Obama emphasizes economic message in weekly address
July 27th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
1 year ago

Obama emphasizes economic message in weekly address

(CNN) – In his weekly address Saturday, President Barack Obama stressed his commitment to refocus on the economy.

The president traveled to Illinois, Missouri and Florida this week–and promised to make more trips in the coming weeks–to tout the country's economic growth in the last few years and pledge to spend the rest of his second term on policies that will help the middle class.

Republicans, meanwhile, called Obama's speeches a retread strategy that lacked fresh ideas to further bolster an economy that everyone agrees should be growing faster.

Read the president's full speech:

Hi everybody. On Wednesday, I spoke about what we need to do as a country to build a better bargain for the middle class – to make sure everyone who works hard has a chance to get ahead in the 21st century economy.

You see, over the past four and a half years, America has fought its way back from the worst recession of our lifetimes. We saved the auto industry, took on a broken health care system, invested in new American technologies to reverse our addiction to foreign oil, and changed a tax code too skewed in favor of the wealthiest at the expense of working families.

As a result, our businesses have created 7.2 million new jobs over the past 40 months. We produce more renewable energy than ever, and more natural gas than anyone. Health care costs are growing at the slowest rate in 50 years. Our deficits are falling at the fastest rate in 60 years.

Thanks to the grit and resilience of the American people, we've cleared away the rubble of crisis and begun to lay a new foundation for stronger, more durable economic growth.

But as any middle-class family will tell you, we're not yet where we need to be. Trends that have been eroding middle-class security for decades – technology that makes some jobs obsolete, global competition that makes others moveable, growing inequality and the policies that perpetuate it – all these things still exist, and in some ways, the recession made them worse.

Reversing these trends must be Washington's highest priority. It sure is mine. But over the past couple of years in particular, Washington has taken its eye off the ball. An endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals shift focus from what needs to be done. And as Washington prepares to enter another budget debate, the stakes could not be higher. The choices we make now will determine whether or not every American has a fighting chance in the 21st century.

If we don't make the investments necessary to make America a magnet for good jobs – in education, and manufacturing, and research, and our transportation and information networks – we might as well hit the "pause" button while the rest of the world forges ahead in a global economy. And that's certainly not going to fix what ails the middle class.

Here's what will: a strategy that builds on the cornerstones of what it means to be middle class in America, and what it takes to work your way into the middle class. Good jobs that pay good wages. An education that prepares our children and our workers for the global competition they'll face. Homeownership that's based on a solid foundation, where buyers and lenders play by the same set of rules. Affordable health care that's there for you when you get sick. A secure retirement even if you're not rich. More chances for folks to earn their way into the middle class as long as they're willing to work for it.

Over the next several weeks, in cities and towns across the country, I'll continue to lay out my ideas in each of these areas. Because reversing the forces that have conspired against the middle class for decades will require more than short-term thinking; it will require a long-term American strategy, based on steady, persistent effort.

I know there are members of both parties who understand what's at stake, and I'm open to ideas from across the political spectrum, as long as they meet the test of strengthening the prospects of hard-working families. But repealing Obamacare, gutting critical investments in our future, threatening to default on the bills this country has already racked up, or shutting down the government just because I'm for keeping it open – none of those thing add up to an economic plan. None of that will take this country where it needs to go.

We can do this if we work together. It won't be easy, but if we take a few bold steps – and if Washington is willing to shake off its complacency and set aside some of the slash-and-burn partisanship we've seen in recent years – our economy will keep getting stronger.

And as long as I have the privilege of holding this office, I will spend every minute of every day doing everything in my power to make this economy work for working Americans again; to build that better bargain for the middle class; to make sure that the American Dream is something that's achievable for everybody – not just today, but for decades to come.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.


Filed under: Economy • President Obama
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. RogerD

    This week's radio address includes nothing new. We heard all of this on his campaign tour earlier in the week. The President is as guilty as the congress he vilifies. When his poll ratings drop through the floor, he ramps up his economy tour. When the poll numbers rise from low information voters getting back on his bus, he'll be back to vacationing. It's time to shut him off completely and redirect some none essential spending to job creating projects as well as rolling back some regulations to get our energy resources flowing for self consumption and exports. Lastly, administration and agency officials need to be held accountable for all the "phony" scandals... some need to be fired, other indicted.

    July 27, 2013 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  2. Scott

    Hopefully his speech will make it on to Comedy Central, I can use a good laugh,

    July 27, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    The only thing PHONEY about this administration, is Obama himself.

    His "economic plan" is the phoniest of all.........it is NON EXISTENT!

    July 27, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  4. Donkey Party

    And the GOP's plan? Block and obstruct any progress that helps America. 2014 can't get here soon enough. If you care about your own well-being and the well-being of your children, then vote out every single GOP member. The GOP hates America, and are doing the exact same thing that Al Queda and Osama Bin Laden were trying to do, destroy the country's economy. So far, the GOP is more successful in hurting America than Bin Laden could've ever dreamed.

    July 27, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  5. jpmichigan

    HYPOCRITE word from Greek and Roman theater of ancient times, that means " play actor". But over time a HYPOCRITE came to mean, a person who changed his/her mask for applause. Someone who performed for the CROWD, who performed for an audience. So sorry to say this is the first thought that came to mind listening to the President and his " PHONY and FAKE response". Answers need to be given not another campaign speech, and those who buy into his HYPOCRACY, are also PHONY and Fake.

    July 27, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  6. just me

    A lot of haters out today. They're a tad upset the POTUS hasn't completely fixed the gosawful mess he inherited yet. Well buck up, losers. it is getting better, despite the R's kicking and screaming. Rational people will tell you this, if you know any.

    July 27, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  7. Hector Slagg

    I think you are seeing the high point of 80 plus years of Liberal Politics. You just vote for us and we will take care of you. It is reported that there are many more part time jobs now than full time jobs. If Obama only had a clue. He talks a good game but has no idea how to put it into practice. 2 Things Get rid of Obama Care and Extend the Bush Tax Cuts for at least 10 more years or permentatly.

    July 27, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  8. teaparty days are numbered

    at least we are adding jobs, under the repubes we were losing jobs at a rate of 750,000 per month, can you believe it 750,000 a month,staggering!!!

    July 27, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  9. g

    how much does the republican job shippers get payed from the communist party of china

    July 27, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  10. Tony

    The difference between Obama and Republicans is clear. At least Obama has a message.

    July 27, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. Name

    President Obama"s message has always been correct: rebuild our infrastucture, invest in our children by investing and improving our educational system, invest in technology and renewable energy. The GOP message: Cut spending, eliminate healthcare, continue to give tax subsidies to big oil, tax breaks to big business, elimimate voting rights and start wars....Wake up folks!!!

    July 27, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  12. J.V.Hodgson

    You Know what, its time for all the above Obama detractors to read Cantors weekly address and then the presidents weekly address. Then tell me which gets at the core issues of the economy and job creation, and real plans to reduce the debt an deficit.
    Cantors whole address is using valuable congress time to stir up and re-vitalize failed IRS, and Benghazi republican led investigations.
    And you wanna trust the gerrymandering party to be a national interest overseer.... gimme a break!!
    Regards,
    Hodgson

    July 28, 2013 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  13. Ctrygrl

    "But repealing Obamacare, gutting critical investments in our future, threatening to default on the bills this country has already racked up, or shutting down the government just because I'm for keeping it open – none of those thing add up to an economic plan." This is a succinct statement of the problem that has plagued the country since the republicans took over the house. They are so filled with their absolute hatred of Obama they cannot see past it. Anything he even remotely supports they are against. They look for every opportunity to do anything they can to stop every single policy he has tried to put in place. The endless hearings and investigations that have not turned up a single instance of deliberate wrong doing have created just how many jobs???

    July 28, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. Dennis

    WHAT WE HAVE IS A "PHONY" PRESIDENT!
    Anyone able to figure out which of the scandals are suppose to now be phony? Since Obama and Carney won't say (though they admit there were issues with the IRS) were left to guess. Let's see. Which are phony?
    1) Fast and Furious cover up and death of our border guard?
    2) Benghazi and 4 Americans being slaughtered?
    3) IRS targeting Rebuplican Tea Party groups (oops they admitted this one)
    ... 4) NSA tracking all US calls without supposedly informing Congress (yes Bush did this under the patriot act as long as one end of the call originated OUTSIDE US borders with Congressional approval. )
    5) Or Targeting the AP journalists and illegally obtaining all their phone records?

    This is like your 10 year old child telling you he really didn't do it!

    Add to this the disaster Obamacare is bringing this country to, Artifically propping up the economy having the US treasury print $85 billion dollars each month (3 times more than any past president), and the US treasury buying back bonds and commodities (against their own bylaws to buy equities) to artifically make the recovery look like it's slowly happening. America is being lied to by the biggest "Phony" ever in the White House.

    July 28, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |