Entries in Obama's Weekly Address (65)


President Obama's Weekly Address: Rebuilding and Recovering After Sandy

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In this week's address, President Obama speaks about the devastation he witnessed while touring New Jersey with Gov. Chris Christie in the wake of superstore sandy.

"This weekend, millions of our fellow Americans are still picking up the pieces from one of the worst storms in our history," President Obama says.
"I toured New Jersey on Wednesday with Governor Christie, and witnessed some of the terrible devastation firsthand.  It’s heartbreaking.  Families have lost loved ones.  Entire communities have been wiped away.  Even some of the first responders who repeatedly put themselves in harm’s way to bravely save the lives of others have suffered losses of their own. Today, I ask everyone to keep them in your prayers."

In the days following the superstorm, the president has repeated his promise to help the states affected to recover. In his address, he emphasized this message again, saying that "as President, I promise them this: your country will be there for you for as long as it takes to recover and rebuild."
Having been in "constant contact" with state and city leaders and officials in the storm ravaged areas, the president commends them for "doing and excellent job in extraordinarily difficult circumstances."  

"And we owe the first responders and National Guardsmen who have been working around the clock our deepest gratitude," he adds.

With so many left powerless, and in many cases homeless, or flooded, the president says the road of recovery will be long and hard. "There's a lot of work ahead," he says.

Even before the storm, President Obama says that FEMA pre-staged emergency response teams and deployed resources like food, water and generators up and down the East Coast from North Carolina to Maine.  But there's still so much work to do, he says.

The president encourages those directly impacted by the storm to call 1-800-621-FEMA, or apply at for temporary assistance.  For those who don't live in an affected area, but would like to help, he says, "supporting the Red Cross is the best way."

"This week, we have been humbled by nature’s destructive power.  But we’ve been inspired as well.  For when the storm was darkest, the heroism of our fellow citizens shone brightest," President Obama says.

"That’s who we are.  We’re Americans.  When times are tough, we’re tougher.  We put others first.  We go that extra mile.  We open our hearts and our homes to one another, as one American family.  We recover, we rebuild, we come back stronger – and together we will do that once more."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama's Address: New Wall Street Reforms Help Provide Financial Protection for Americans

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- With less than two weeks left until Election Day, the economy is what weighs heavily on the minds of many voters. President Obama uses his address this week to highlight the passage of Wall Street reforms and the work of a new independent consumer watchdog "whose sole job," he says, "is to look out for you."

Noting the country's recovery from a financial crisis that cost the economy 9 million jobs, President Obama says businesses have since added 5 million new jobs, and the unemployment rate "has fallen to the lowest level since I took office." But the president adds that the passage of new the Wall Street reforms will prevent Americans from going through another tough crisis again and "end taxpayer-funded bailouts for good."

The reforms, he says, allowed for the creation of the first-ever independent consumer watchdog that he says will protect Americans from the mistakes made by the companies who determine credit scores and provide consumers with all the information needed to make important financial decisions like purchasing a home or paying for college.

"And that means going after anyone who tries to take advantage of you, or rip you off," he says.

"Until this week, if you had a complaint, you took it to the company.  Sometimes they listened.  Sometimes they didn’t.  But that was pretty much it.  They were your only real hope," the president says.
But, he adds,"Not anymore.  If you have a complaint about your credit score that hasn’t been properly addressed, you can go to and let the consumer watchdog know. Not only will they bring your complaint directly to the company in question, they’ll give you a tracking number, so you can check back and see exactly what’s being done on your behalf."
The president adds that fixing your credit score isn't the only thing the consumer protection group can help with. They can help with opening bank accounts, applying for student loans or credit cards, and even tell you if you're getting a fair deal on your mortgage.
"Their only mission is to fight for you.  And when needed, they’ll take action," he says.

Stating his belief in the free market and the private sector as the "true engine of job creation" and not government, President Obama compounds that idea with another that says "America only prospers when we meet certain obligations to one another, and when we all play by the same set of rules."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama's Weekly Address: Urging GOP Lawmakers to Help Homeowners

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama uses his weekly address to tout his efforts to revive the housing industry, casting himself as a take-charge president and slamming Republicans for standing in the way of additional progress.
“I never believed that the best way to deal with the housing market was to just sit back, do nothing, and simply wait for things to hit bottom.  That would have been a disaster for all the responsible families who -- through no fault of their own -- were struggling to make ends meet,” Obama says, in a not-so-subtle jab at GOP Nominee Mitt Romney.
Instead, the president says he has made helping homeowners a top priority. “Construction workers are breaking ground on new homes in America at the fastest pace in more than four years,” Obama boasts. “More homes are being sold.  Home values are back on the rise.”
The president admits “we’re not where we need to be yet,” but says, “one of the heaviest drags on our recovery is getting lighter.”
Obama urges lawmakers to act on his proposal to help responsible homeowners refinance at today’s lower rates. “It’s a plan that we know will work.  It has the support of independent, nonpartisan economists and leaders across the housing industry.  It’s a no-brainer that should have passed easily,” he says. “But Republicans in Congress banded together and kept this plan from even coming to a vote.”
The president accuses Republicans of holding back the economic recovery. “Let’s be honest -- Republicans in Congress won’t act on this plan before the election.  But maybe they’ll come to their senses afterward if you give them a push,” he says.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama's Weekly Address: GOP Lawmakers Need to Act to 'Keep America Moving Forward'

White House Photo, Chuck Kennedy(WASHINGTON) -- On the heels of Friday’s positive jobs report, President Obama says the economy is “moving forward again” but that Republicans in Congress are standing in the way of further growth and need to “finally start doing something to actually help the middle class get ahead.”
“After losing about 800,000 jobs a month when I took office, our businesses have now added 5.2 million new jobs over the past two and a half years. And on Friday, we learned that the unemployment rate is now at its lowest level since I took office.  More Americans are entering the workforce.  More Americans are getting jobs,” the president says in his weekly address.
“Too many of our friends and neighbors are still looking for work or struggling to pay the bills -- many of them since long before this crisis hit,” he says. “We owe it to them to keep moving forward.  We’ve come too far to turn back now.  And we’ve made too much progress to return to the policies that got us into this mess in the first place.”
The president touts his administration’s efforts to “make sure that the kind of crisis we’ve been fighting back from never happens again,” including Wall Street reform and new consumer protections. “But for some reason, some Republicans in Congress are still waging an all-out battle to delay, defund and dismantle these commonsense new rules,” he says.
“Why?  Do they think undoing rules that protect families from the worst practices of credit card companies and mortgage lenders will make the middle class stronger?  Do they think getting rid of rules to prevent another crisis on Wall Street will make Main Street any safer?” he continues. “Republicans in Congress need to stop trying to refight the battles of the past few years, and finally start doing something to actually help the middle class get ahead.”
To keep the economy growing, the president urges lawmakers to extend tax cuts for the middle class, pass his housing refinance plan, and act to create a veterans jobs corps.
“If we’re going to keep this economy moving forward, there’s no time for political games.  Even in a political season.  Everyone needs to do their part,” he concludes.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama's Weekly Address: Urging GOP Lawmakers to Help Homeowners

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- Four years after the economic crisis threatened to destroy the American economy, the president is urging Republican lawmakers to help homeowners who were unfairly disadvantaged by the housing crisis at the heart of the recession.

"We know the biggest cause of that crisis was reckless behavior in the housing market," the president explains in his weekly address. "Millions of Americans who did the right and responsible thing -- who shopped for a home, secured a mortgage they could afford, and made their payments on time -- were badly hurt by the irresponsible actions of others."

As his first term nears a close, the president boasts that "we're moving in the right direction."

"Home sales and construction are up.  Prices are beginning to rise.  And more than a million families who began this year owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, are now back above water," he says.

In an election year appeal to middle class voters, the president touts his administration's efforts to revive the housing industry and help responsible homeowners.

"Now there are some who think that the only option for homeowners is to just stand by and hope that the market has hit bottom. I don’t agree with that," he says in a not-so-subtle jab at GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
"But we can do even more if Congress is willing to do their part," Obama says, urging lawmakers to act on his plan to help homeowners refinance at lower rates.
"It’s a plan that has the support of independent, nonpartisan economists and leaders across the housing industry.  But Republicans in Congress worked to keep it from even getting to a vote.  And here we are -- seven months later -- still waiting on Congress to act," he says.
"This makes no sense.  Last week, mortgage rates were at historic lows.  But instead of helping more and more hardworking families take advantage of those rates, Congress was away on break.  Instead of worrying about you, they’d already gone home to worry about their campaigns," he continues.
The president admits "it’s going to take a while for our housing market to fully recover," but says it's going to take longer "if Congress keeps standing in the way."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama's Weekly Address: Slams House GOP Over Unfinished Business

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama is blasting lawmakers for leaving Washington for a six-week recess ahead of the November election without acting on his proposals to boost job creation and jumpstart the economy.
“Without much fanfare, Members of the House of Representatives banged a gavel, turned out the lights, and rushed home, declaring their work finished for now,” Obama says in his weekly address. “If that frustrates you, it should -- because their work isn’t finished.”
“Apparently, some Members of Congress are more worried about their jobs and their paychecks this campaign season than they are about yours,” he continues.
If Congress had “gotten its act together,” the president says, lawmakers would have extended tax cuts for the middle class and passed a farm bill to aid ranchers and farmers hit by natural disasters. If Congress had “done the right thing,” Obama says, lawmakers would have created a veterans’ jobs corps to help returning troops find work and acted to help homeowners refinance at lower rates.
Instead, the president says, “Republicans in Congress have dragged their feet. And now they’re gone.”
Obama urges lawmakers to listen to the needs of their constituents during this break and “come back in November and do this work.”
The president concludes by asking the public for their help. “If you see them campaigning back home, tell them in person.  Because there’s been enough talk.  It’s time for action,” he says.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama's Address: Honoring the Victims of the Libya Attack

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- In his weekly address, President Obama pays tribute to the four Americans killed in Libya, saying they "represented the very best of our country."

"Without people like them, America could not sustain the freedoms we enjoy, the security we demand, and the leadership that the entire world counts on," he says.

The president honors those killed in the assault on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, memorializing the lives of Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith, and US Ambassador Chris Stevens.
The president vows that those who attacked the US "will find no escape from justice."

"We will never allow anyone to shake the resolve of the United States of America," he says.

Obama underscores that the U.S. has "profound respect" for people of all faiths and "we reject the denigration of any religion -- including Islam."
"Yet there is never any justification for violence," he says. "There is no excuse for attacks on our Embassies and Consulates. And so long as I am Commander-in-Chief, the United States will never tolerate efforts to harm our fellow Americans."

The White House has spoken out against the anti-muslim film sparking protests at U.S. outposts across the Middle East, although it will not apologize for it, citing freedom of speech.

U.S. officials are still investigating whether the deadly assault on the embassy in Libya was a pre-planned attack or tied to the broader protests.

"Let us never forget that for every angry mob, there are millions who yearn for the freedom, and dignity, and hope that our flag represents," Obama says. "That is the cause of America -- the ideals that took root in our founding; the opportunity that drew so many to our shores; and the awesome progress that we have promoted all across the globe."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama's Weekly Address: Marking the 11th Anniversary of 9/11

Joshua Roberts-Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As the nation prepares to mark the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, President Obama is reflecting on “just how far we’ve come as a nation” and highlighting his administration’s foreign policy successes.
In his weekly address, the president pays tribute to those who lost their lives and honors the first responders who fought to save them.
“On that clear September morning, as America watched the towers fall, and the Pentagon burn, and the wreckage smoldering in a Pennsylvania field, we were filled with questions.  Where had the attacks come from, and how would America respond?  Would they fundamentally weaken the country we love?  Would they change who we are?” Obama says.
“The last decade has been a difficult one, but together, we have answered those questions and come back stronger as a nation,” he says.
Echoing his remarks at the convention this week, Obama says al Qaeda is “on the path to defeat” and “Osama bin Laden will never threaten America again” because of his leadership. The president also touts the end of the Iraq war and the transition in Afghanistan.
“Instead of changing who we are, the attacks have brought out the best in the American people,” he says.
“Instead of turning on each other, we’ve resisted the temptation to give in to mistrust and suspicion.  I have always said that America is at war with al Qaeda and its affiliates -- and we will never be at war with Islam or any other religion.  We are the United States of America.  Our freedom and diversity make us unique, and they will always be central to who we are as a nation,” he says.
“Eleven years later, that’s the legacy of 9/11 -- the ability to say with confidence that no adversary and no act of terrorism can change who we are,” he says.  “We are Americans, and we will protect and preserve this country we love.  On this solemn anniversary, let’s remember those we lost, let us reaffirm the values they stood for, and let us keep moving forward as one nation and one people.”
The president will mark the upcoming anniversary Tuesday by attending a memorial service at the Pentagon and meeting with wounded service members at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama's Weekly Address: Marking the Anniversary of the End of the Iraq War

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(FORT BLISS, Texas) -- Two years after he ended the combat mission in Iraq, President Obama is touting his plan to bring troops home from Afghanistan, saying it’s time to “do some nation-building here at home.”
In his weekly address, the president congratulated troops for a “job well done” in Iraq but noted “there is still difficult work ahead of us in Afghanistan.”
“We’ve broken the Taliban’s momentum in Afghanistan, and begun the transition to an Afghan lead.  Next month, the last of the troops I ordered as part of the surge against the Taliban will come home, and by 2014, the transition to Afghan lead will be complete,” he said in remarks taped at Fort Bliss in Texas, where Obama addressed troops Friday.
The focus on Afghanistan comes after the Obama campaign criticized newly-minted GOP nominee Mitt Romney for failing to mention the men and women serving there in his speech at the GOP convention.
“As long as we have a single American in harm’s way, we will continue to do everything in our power to keep them safe and help them succeed.  That means giving them a clear mission and the equipment they need on the front lines,” Obama said. “But it also means taking care of our veterans and their families.  Because no one who fights for this country should have to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home.”
The president highlighted his administration’s efforts to boost veteran services and support military families, saying “it’s time to build a nation that lives up to the ideals that so many Americans have fought for -- a nation where they can realize the dream they sacrificed to protect.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama's Weekly Address: Setting the Record Straight on Medicare

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama is defending his Medicare reforms against Republican attacks, saying he would strengthen and preserve the program while his opponents would “effectively end Medicare as we know it.”
In his weekly address, the president urges Americans to remember “what’s really at stake when we talk about the future of Medicare.”
“It’s not about overheated rhetoric at election time.  It’s about a promise this country made to our seniors that says if you put in a lifetime of hard work, you shouldn’t lose your home or your life savings just because you get sick,” he says.
Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan have been attacking the president for cutting $716 billion from the popular entitlement program. “Over the last few weeks, there’s been a lot of talk about Medicare, with a lot of accusations and misinformation flying around.  So today I want to step back for a minute and share with you some actual facts and news about the program,” Obama says.
What the Romney campaign has not mentioned is that Obama’s cuts do not impact Medicare eligibility or benefits. Furthermore, the Ryan budget calls for the same cuts to Medicare that the GOP ticket is attacking the president for making in his health care bill.
“I’ve proposed reforms that will save Medicare money by getting rid of wasteful spending in the health care system and reining in insurance companies -- reforms that won’t touch your guaranteed Medicare benefits.  Not by a single dime,” he says.
Without calling out his GOP rival by name, the president says Republicans in Congress “want to turn Medicare into a voucher program.”
“That means that instead of being guaranteed Medicare, seniors would get a voucher to buy insurance, but it wouldn’t keep up with costs.  As a result, one plan would force seniors to pay an extra $6,400 a year for the same benefits they get now.  And it would effectively end Medicare as we know it,” he says.
“Our seniors deserve better,” Obama concludes.  “I’m willing to work with anyone to keep improving the current system, but I refuse to do anything that undermines the basic idea of Medicare as a guarantee for seniors who get sick.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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