Entries in Address (4)


Obama's Second Inaugural Address Confronts Familiar Challenges

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- At the height of the "fiscal cliff" showdown, the final political battle of his first term, President Obama lamented the bitter persistence of Washington partisanship as "déjà vu all over again."

On Monday, as Obama delivers his second inaugural address on the west front of the Capitol, he could say the same thing about the looming political battles of his new term.

Four years ago, Obama took office amidst what he then described as "gathering clouds and raging storms," an economic crisis that resulted from "our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age."

The nation was in the throes of a financial collapse, decades in the making, whose breadth and depth were only starting to be known.  It would become a devastating recession, the worst since the Great Depression.

Now, even as the economy continues a gradual climb back from the brink, many of those "hard choices" still remain, with climbing deficits and debt, and a yawning partisan gap over how to deal with them.

On the horizon is a cascade of fresh fiscal crises -- these politically self-imposed -- over the nation's debt ceiling, spending cuts and a federal budget, all of which economists say threaten another recession and could further downgrade the nation's credit rating.

Obama will use the first major speech of his second term to try to reset the tone of debate and turn the page on the political battles of the past, hoping for something of a fresh start.

He will "talk about the challenges that face us and what unites us as Americans," Obama campaign manager Jim Messina told ABC News.

"Monday is an American moment: the swearing-in of the president of the United States -- everyone's president," Messina said.  "You're going to see a president who wants to work across party lines to get things done, that's what the country wants."

He will acknowledge that we won't "settle every debate or resolve every difference" but that we "have an obligation to work together," said a senior administration official, who asked to remain anonymous in order to speak freely about the speech.

Obama will not discuss specific policy prescriptions in his address, though he may broadly allude to issues of war, immigration, climate change and environment along with gun control, officials said.  The details will be saved for the State of the Union address on Feb. 12.

But the president will make clear that his re-election -- the first Democrat to win two elections with more than 50 percent of the vote since Franklin D. Roosevelt -- reflects momentum for his agenda, said top White House aides.

"He's going to find every way he can to compromise.  But he's going to be pretty clear, and we're also going to bring the American people more into the debate than we did in the first term," senior Obama adviser David Plouffe said on ABC's This Week.

Obama, who was officially sworn in Sunday in a private ceremony at the White House, will speak before an expected crowd of 800,000 on the National Mall and millions more watching at home.

The president has been working on his inaugural address since mid-December, officials said, working through drafts of the text on yellow legal pads that he's been spotted carrying through the West Wing.  He also hosted a dinner with presidential historians at the White House last week, looking for insights on how to make his speech memorable and impactful.

In a video message to his supporters reflecting on the moment, Obama said two historical figures would be especially on his mind on Monday: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Abraham Lincoln.

"Their actions, the movements they represented are the only reason it's possible for me to be inaugurated," Obama said.  "It's also a reminder for me that this country has gone through very tough times before, but we always come out on the other side."

For the ceremonial oath-taking, Obama will place his left hand on the stacked personal Bibles of Lincoln and King.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


GOP Address: Sen. Bob Corker Calls for Tax Reform and Preserving Free Enterprise

US Senate(WASHINGTON ) -- Republicans in Congress have long accused the Obama Administration and Democrats for mismanaging the federal budget, and Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee does not depart from that trend in this week's Republican address.

Recalling the time in his 20s when he saved enough to start his own construction business, Corker says he got into public service to ensure Americans the chance to "earn success" and "live the American Dream" as he has.  But, he says, "I fear our country is moving to a place where politicians have lost sight of the value of earned success."

Corker adds, "Politicians are bankrupting our country by passing legislation without paying for it and abandoning the free market principles that give people the opportunity to succeed."

Sen. Corker lambastes the Democrat-controlled Senate for not passing a budget in three years, while the government "spends more than $3.5 trillion a year, much of it borrowed from outside the United States [with no] guideline for how that money is spent."

The Tennessee senator doesn't stop there, either.  He calls out Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Kent Conrad, D-N.D., without naming names for refusing to hold a vote on the budget.

Meanwhile, Corker says, "President Obama's budget failed to receive a single 'yes' vote in either House of Congress last year."

"Failing to accomplish even the most basis responsibility of government is a total failure of leadership and represents everything the American people hate about Washington," Corker says in the address.

Corker also calls on government to reform Medicare and Social Security, but "the president punts on almost every tough decision."  He adds that the president is appealing to college students about student loan debt, while "robbing those same young people of their American inheritance, spending their money on my generation and engaging in nothing short of generational theft."

Corker suggests that not dealing with these issues could be this country's greatest enemy, but says it could also be our greatest opportunity.  He offers a solution:

"We need pro-growth tax reform.  This means simplifying the tax code and doing away with most, if not all, of the $1.2 trillion in loopholes and tax expenditures that Congress has created to try to drive your behavior," he tells Americans. "This would allow us to broaden the tax base and lower rates for everyone."

Lastly, Corker underscores the importance of preserving the principles of free enterprise.

"Growing the private sector, not government, will ensure that we remain the strongest country in the world," he says. "Nothing makes people happier than earning success," he later adds.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


President Obama to Address the Nation Monday Night on Debt Talks

Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will use the bully pulpit in prime time Monday night to address the nation on the status of the stalled debt talks. The President will address the nation live at 9 p.m. from the East Room.

Immediately after the President speaks, Republican Speaker John Boehner will offer his perspective on the stalled talks.

The news comes amid an impasse in Washington over how to raise the nation’s credit limit and avoid an Aug. 2 default. It would be the first default in U.S. government history.

Bipartisan talks broke down over the weekend and now Democrats and Republicans are pursuing divergent proposals on Capitol Hill.

Earlier Monday the White House made clear it will support Sen. Harry Reid’s proposal to cut more than $2 trillion in spending, including money saved through the planned drawdown of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- a move Republicans dismiss -- although it is also offered in the GOP House version.

White House spokesman Jay Carney accused House Republicans of walking away from deficit negotiations “after insisting that the budget be balanced on the backs of seniors and the middle class.”

Meanwhile Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner met with his party today to outline his own proposal for a two-step deficit reduction plan.

ABC News has learned the framework would cut and cap discretionary spending to generate $1.2 trillion savings over 10 years and increase the debt limit by less than $1 trillion. The plan would also create a joint committee on deficit reduction to come up with a second wave of deficit reduction by the end of this year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


John Boehner Gets Teary During Commencement Address

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images (File)(WASHINGTON) -- Speaker John Boehner delivered an emotional commencement address at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, even shedding a few tears while telling the graduates they should embody certain virtues.

"Humility, patience and faith, and always a few tears from me," Boehner said.

Boehner became teary while telling a story about the morning of his leadership election in 2006, when he said he prayed to the Virgin Mary for guidance. He said on that morning when he thought he received no sign, he got a call from his former high school football coach, Gerry Faust.

"It was old coach Faust," Boehner said choking up, "calling to wish me luck, and telling me you can do it. You know I've never gotten a call from the Blessed Mother before and I don't think I ever will, but I got to tell you it was pretty darn close."

Boehner also shed a few tears when he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws by the university at the ceremony.

Boehner delivered the main commencement address at the ceremony which was held at the east steps of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on the university’s campus.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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