will veto it. It will have earned my veto.

Today, thanks to a growing economy, the recovery is touching more and more lives. Wages are finally starting to rise again. We know that more small-business owners plan to raise their employees’ pay than at any time since 2007.

But here’s the thing. Those of us here tonight, we need to set our sights higher than just making sure government doesn’t screw things up, the government doesn’t halt the progress we’re making. We need to do more than just do no harm.

Tonight, together, let’s do more to restore the link between hard work and growing opportunity for every American.

Because families like Rebekah’s still need our help. She and Ben are working as hard as ever, but they’ve had to forego vacations and a new car so that they can pay off student loans and save for retirement. Friday night pizza, that’s a big splurge. Basic child care for Jack and Henry costs more than their mortgage, and almost as much as a year at the University of Minnesota.

Like millions of hardworking Americans, Rebekah isn’t asking for a handout, but she is asking that we look for more ways to help families get ahead.

And in fact, at every moment of economic change throughout our history, this country has taken bold action to adapt to new circumstances and to make sure everyone gets a fair shot.

We set up worker protections, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid to protect ourselves from the harshest adversity. We gave our citizens schools and colleges, infrastructure and the Internet, tools they needed to go as far as their efforts and their dreams will take them.

That’s what middle-class economics is: the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, everyone plays by the same set of rules.

We don’t just want everyone to share in America’s success; we want everyone to contribute to our success.

So — so what does middle-class economics require in our time?

First, middle-class economics means helping working families feel more secure in a world of constant change. That means helping folks afford child care, college, health care, a home, retirement, and my budget will address each of these issues, lowering the taxes of working families and putting thousands of dollars back into their pockets each year.

Here’s one example: During World War II, when men like my grandfather went off to war, having women like my grandmother in the workforce was a national security priority. So this country provided universal child care.

In today’s economy, when having both parents in the workforce is an economic necessity for many families, we need affordable, high-quality child care more than ever.

It’s not a nice-to-have: it’s a must-have. So it’s time we stop treating childcare as a side issue, or a women’s issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us.

And that’s why my plan will make quality childcare more available, and more affordable, for every middle-class and low-income family with young children in America, by creating more slots and a new tax cut of up to $3,000 per child, per year.

Here’s another example. Today, we are the only advanced country on Earth that doesn’t guarantee paid sick leave or paid maternity leave to our workers. 43 million workers have no paid sick leave. 43 million. Think about that.

And that forces too many parents to make the gut-wrenching choice between a paycheck and a sick kid at home. So I’ll be taking new action to help states adopt paid leave laws of their own. And since paid sick leave won where it was on the ballot last November, let’s put it to a vote right here in Washington.

Send me a bill that gives every worker in America the opportunity to earn seven days of paid sick leave.

It’s the right thing to do.

Of course, nothing helps families make ends meet like higher wages. That’s why this Congress still needs to pass a law that makes sure a woman is paid the same as a man for doing the same work.

It’s 2015.

It’s time.

We still need to make sure employees get the overtime they’ve earned … and — and everyone in this Congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, I say this: If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, try it.

If not, vote to give millions of the hardest-working people in America a raise.

These ideas won’t make everybody rich, won’t relieve every hardship. That’s not the job of government.

To give working families a fair shot, we still need more employers to see beyond next quarter’s earnings and recognize that investing in their workforce is in their company’s long-term interest.

We still need laws that strengthen rather than weaken unions, and give American workers a voice.

But — but you know, things like child care and sick leave and equal pay, things like lower mortgage premiums and a higher minimum wage, these ideas will make a meaningful difference in the lives of millions of families. That’s a fact. And that’s what all of us, Republicans and Democrats alike, were sent here to do.

Second, to make sure folks keep earning higher wages down the road, we have to do more to help Americans upgrade their skills.

Now America thrived in the 20th century because we made high school free, sent a generation of G.I.s to college, trained the best workforce in the world. We were ahead of the curve. But other countries caught on. And in a 21st century economy that rewards knowledge like never before, we need to up our game. We need to do more.

By the end of this decade, two in three job openings will require some higher education. Two in three. And yet, we still live in a country where too many bright, striving Americans are priced out of the education they need. It’s not fair to them, and it’s sure not smart for our future.

That’s why I am sending this Congress a bold new plan to lower the cost of community college to zero.

Keep in mind, 40 percent of our college students choose community college. Some are young and starting out. Some are older and looking for a better job. Some are veterans and single parents trying to transition back into the job market.

Whoever you are, this plan is your chance to graduate ready for the new economy, without a load of debt. Understand, you’ve got to earn it. You’ve got to keep your grades up and graduate on time.

Tennessee, a state with Republican leadership, and Chicago, a city with Democratic leadership, are showing that free community college is possible. I want to spread that idea all across America so that two years of college becomes as free and universal in America as high school is today.

Let’s stay ahead of the curve.

And — and I want to work with this Congress to make sure Americans already burdened with student loans can reduce their monthly payments so that student debt doesn’t derail anyone’s dreams.

Thanks to Vice President Biden’s great work to update our job training system, we’re connecting community colleges with local employers to train workers to fill high-paying jobs like coding and nursing and robotics.

Tonight, I’m also asking more businesses to follow the lead of companies like CVS and UPS and offer more educational benefits and paid apprenticeships, opportunities that give workers the chance to earn higher-paying jobs, even if they don’t have a higher education.

And as a new generation of veterans comes home, we owe them every opportunity to live the American Dream they helped defend.

Already, we’ve made strides towards ensuring that every veteran has access to the highest quality care, we’re slashing the backlog that had too many veterans waiting years to get the benefits they need, and we’re making it easier for vets to translate their training and experience into civilian jobs.

And Joining Forces, the national campaign launched by Michelle and Jill Biden… thank you, Michelle, thank you, Jill — has helped nearly 700,000 veterans and military spouses get a new job.

So to every CEO in America, let me repeat: If you want somebody who’s going to get the job done, and done right, hire a veteran.

Finally, as we better train our workers, we need the new economy to keep churning out high-wage jobs for our workers to fill.

Since 2010, America has put more people back to work than Europe, Japan, and all advanced economies combined.

Our manufacturers have added almost 800,000 new jobs. Some of our bedrock sectors, like our auto industry, are booming. But there are also millions of Americans who work in jobs that didn’t even exist 10 or 20 years ago: jobs at companies like Google, and eBay, and Tesla.

So no one knows for certain which industries will generate the jobs of the future. But we do know we want them here in America.

We know that.

That’s why the third part of middle-class economics is all about building the most competitive economy anywhere, the place where businesses want to locate and hire.

21st century businesses need 21st century infrastructure: modern ports, and stronger bridges, faster trains and the fastest Internet.

Democrats and Republicans used to agree on this. So let’s set our sights higher than a single oil pipeline; let’s pass a bipartisan … infrastructure plan that could create more than 30 times as many jobs per year and make this country stronger for decades to come.

Let’s do it. Let’s get it done.

Let’s get it done.

21st century businesses, including small businesses, need to sell more American products overseas. Today, our businesses export more than ever, and exporters tend to pay their workers higher wages.

But as we speak, China wants to write the rules for the world’s fastest-growing region. That would put our workers and our businesses at a disadvantage.

Why would we let that happen? We should write those rules. We should level the playing field.

That’s why I’m asking both parties to give me trade promotion authority to protect American workers with strong new trade deals from Asia to Europe … that aren’t just free but are also fair. It’s the right thing to do.

Look, I’m — I’m the first one to admit — I’m the first one to admit that past trade deals haven’t always lived up to the hype, and that’s why we’ve gone after countries … that break the rules at our expense. But 95 percent of the world’s customers live outside our borders. We can’t close ourselves off from those opportunities.

More than half of manufacturing executives have said they’re actively looking to bring jobs back from China. So let’s give them one more reason to get it done.

21st century businesses will rely on American science and technology, research and development. I want the country that eliminated polio and mapped the human genome to lead a new era of medicine: one that delivers the right treatment at the right time.

In some patients with cystic fibrosis, this approach has reversed a disease once thought unstoppable. Tonight, I’m launching a new Precision Medicine Initiative to bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes and to give all of us access to the personalized information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthier.

We can do this.

I intend to protect a free and open Internet, to extend its reach to every classroom, and every community … and help folks build the fastest networks, so that the next generation of digital innovators and entrepreneurs have the platform to keep reshaping our world.

I want Americans to win the race for the kinds of discoveries that unleash new jobs: converting sunlight into liquid fuel; creating revolutionary prosthetics, so that a veteran who gave his arms for his country can play catch with his kids again.

Pushing out into the Solar System not just to visit, but to stay. Last month, we launched a new spacecraft as part of a re-energized space program that will send American astronauts to Mars.

An in two months, to prepare us for those missions, Scott Kelly will begin a year-long stay in space.

So good luck, Captain.

Make sure to Instagram it. We’re proud of you.

Now, the truth is when it comes to issues like infrastructure and basic research, I know there’s bipartisan support in this chamber. Members of both parties have told me so.

Where we too often run onto the rocks is how to pay for these investments. As Americans, we don’t mind paying our fair share of taxes, as long as everybody else does too.

But for far too long, lobbyists have rigged the tax code with loopholes that let some corporations pay nothing while others pay full freight. They’ve riddled it with giveaways that the super rich don’t need, while denying a break to middle-class families who do.

This year, we have an opportunity to change that. Let’s close loopholes so we stop rewarding companies that keep profits abroad, and reward those that invest in America.

Let’s use those savings to rebuild our infrastructure and make it more attractive for companies to bring jobs home. Let’s simplify the system and let a small-business owner file based on her actual bank statement instead of the number of accountants she can afford.

And let’s close the loopholes that lead to inequality by allowing the top one percent to avoid paying taxes on their accumulated wealth. We can use that money to help more families pay for childcare and send their kids to college. We need a tax code that truly helps working Americans trying to get a leg up in the new economy, and we can achieve that together.

We can achieve it together.

Helping hardworking families make ends meet. Giving them the tools they need for good-paying jobs in this new economy. Maintaining the conditions of growth and competitiveness. This is where America needs to go. I believe it’s where the American people want to go. It will make our economy stronger a year from now, 15 years from now, and deep into the century ahead.

Of course, if there’s one thing this new century has taught us, it’s that we cannot separate our work at home from challenges beyond our shores.

My first duty as Commander-in-Chief is to defend the United States of America. In doing so, the question is not — in doing so the question is not whether America leads in the world, but how.

When we make rash decisions, reacting to the headlines instead of using our heads; when the first response to a challenge is to send in our military, then we risk getting drawn into unnecessary conflicts, and neglect the broader strategy we need for a safer, more prosperous world. That’s what our enemies want us to do.

I believe in a smarter kind of American leadership. We lead best when we combine military power with strong diplomacy; when we leverage our power with coalition building; when we don’t let our fears blind us to the opportunities that this new century presents.

That’s exactly what we’re doing right now, and around the globe, it is making a difference.

First, we stand united with people around the world who’ve been targeted by terrorists, from a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris.

We will continue … to hunt down terrorists and dismantle their networks, and we reserve the right to act unilaterally, as we have done relentlessly since I took office, to take out terrorists who pose a direct threat to us and our allies.

At the same time, we’ve learned some costly lessons over the last 13 years.

Instead of Americans patrolling the valleys of Afghanistan, we’ve trained their security forces, who’ve now taken the lead, and we’ve honored our troops’ sacrifice by supporting that country’s first democratic transition.

Instead of sending large ground forces overseas, we’re partnering with nations from South Asia to North Africa to deny safe haven to terrorists who threaten America.

In Iraq and Syria, American leadership, including our military power, is stopping ISIL’s advance. Instead of getting dragged into another ground war in the Middle East, we are leading a broad coalition, including Arab nations, to degrade and ultimately destroy this terrorist group.

We’re also supporting a moderate opposition in Syria that can help us in this effort and assisting people everywhere who stand up to the bankrupt ideology of violent extremism.

Now, this effort will take time. It will require focus. But we will succeed. And tonight, I call on this Congress to show the world that we are united in this mission by passing a resolution to authorize the use of force against ISIL.

We need that authority.

Second, we are demonstrating the power of American strength and diplomacy. We’re upholding the principle that bigger nations can’t bully the small by opposing Russian aggression and supporting Ukraine’s democracy, and reassuring our NATO allies.

Last year, as we were doing the hard work of imposing sanctions along with our allies, as we were reinforcing our presence with the frontline states, Mr. Putin’s aggression, it was suggested, was a masterful display of strategy and strength. That’s what I heard from some folks. Well, today, it is America that stands strong and united with our allies, while Russia is isolated, with its economy in tatters.

That’s how America leads: not with bluster, but with persistent, steady resolve.

In Cuba, we are ending a policy that was long past its expiration date.

When what you’re doing doesn’t work for 50 years, it’s time to try something new.

And our shift in Cuba policy has the potential to end a legacy of mistrust in our hemisphere and removes the phony excuse for restrictions in Cuba, stands up for democratic values and extends the hand of friendship to the Cuban people.

And this year, Congress should begin the work of ending the embargo.

As — as his Holiness, Pope Francis, has said, diplomacy is the work of small steps. These small steps have added up to new hope for the future in Cuba.

And after years in prison, we are overjoyed that Alan Gross is back where he belongs

Welcome home, Alan. We’re glad you’re here.

Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran, where, for the first time in a decade, we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material.

Between now and this spring, we have a chance to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that prevents a nuclear-armed Iran, secures America and our allies, including Israel, while avoiding yet another Middle East conflict.

There’re no guarantees that negotiations will succeed, and I keep all options on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran. But new sanctions passed by this Congress at this moment in time will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails, alienating America from its allies, making it harder to maintain sanctions and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again. It doesn’t make sense. That is why I will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress.

The American people expect us to only go to war as a last resort, and I intend to stay true to that wisdom.

Third, we’re looking beyond the issues that have consumed us in the past to shape the coming century.

No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids.

But we are making sure our government integrates intelligence to combat cyber threats, just as we have done to combat terrorism. And tonight, I urge this Congress to finally pass the legislation we need to better meet the evolving threat of cyber-attacks, combat identity theft, and protect our children’s information. That should be a bipartisan effort.

You know, if we don’t act, we’ll leave our nation and our economy vulnerable. If we do, we can continue to protect the technologies that have unleashed untold opportunities for people around the globe.

In West Africa, our troops, our scientists, our doctors, our nurses and healthcare workers are rolling back Ebola, saving countless lives and stopping the spread of disease.

I could not be prouder of them, and I thank this Congress for your bipartisan support of their efforts.

But the job is not yet done, and the world needs to use this lesson to build a more effective global effort to prevent the spread of future pandemics, invest in smart development and eradicate extreme poverty.

In the Asia Pacific, we are modernizing alliances while making sure that other nations play by the rules in how they trade, how they resolve maritime disputes, how they participate in meeting common international challenges like nonproliferation and disaster relief.

And no challenge, no challenge, poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.

2014 was the planet’s warmest year on record.

Now, one year doesn’t make a trend, but this does: 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century.

I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists, that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist either. But you know what? I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA and at NOAA and at our major universities, and the best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we don’t act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration and conflict and hunger around the globe. The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it.

That’s why, over the past six years, we’ve done more than ever to combat climate change, from the way we produce energy, to the way we use it. That’s why we’ve set aside more public lands and waters than any administration in history. And that’s why I will not let this Congress endanger the health of our children by turning back the clock on our efforts. I am determined to make sure American leadership drives international action.

In Beijing, we made a historic announcement: the United States will double the pace at which we cut carbon pollution, and China committed, for the first time, to limiting their emissions. And because the world’s two largest economies came together, other nations are now stepping up, and offering hope that, this year, the world will finally reach an agreement to protect the one planet we’ve got.

And There’s one last pillar of our leadership, and that’s the example of our values.

As Americans, we respect human dignity, even when we’re threatened, which is why I’ve prohibited torture, and worked to make sure our use of new technology like drones is properly constrained.

It’s why we speak out against the deplorable anti-Semitism that has resurfaced in certain parts of the world.

It’s why we continue to reject offensive stereotypes of Muslims, the vast majority of whom share our commitment to peace. That’s why we defend free speech and advocate for political prisoners and condemn the persecution of women or religious minorities or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

We do these things not only because they are the right thing to do … but because ultimately, they make us safer.

As Americans, we have a profound commitment to justice. So it makes no sense to spend $3 million per prisoner to keep open a prison that the world condemns and terrorists use to recruit.

Since I’ve been president, we’ve worked responsibly to cut the population of Gitmo in half. Now it is time to finish the job, and I will not relent in my determination to shut it down. It is not who we are.

It’s time to close Gitmo.

As Americans, we cherish our civil liberties, and we need to uphold that commitment if we want maximum cooperation from other countries and industry in our fight against terrorist networks.

So while some have moved on from the debates over our surveillance programs, I have not. As promised, our intelligence agencies have worked hard, with the recommendations of privacy advocates to increase transparency and build more safeguards against potential abuse.

And next month, we’ll issue a report on how we’re keeping our promise to keep our country safe while strengthening privacy.

Looking to the future instead of the past, making sure we match our power with diplomacy and use force wisely. Building coalitions to meet new challenges and opportunities. Leading always with the example of our values. That’s what makes us exceptional. That’s what keeps us strong. And that’s why we have to keep striving to hold ourselves to the highest of standards: our own.

You know, just over a decade ago, I gave a speech in Boston where I said there wasn’t a liberal America, or a conservative America; a black America or a white America, but a United States of America.

I said this because I had seen it in my own life, in a nation that gave someone like me a chance; because I grew up in Hawaii, a melting pot of races and customs; because I made Illinois my home, a state of small towns, rich farmland, and one of the world’s great cities; a microcosm of the country where Democrats and Republicans and Independents, good people of every ethnicity and every faith, share certain bedrock values.

Over the past six years, the pundits have pointed out more than once that my presidency hasn’t delivered on this vision. How ironic, they say, that our politics seems more divided than ever. It’s held up as proof not just of my own flaws, of which there are many, but also as proof that the vision itself is misguided, naive, that there are too many people in this town who actually benefit from partisanship and gridlock for us to ever do anything about it.

I know how tempting such cynicism may be. But I still think the cynics are wrong.

I still believe that we are one people. I still believe that together … we can do great things, even when the odds are long.

I believe this because over and over in my six years in office, I have seen America at its best. I’ve seen the hopeful faces of young graduates from New York to California; and our newest officers at West Point, Annapolis, Colorado Springs, and New London. I’ve mourned with grieving families in Tucson and Newtown; in Boston, and West Texas, and West Virginia. I’ve watched Americans beat back adversity from the Gulf Coast to the Great Plains; from Midwest assembly lines to the Mid-Atlantic seaboard.

I’ve seen something like gay marriage go from a wedge issue used to drive us apart to a story of freedom across our country, a civil right now legal … in states that seven in ten Americans call home.

So I know the good, and optimistic, and big-hearted generosity of the American people who, every day, live the idea that we are our brother’s keeper, and our sister’s keeper. And I know they expect those of us who serve here to set a better example.

So the question for those of us here tonight is how we, all of us, can better reflect America’s hopes.

I’ve served in Congress with many of you. I know many of you well. There are a lot of good people here, on both sides of the aisle.

And many of you have told me that this isn’t what you signed up for — arguing past each other on cable shows, the constant fundraising, always looking over your shoulder at how the base will react to every decision.

Imagine if we broke out of these tired old patterns. Imagine if we did something different.

Understand, a better politics isn’t one where Democrats abandon their agenda or Republicans simply embrace mine; a better politics is one where we appeal to each other’s basic decency instead of our basest fears.

A better politics is one where we debate without demonizing each other, where we talk issues and values and principles and facts, rather than “gotcha” moments or trivial gaffes or fake controversies that have nothing to do with people’s daily lives.

A politics…

A better politics is one where we spend less time drowning in dark money for ads that pull us into the gutter, and spend more time lifting young people up with a sense of purpose and possibility, asking them to join in the great mission of building America.

If we’re going to have arguments, let’s have arguments. But let’s make them debates worthy of this body and worthy of this country.

We still may not agree on a woman’s right to choose, but surely, we can agree it’s a good thing that teen pregnancies and abortions are nearing all-time lows, and that every woman should have access to the health care that she needs.

Yes, passions still fly on immigration, but surely we can all see something of ourselves in the striving young student, and agree that no one benefits when a hardworking mom is snatched from her child, and that it’s possible to shape a law that upholds our tradition as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. I’ve talked to Republicans and Democrats about that. That’s something that we can share.

We may go at it in campaign season, but surely we can agree that the right to vote is sacred …that it’s being denied to too many; and that, on this 50th anniversary of the great march from Selma to Montgomery and the passage of the Voting Rights Act, we can come together, Democrats and Republicans, to make voting easier for every single American.

We may have different takes on the events of Ferguson and New York. But surely we can understand a father who fears his son can’t walk home without being harassed. And surely we can understand the wife who won’t rest until the police officer she married walks through the front door at the end of his shift.

And surely we can agree it’s a good thing that for the first time in 40 years, the crime rate and the incarceration rate have come down together, and use that as a starting point for Democrats and Republicans, community leaders and law enforcement, to reform America’s criminal justice system so that it protects and serves all of us.

That’s a better politics. That’s how we start rebuilding trust. That’s how we move this country forward. That’s what the American people want. That’s what they deserve.

I have no more campaigns to run. My only agenda…

I know, because I won both of them.

My only agenda for the next two years is the same as the one I’ve had since the day I swore an oath on the steps of this Capitol: to do what I believe is best for America.

If you share the broad vision I outlined tonight, I ask you to join me in the work at hand. If you disagree with parts of it, I hope you’ll at least work with me where you do agree.

And I commit to every Republican here tonight that I will not only seek out your ideas, I will seek to work with you to make this country stronger.

Because — because I want this chamber, I want this city, to reflect the truth that for all our blind spots and shortcomings, we are a people with the strength and generosity of spirit to bridge divides, to unite in common effort, to help our neighbors, whether down the street or on the other side of the world.

I want our actions to tell every child, in every neighborhood: your life matters, and we are as committed to improving your life chances … as committed as we are we are to working on behalf of our own kids.

I want future generations to know that we are a people who see our differences as a great gift, that we are a people who value the dignity and worth of every citizen: man and woman, young and old, black and white, Latino and Asian, immigrant and Native American, gay and straight, Americans with mental illness or physical disability. Everybody matters.

I want them to grow up in a country that shows the world what we still know to be true: that we are still more than a collection of red states and blue states; that we are the United States of America.

I want them to grow up in a country where a young mom can sit down and write a letter to her president with a story that sums up these past six years:

“It is amazing what you can bounce back from when you have to. We are a strong, tight-knit family who has made it through some very, very hard times.”

My fellow Americans, we too are a strong, tight-knit family. We, too, have made it through some hard times. Fifteen years into this new century, we have picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off and begun again the work of remaking America. We have laid a new foundation. A brighter future is ours to write.

Let’s begin this new chapter together, and let’s start the work right now.

Thank you. God bless you.

God bless this country we love. Thank you.

 

From : Organizing for Action(US)/www.barackobama.com

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Organizing for Action: “We’re the people who don’t just support progressive change—we’re fighting for it.” Let’s go!

 

 

SEPT. 7,2012 Barack OBAMA’S SPEECH at the Democratic National Convention:

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Speech transcript :

Pres. Obama: Thank you. (Sustained applause.) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much.

Audience: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

Pres. Obama: Thank you.

Audience: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

Pres. Obama: Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you very much, everybody. (applause.) Thank you.

Michelle, I love you so much. (applause.)

A few nights ago, everybody was reminded just what a lucky man I am. (applause.)

Malia and Sasha, we are so proud of you. (applause.) And yes, you do have to go to school in the morning. (Chuckles.) (Laughter, applause.)

And Joe Biden, thank you for being the very best vice president I could have ever hoped for — (applause) — and being a strong and loyal friend.

PBS NewsHour/YouTube

Pres. Obama addresses the Democratic National Convention, from PBS NewsHour.

Madam Chairwoman, delegates, I accept your nomination for president of the United States. (applause.)

Audience: (Chanting.) Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

Pres. Obama: Now, the first time I addressed this convention, in 2004, I was a younger man — (laughter) — a Senate candidate from Illinois who spoke about hope, not blind optimism, not wishful thinking but hope in the face of difficulty, hope in the face of uncertainty, that dogged faith in the future which has pushed this nation forward even when the odds are great, even when the road is long.

Eight years later that hope has been tested by the cost of war, by one of the worst economic crises in history and by political gridlock that’s left us wondering whether it’s still even possible to tackle the challenges of our time. I know campaigns can seem small, even silly sometimes.

 

Trivial things become big distractions. Serious issues become sound bites. The truth gets buried under an avalanche of money and advertising. And if you’re sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me, so am I. (Laughter, applause.)

But when all is said and done, when you pick up that ballot to vote, you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation. (Cheers.) Over the next few years big decisions will be made in Washington on jobs, the economy, taxes and deficits, energy, education, war and peace — decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and on our children’s lives for decades to come.

And on every issue, the choice you face won’t just be between two candidates or two parties. It will be a choice between two different paths for America, a choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future. Ours is a fight to restore the values that built the largest middle class and the strongest economy the world has ever known — (applause) — the values my grandfather defended as a soldier in Patton’s army, the values that drove my grandmother to work on a bomber assembly line while he was gone. They knew they were part of something larger — a nation that triumphed over fascism and depression, a nation where the most innovative businesses turn out the world’s best products, and everyone shared in that pride and success from the corner office to the factory floor.

My grandparents were given the chance to go to college and buy their home — their own home and fulfill the basic bargain at the heart of America’s story, the promise that hard work will pay off, that responsibility will be rewarded, that everyone gets a fair shot and everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same rules, from Main Street to Wall Street to Washington, D.C. (applause.)

And I ran for president because I saw that basic bargain slipping away. I began my career helping people in the shadow of a shuttered steel mill at a time when too many good jobs were starting to move overseas. And by 2008 we had seen nearly a decade in which families struggled with costs that kept rising but paychecks that didn’t, folks racking up more and more debt just to make the mortgage or pay tuition, put gas in the car or food on the table. And when the house of cards collapsed in the Great Recession, millions of innocent Americans lost their jobs, their homes, their life savings, a tragedy from which we’re still fighting to recover.

Now, our friends down in Tampa at the Republican convention were more than happy to talk about everything they think is wrong with America. But they didn’t have much to say about how they’d make it right. (applause.) They want your vote, but they don’t want you to know their plan. And that’s because all they have to offer is the same prescriptions they’ve had for the last 30 years. Have a surplus? Try a tax cut. Deficit too high — try another.

Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning. (applause.)

Now, I’ve cut taxes for those who need it — (applause) — middle-class families, small businesses. But I don’t believe that another round of tax breaks for millionaires will bring good jobs to our shores, or pay down our deficit. I don’t believe that firing teachers or kicking students off financial aid will grow the economy — (applause) — or help us compete with the scientists and engineers coming out of China. After all we’ve been through, I don’t believe that rolling back regulations on Wall Street will help the small-businesswoman expand, or the laid-off construction worker keep his home.

We have been there, we’ve tried that, and we’re not going back. We are moving forward, America. (applause.)

Now, I won’t pretend the path I’m offering is quick or easy. I never have. You didn’t elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth. (applause.)

And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades. It’ll require common effort, shared responsibility, and the kind of bold, persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one. (applause.)

And by the way, those of us who carry on his party’s legacy should remember that not every problem can be remedied with another government program or dictate from Washington.

But know this, America: Our problems can be solved. (applause.) Our challenges can be met. (Applause.) The path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place, and I’m asking you to choose that future. (Applause.)

I’m asking you to rally around a set of goals for your country, goals in manufacturing, energy, education, national security and the deficit, real, achievable plans that will lead to new jobs, more opportunity and rebuild this economy on a stronger foundation. That’s what we can do in the next four years, and that is why I am running for a second term as president of the United States. (applause.)

We can choose a future where we export more products and outsource fewer jobs. After a decade that was defined by what we bought and borrowed, we’re getting back to basics and doing what America’s always done best. We are making things again. (Applause.) I’ve met workers in Detroit and Toledo who feared — (applause) — they’d never build another American car. And today they can’t build them fast enough because we reinvented a dying auto industry that’s back on the top of the world. (applause.) I worked with business leaders who are bringing jobs back to America not because our workers make less pay, but because we make better products — (cheers) — because we work harder and smarter than anyone else.

(applause.) I’ve signed trade agreements that are helping our companies sell more goods to millions of new customers, goods that are stamped with three proud words: “Made in America.” (applause.)

Audience: (Chanting.) USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!

Pres. Obama: And after a decade of decline, this country created over half a million manufacturing jobs in the last 2 1/2 years. (Cheers.) And now you have a choice. We can give more tax breaks to corporations that shift jobs overseas –

audience: No!

Pres. Obama: – or we can start rewarding companies that open new plants and train new workers and create new jobs here in the United States of America. (applause.) We can help big factories and small businesses double their exports. And if we choose this path, we can create a million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years. You can make that happen. (applause.) You can choose that future.

You can choose the path where we control more of our own energy. After 30 years of inaction, we raised fuel standards so that by the middle of the next decade, cars and trucks will go twice as far on a gallon of gas. (applause.) We have doubled our use of renewable energy, and thousands of Americans have jobs today building wind turbines and long-lasting batteries. (applause.) In the last year alone, we cut oil imports by 1 million barrels a day, more than any administration in recent history. (applause.) And today the United States of America is less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in the last two decades. (applause.)

So now you have a choice between a strategy that reverses this progress or one that builds on it.

We’ve opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration in the last three years, and we’ll open more. But unlike my opponent, I will not let oil companies write this country’s energy plan or endanger our coastlines or collect another $4 billion in corporate welfare from our taxpayers. (applause.) We’re offering a better path.

We’re offering a better path where we — a future where we keep investing in wind and solar and clean coal, where farmers and scientists harness new biofuels to power our cars and trucks, where construction workers build homes and factories that waste less energy, where — where we develop a hundred-year supply of natural gas that’s right beneath our feet. If you choose this path, we can cut our oil imports in half by 2020 and support more than 600,000 new jobs in natural gas alone. (applause.

And yes, my plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet, because climate change is not a hoax. More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. (applause.) They are a threat to our children’s future.

And in this election, you can do something about it. (applause.) You can choose a future where more Americans have the chance to gain the skills they need to compete, no matter how old they are or how much money they have.

Education was the gateway to opportunity for me. (Cheers.) It was the gateway for Michelle. It was — it was the gateway for most of you. And now more than ever it is the gateway to a middle-class life.

For the first time in a generation, nearly every state has answered our call to raise their standards for teaching and learning. (applause.) Some of the worst schools in the country have made real gains in math and reading. Millions of students are paying less for college today because we finally took on a system that wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on banks and lenders. (applause.)

And now you have a choice. We can gut education, or we can decide that in the United States of America, no child should have her dreams deferred because of a crowded classroom or a crumbling school. No family should have to set aside a college acceptance letter because they don’t have the money. (applause.) No company should have to look for workers overseas because they couldn’t find any with the right skills here at home. (applause.) That’s not our future. That is not our future. (applause.)

A government has a role in this. But teachers must inspire. Principals must lead. Parents must instill a thirst for learning. And students, you’ve got to do the work. (applause.) And together, I promise you we can outeducate and outcompete any nation on earth. (applause.)

So help me. Help me recruit a hundred thousand math and science teachers within 10 years and improve early childhood education. (applause.) Help give 2 million workers the chance to learn skills at their community college that will lead directly to a job. Help us work with colleges and universities to cut in half the growth of tuition costs over the next 10 years.

We can meet that goal together. (applause.) You can choose that future for America. (applause.) That’s our future.

 

You know, in a world of new threats and new challenges, you can choose leadership that has been tested and proven. Four years ago I promised to end the war in Iraq. We did. (applause.) I promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and we have. (applause.) We’ve blunted the Taliban’s momentum in Afghanistan and in 2014, our longest war will be over. (applause.) A new tower rises above the New York skyline, al- Qaida is on the path to defeat and Osama bin Laden is dead. (applause.)

And tonight we pay tribute to the Americans who still serve in harm’s way. We are forever in debt to a generation whose sacrifice has made this country safer and more respected. We will never forget you, and so long as I’m commander in chief, we will sustain the strongest military the world has ever known. (applause.) When you take off the uniform, we will serve you as well as you’ve served us, because no one who fights for this country should have to fight for a job or a roof over their head or the care that they need when they come home.

(applause.)

Around the world, we’ve strengthened old alliances and forged new coalitions to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. We’ve reasserted our power across the Pacific and stood up to China on behalf of our workers. From Burma to Libya to South Sudan, we have advanced the rights and dignity of all human beings — (cheers) — men and women; Christians and Muslims and Jews. (applause.)

But for all the progress that we’ve made, challenges remain. Terrorist plots must be disrupted. Europe’s crisis must be contained. Our commitment to Israel’s security must not waver, and neither must our pursuit of peace. (applause.) The Iranian government must face a world that stays united against its nuclear ambitions. The historic change sweeping across the Arab world must be defined not by the iron fist of a dictator or the hate of extremists, but by the hopes and aspirations of ordinary people who are reaching for the same rights that we celebrate here today. (applause.)

So now we have a choice. My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy. (Laughter, applause.)

But from all that we’ve seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly.

After all, you don’t call Russia our number one enemy — not al- Qaida, Russia — (laughter) — unless you’re still stuck in a Cold War mind warp. (applause.)

You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can’t visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally.

(Laughter, applause.)

My opponent — my opponent said that it was tragic to end the war in Iraq. And he won’t tell us how he’ll end the war in Afghanistan. Well, I have, and I will. (applause.) And while my opponent would spend more money on military hardware that our Joint Chiefs don’t even want, I will use the money we’re no longer spending on war to pay down our debt and put more people back to work — (extended applause) — rebuilding roads and bridges and schools and runways, because after two wars that have cost us thousands of lives and over a trillion dollars, it’s time to do some nation building right here at home. (applause.)

You can choose a future where we reduce our deficit without sticking it to the middle class. (applause.) Independent experts say that my plan would cut our deficit by $4 trillion. (Cheers.) And last summer I worked with Republicans in Congress to cut a billion dollars in spending, because those of us who believe government can be a force for good should work harder than anyone to reform it so that it’s leaner and more efficient and more responsive to the American people. (applause.)

I want to reform the tax code so that it’s simple, fair and asks the wealthiest households to pay higher taxes on incomes over $250,000 — (applause) — the same rate we had when Bill Clinton was president, the same rate we had when our economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, the biggest surplus in history and a whole lot of millionaires to boot.

(Applause.)

Now, I’m still eager to reach an agreement based on the principles of my bipartisan debt commission. No party has a monopoly on wisdom. No democracy works without compromise. I want to get this done, and we can get it done.

But when Governor Romney and his friends in Congress tell us we can somehow lower our deficits by spending trillions more on new tax breaks for the wealthy, well — (boos) — what’d Bill Clinton call it? You do the arithmetic. (Laughter, applause.) You do the math.

I refuse to go along with that, and as long as I’m president, I never will. (applause.) I refuse to ask middle-class families to give up their deductions for owning a home or raising their kids just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut. (applause.) I refuse to ask students to pay more for college or kick children out of Head Start programs to eliminate health insurance for millions of Americans who are poor and elderly or disabled all so those with the most can pay less. I’m not going along with that. (Continued applause.)

And I will never — I will never turn Medicare into a voucher. (applause.) No American should ever have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies. They should retire with the care and the dignity that they have earned. Yes, we will reform and strengthen Medicare for the long haul, but we’ll do it by reducing the cost of health care, not by asking seniors to pay thousands of dollars more.

(applause.) And we will keep the promise of Social Security by taking the responsible steps to strengthen it, not by turning it over to Wall Street. (applause.)

This is the choice we now face. This is what the election comes down to. Over and over, we’ve been told by our opponents that bigger tax cuts and fewer regulations are the only way, that since government can’t do everything, it should do almost nothing. If you can’t afford health insurance, hope that you don’t get sick. (Murmurs of disapproval.) If a company releases toxic pollution into the air your children breathe, well, that’s the price of progress. If you can’t afford to start a business or go to college, take my opponent’s advice and borrow money from your parents. (Laughter, mixed cheers and boos, applause.)

You know what, that’s not who we are. That’s not what this country is about. As Americans, we believe we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, rights that no man or government can take away. We insist on personal responsibility, and we celebrate individual initiative. We’re not entitled to success. We have to earn it. We honor the strivers, the dreamers, the risk- takers, the entrepreneurs who have always been the driving force behind our free enterprise system, the greatest engine of growth and prosperity that the world’s ever known.

But we also believe in something called citizenship — (applause) — citizenship, a word at the very heart of our founding, a word at the very essence of our democracy, the idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations.

We believe that when a CEO pays his autoworkers enough to buy the cars that they build, the whole company does better. (applause.)

We believe that when a family can no longer be tricked into signing a mortgage they can’t afford, that family’s protected, but so is the value of other people’s homes — (applause) — and so is the entire economy. (Applause.)

We believe the little girl who’s offered an escape from poverty by a great teacher or a grant for college could become the next Steve Jobs or the scientist who cures cancer or the president of the United States — (applause) — and it is in our power to give her that chance. (applause.)

We know that churches and charities can often make more of a difference than a poverty program alone. We don’t want handouts for people who refuse to help themselves, and we certainly don’t want bailouts for banks that break the rules. (applause.)

We don’t think the government can solve all of our problems, but we don’t think the government is the source of all of our problems — (applause) — any more than our welfare recipients or corporations or unions or immigrants or gays or any other group we’re told to blame for our troubles — (applause) — because — because America, we understand that this democracy is ours.

We, the people — (cheers) — recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which asks only, what’s in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense. (applause.)

As citizens, we understand that America is not about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us, together — (applause) — through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. That’s what we believe.

So you see, the election four years ago wasn’t about me. It was about you. (applause.) My fellow citizens — you were the change. (applause.)

You’re the reason there’s a little girl with a heart disorder in Phoenix who’ll get the surgery she needs because an insurance company can’t limit her coverage. You did that. (applause.)

You’re the reason a young man in Colorado who never thought he’d be able to afford his dream of earning a medical degree is about to get that chance. You made that possible. (applause.)

 

You’re the reason a young immigrant who grew up here and went to school here and pledged allegiance to our flag will no longer be deported from the only country she’s ever called home — (applause) — why selfless soldiers won’t be kicked out of the military because of who they are or who they love, why thousands of families have finally been able to say to the loved ones who served us so bravely, welcome home. (applause.) Welcome home. You did that. You did that. (applause.) You did that.

If you turn away now — if you turn away now, if you buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for isn’t possible, well, change will not happen. If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void, the lobbyists and special interests, the people with the $10 million checks who are trying to buy this election and those who are trying to make it harder for you to vote, Washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry or control health care choices that women should be making for themselves. (applause.) Only you can make sure that doesn’t happen. Only you have the power to move us forward.

You know, I recognize that times have changed since I first spoke to this convention. Times have changed, and so have I. I’m no longer just a candidate. I’m the president. (applause.)

And — (applause) — and that’s –

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years!

Pres. Obama: And that — and that means I know what it means to send young Americans into battle, for I’ve held in my arms the mothers and fathers of those who didn’t return.

I’ve shared the pain of families who’ve lost their homes, and the frustration of workers who’ve lost their jobs. If the critics are right that I’ve made all my decisions based on polls, then I must not be very good at reading them. (Laughter.)

And while I’m proud of what we’ve achieved together — (cheers) — I’m far more mindful of my own failings, knowing exactly what Lincoln meant when he said, “I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.” , for I have held in my arms the mothers and fathers of those who didn’t return. I’ve shared the pain of families who’ve lost their homes, and the frustration of workers who’ve lost their jobs. If the critics are right that I’ve made all my decisions based on polls, then I must not be very good at reading them. And while I’m proud of what we’ve achieved together, I’m far more mindful of my own failings, knowing exactly what Lincoln meant when he said, “I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.” (applause.)

But as I stand here tonight, I have never been more hopeful about America. (applause.) Not because I think I have all the answers. Not because I’m naive about the magnitude of our challenges.

I’m hopeful because of you.

The young woman I met at a science fair who won national recognition for her biology research while living with her family at a homeless shelter — she gives me hope. (applause.)

The auto worker who won the lottery after his plant almost closed, but kept coming to work every day, and bought flags for his whole town and one of the cars that he built to surprise his wife — he gives me hope.

(applause.)

The family business in Warroad, Minnesota, that didn’t lay off a single one of their 4,000 employees when the recession hit — (applause) — even when their competitors shut down dozens of plants, even when it meant the owner gave up some perks and some pay because they understood that their biggest asset was the community and the workers who had helped build that business — they give me hope. (applause.)

I think about the young sailor I met at Walter Reed Hospital still recovering from a grenade attack that would cause him to have his leg amputated above the knee. And six months ago we would watch him walk into a White House dinner honoring those who served in Iran (sic; Iraq) — tall and 20 pounds heavier, dashing in his uniform, with a big grin on his face, sturdy on his new leg. And I remember how a few months after that I would watch him on a bicycle, racing with his fellow wounded warriors on a sparkling spring day, inspiring other heroes who had just begun the hard path he had traveled. He gives me hope. (applause.) He gives me hope.

I don’t know what party these men and women belong to. I don’t know if they’ll vote for me. But I know that their spirit defines us. They remind me, in the words of Scripture, that ours is a future filled with hope. (Cheers.) And if you share that faith with me, if you share that hope with me, I ask you tonight for your vote.

(applause.)

If you reject the notion that this nation’s promise is reserved for the few, your voice must be heard in this election. (applause.)

If you reject the notion that our government is forever beholden to the highest bidder, you need to stand up in this election. (applause.)

If you believe that new plants and factories can dot our landscape, that new energy can power our future, that new schools can provide ladders of opportunity to this nation of dreamers, if you believe in a country where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same rules, then I need you to vote this November. (applause.)

America, I never said this journey would be easy, and I won’t promise that now. Yes, our path is harder, but it leads to a better place. (Cheers.) Yes, our road is longer, but we travel it together. (Cheers.)

We don’t turn back. We leave no one behind. (Cheers.) We pull each other up. (applause.) We draw strength from our victories. (applause.) And we learn from our mistakes. But we keep our eyes fixed on that distant horizon knowing that providence is with us and that we are surely blessed to be citizens of the greatest nation on earth.

Thank you, God bless you and God bless these United States. (applause.)

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