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Entries in Thanksgiving (8)

Friday
Nov252011

GOP Candidates Veer Off Campaign Trail to Give Thanks

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The 2012 Republican presidential contenders spent Thanksgiving off the campaign trail and around dinner tables with their families.

And for the first time in recent memory, GOP candidates suspended political attacks on their opponents and President Obama in favor of a unified message of “thanks” to U.S. military service members and their families around the globe.

Former Massachusetts governor  Mitt Romney, who is celebrating the holiday in California with his family, called on Americans in a statement to “never forget that our peace, prosperity and plenty have been hard earned by countless men and women who have put country before self.”

Sounding a religious note, Herman Cain expressed gratitude to God, offering “special thanks for our men and women in uniform, past and present.”

“We thank them for the many sacrifices they have made -- including their lives -- to protect and defend our American way of life,” Cain said in a statement.

In an email to his supporters, Ron Paul said one of the things he’s most thankful for this year is the generosity of donors and volunteers who have made his campaign “a force to be reckoned with.”

“In fact, right now, polls are moving in our direction in key early states, and even the establishment media is being forced to take notice!” Paul wrote in the most political message offered by a presidential candidates Thursday.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, who was with her family in Minnesota and will appear Friday at the Mall of America for a campaign event, noted the “bountiful opportunities and lives we have been blessed with.”

“This Thanksgiving I am thankful for the magnificent nation that we call home: The United States of America,” Bachmann wrote on her website.

Among the “blessings” Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he’s counting are “the love of family, the sacrifices of our military, the freedoms of a great nation.”

“We are thankful for the many people we have met as we have traveled our country this year,” Perry added, referring to his time on the campaign trail.  The governor spent tThursday in Texas and attend a college football game in College Station.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who was in Florida Thursday, credited the safety of the general public on this Thanksgiving with the U.S. military.

“Callista and I hope everyone in uniform and their families have a happy Thanksgiving and can be reunited as rapidly as possible,” he said.

Echoing Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum also extended a “special message” to service members stationed abroad: “We are grateful for your service and sacrifice and that of your families,” he said in an email.

Santorum will hold a “Faith, Family and Freedom” town hall meeting in Meredith, N.H., on Friday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov242011

President Obama Calls Troops on Thanksgiving

Pete Souza/White House(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama says he will spend Thanksgiving Day “eating great food, watching a little football, and reflecting on how truly lucky we truly are.” And foremost among the blessings the president says he counts are the thousands of men and women in the U.S. military who are fighting to defend the country overseas.

In his weekly address, delivered early in honor of the holiday, the commander-in-chief praised all Americans who have volunteered to serve.

“To all the service members eating Thanksgiving dinner far from your families: the American people are thinking of you today,” the president said. “And when you come home, we intend to make sure that we serve you as well as you’re serving America.

“We’re also grateful for the Americans who are taking time out of their holiday to serve in soup kitchens and shelters, making sure their neighbors have a hot meal and a place to stay,” he added. “This sense of mutual responsibility -- the idea that I am my brother’s keeper; that I am my sister’s keeper -- has always been a part of what makes our country special. And it’s one of the reasons the Thanksgiving tradition has endured.”

Tracing the roots of Thanksgiving to early celebrations of “community during a time of great hardship,” Obama invoked the faith and perseverance of participants in those meals to encourage Americans struggling economically to do the same.

And Obama voiced optimism -- on a day symbolic of “unity” -- that the paralysis of the political process in Washington can be overcome.

“With all the partisanship and gridlock here in Washington, it’s easy to wonder if such unity is really possible,” Obama said. ”But think about what’s happening at this very moment: Americans from all walks of life are coming together as one people, grateful for the blessings of family, community and country.

“If we keep that spirit alive, if we support each other and look out for each other, and remember that we’re all in this together, then I know that we too will overcome the challenges of our time,” Obama said.

The White House said the president called 10 military service members -- two each from the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy -- Thursday morning to thank them for their service in Iraq and Afghanistan and wish them a Happy Thanksgiving.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov242011

First Lady Urges Support for US Troops on Thanksgiving

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In a Thanksgiving web video and email message, first lady Michelle Obama encourages Americans to express their gratitude to U.S. military service members and their families Thursday by placing a phone call or writing an online message.

“Last year on Thanksgiving, Barack stepped into the office for a bit to call some of the men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to thank them for their service. And when he told me about those conversations, it reminded me once again of how blessed we are to live in a country like this where our freedoms are guided by the service of so many heroes,” the first lady says in the video.

Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces initiative partnered with the USO to launch a new website, Thanks From Everywhere, that allows visitors to post notes to the troops on an interactive map.  

Each red dot on the map represents an individual message that visitors to the site can read and share.

“From one of the 99 percent who don’t want you in harm’s way without good reason -- just thanks,” writes Frank Erickson of Washington state.

Peter Fischer of Maine says, “I know personally while serving in the Marine Corps what it was like not to be home for the holidays, and I want you all to know that no matter where you are, someone is always thinking of you.”

And John and Reba Matthews of Arkansas posted, “Thank all of you so very much. May “God” bless and keep you. We don’t know you but we do.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov242011

Obama's Weekly Address: Thanks to Military Men and Women

Kevin Lamarque-Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama says he’ll spend Thanksgiving Day “eating great food, watching a little football, and reflecting on how truly lucky we truly are.” And foremost among the blessings the president says he will count are the thousands of men and women in the U.S. military who are fighting to defend the country overseas.
 
In his weekly address, delivered early in honor of the holiday, the commander-in-chief praised all Americans who have volunteered serve.
 
“To all the service members eating Thanksgiving dinner far from your families: the American people are thinking of you today. And when you come home, we intend to make sure that we serve you as well as you’re serving America,” Obama says.
 
“We’re also grateful for the Americans who are taking time out of their holiday to serve in soup kitchens and shelters, making sure their neighbors have a hot meal and a place to stay. This sense of mutual responsibility -- the idea that I am my brother’s keeper; that I am my sister’s keeper -- has always been a part of what makes our country special. And it’s one of the reasons the Thanksgiving tradition has endured.”
 
Tracing the roots of Thanksgiving to early celebrations of “community during a time of great hardship,” Obama invoked the faith and perseverance of participants in those meals to encourage Americans today struggling economically to do the same.  
 
And Obama voiced optimism -- on a day symbolic of “unity” -- that the paralysis of the political process in Washington can be overcome.
 
“With all the partisanship and gridlock here in Washington, it’s easy to wonder if such unity is really possible,” Obama says, “But think about what’s happening at this very moment: Americans from all walks of life are coming together as one people, grateful for the blessings of family, community, and country."
 
“If we keep that spirit alive, if we support each other, and look out for each other, and remember that we’re all in this together, then I know that we too will overcome the challenges of our time,” Obama says.  
 
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov232011

Rick Perry Releases Thanksgiving Video

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Rick Perry released a web video Wednesday thanking U.S. troops for their service and wishing the country a “Happy Thanksgiving.”

Called “Securing the American Dream (Marcus’ Story),” the video features Marcus Luttrell, an East Texas Navy SEAL who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, recounting his experience in the military, which inlcuded him being the sole survivor of a SEAL mission in which his team fought against a numerically superior Taliban forces. The nearly three-minute video then transitions to patriotic images, footage of Perry at events and audio of a speech in which Perry talks about the strength and promise of the military.

Text appears across the screen reading “Our mission is clear…our message is simple…to secure the future of the American dream…As Americans we have a lot to be thankful for, especially for our brave military men and women” before ending with “Happy Thanksgiving.”

Perry, who served in the U.S. Air Force for five years, shares a close relationship with Luttrell. In the video, Luttrell details their connection, saying he calls the Texas governor “for fatherly advice” and explains why he supports him as he runs for president.

“He’s one of the most honorable men I’ve ever met. You know, I don’t get into politics, you know. I’m a soldier. So with that being said, though, as far as character and honor and commitment and all those words that most people use for a punch line, he lives that stuff,” Luttrell says in the video. “It’s those characteristics in a man and especially in him that I think embody what the president of the United States should be.”

In an interview with Parade magazine last month, Perry described the family meeting he held before deciding to run for president. Luttrell and his wife were participants in the discussions, along with Perry’s wife, Anita, son Griffin and daughter Sydney.

“Seven of us sat down, and we had a conversation. Everybody gets a black bean. If there’s even one black bean, then the deal’s off,” Perry described in Parade magazine. “Marcus was very hesitant. He’s very protective of my wife. He really didn’t want to see the family go through what you go through in one of these efforts.”

In 2010, Luttrell started the Lone Survivor Foundation, a nonprofit group committed to helping wounded warriors and their families as they return from their service abroad. Perry spoke at the foundation’s second annual gala in September and discussed the need to commit resources to soldiers as they transition from their service on the battlefield to lives back home.

“Just as we owe them our very best when we send them to war we owe them our very best when they come home. For those returning home bearing scars some physical, others hidden we must devote whatever resources are necessary to help them heal and live fulfilling lives,” Perry said in the speech. “For all of them, we owe them our best efforts to help them find work connecting them with employers in need of their enhanced skills and exceptional leadership. These are our precious sons and daughters. They are our own flesh and blood. We must take care of them, every last one of them.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov232011

Poll: Americans Love Turkeys for Dinner, Not the Ones in Congress

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Ninety-three percent of Americans express a favorable opinion of Thanksgiving dinner, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.  But in Washington, by contrast, nothing’s cooking: favorable ratings of the U.S. Congress are 70 percentage points lower.

Yet, while just 23 percent of Americans see Congress as a whole favorably, substantially more -- 41 percent -- express a favorable impression of their own representative.

So glum is the public’s political mood that it’s perhaps encouraging to see the warm welcome still afforded to the venerable tradition of Thanksgiving dinner.  Not only do nine in 10 see it favorably, 77 percent of Americans have “strongly” positive impressions of this particular upcoming meal.  Seven percent in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, see Thanksgiving dinner unfavorably.

For Congress, “favorable” ratings are a bit less harsh than job approval; in an ABC/Post poll last month a record low 14 percent of Americans approved of the way the Congress is doing its job.  In this survey, by contrast, 23 percent see Congress favorably overall, indicating that it gets a little more credit for effort than for performance.  But not much: Not only do 69 percent of respondents see Congress unfavorably, a plurality -- 44 percent -- feels that way strongly.

Moreover, while favorability of Congress hasn’t been asked often, this reading hits a new low compared with four previous surveys dating to 1986.

Unfavorable views of Congress peak in some particular groups, soaring, most notably, to 81 percent among conservative Republicans and among very conservative Americans.  Negative views of Congress also are 20 points higher among whites than among non-whites, 12 points higher among Americans 50 and older than among those younger than 50, and 8 points higher among men than among women.

Republicans are a slight 7 points more apt than Democrats to express an unfavorable view of Congress overall.  When rating their own representative, though, 51 percent of Republicans give a favorable report, vs. 43 percent of Democrats and just 34 percent of independents.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov252010

On Thanksgiving, Obama Asks for Bipartisan Approach to ‘Give Back’

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) – President Obama offered a Thanksgiving greeting in his weekly address Thursday and asked Americans to give back to their country this holiday season.

“Even as we speak, there are countless Americans serving at soup kitchens and food pantries; contributing to their communities; and standing guard around the world,” Obama said.

The Obamas took time out this week to do some volunteering of their own. The First Family, along with 29 family members, distributed food baskets at Martha’s Table Wednesday, a D.C. area organization that provides food and shelter for the less fortunate.

He also took time to address public concern over the economy and jobs, asking for a bipartisan effort to move forward.

“We’ve got to do it as one people.  And in the coming weeks and months, I hope that we can work together, Democrats and Republicans and Independents alike, to make progress on these and other issues,” Obama said.

“This is not the hardest Thanksgiving America has ever faced.  But as long as many members of our American family are hurting, we’ve got to look out for one another.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov252010

GOP Hails ‘New Breed of Leaders’ in Washington

Photo Courtesy - ScottForGA dot com(WASHINGTON) – A new Republican face took the podium Thursday to introduce a new class of Republican representation in Washington.

U.S. Congressman-Elect, Austin Scott (R-GA), hailed a ‘new breed of leaders for a new majority and a new Congress’ in the weekly GOP address.

“The American people have sent 85 new Republicans to Washington with a clear message: listen up, stop the job-killing policies, stop the runaway spending, and focus on getting our country back on track,” Scott said.

Although Scott gave thanks during the Thanksgiving-day address, he said Washington must turn its attention to those Americans who are struggling. 

“As much as we have to be thankful for, too many Georgians and too many Americans have been out of work for far too long.  Our new Republican majority is ready to focus on creating jobs and putting a stop to the runaway spending in Washington, DC.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio