Obama, GOP give a Christmas Day salute to troops
December 25th, 2010
10:57 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama, GOP give a Christmas Day salute to troops

(CNN) - The presidential and GOP weekly web and radio addresses traded partisan rhetoric for holiday cheer and praise for the service members protecting America.

President and Mrs. Obama spoke to members of the armed forces, lauding their volunteer service and encouraging Americans to support the troops.

"As long as that service keeps the rest of us safe, their sacrifice should also be our own, even heroes can use a hand, especially during the holidays," first lady Michelle Obama said.

President Obama said, "So let's all remind them this holiday season that we're thinking of them and that America will forever be there for them, just as they've been there for us."

The first couple encouraged everyone to give their time, resources or spirit to those who are less fortunate.

Rep. Joe Pitts, a Pennsylvania Republican and Vietnam veteran said those serving in the military are a reminder of the "fulfillment that comes from humbly serving one another."

"To those wearing the uniform in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world at this hour, know that we are behind you and we join your loved ones in praying for your safe return home," Pitts said.

Both greetings invoked the meaning of Christmas to instill a larger message of service and gratitude.

"This is the season when we celebrate the simplest yet most profound gift of all, the birth of a child who devoted his life to the message of peace, love and redemption, a message that says no matter who we are, we are called to love one another," President Obama said.

Rep. Pitts called on scripture to describe the meaning of the holiday.

"Behind the splendor of the Christmas season lies a simple and inspiring story of how a single birth spread a message of love and salvation throughout the world, one that continues to resonate across this and other lands," Pitts said. "Scriptures tell us, in him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind."

Filed under: Michelle Obama • President Obama
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    I add my thanks to President and First Lady Obama to our military personnel (including my own family members) for their service to our country, and wish you and your families a joyous holiday season.

    December 25, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  2. Jerry

    How hypocritical. Our troops are not on their twentieth vacation in a year, particularly around this time of the holidays.

    Oh well, what else can we expect from this Royal Family.

    A REAL HEART FELT Merry Christmas and Happy New Year's wishes to all our troops!

    December 25, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  3. vikingslost

    Happy Holidays to you President Obama and First Lady Michelle and First Family.

    Thank you for the beautiful message to all our American troops and their families during these holidays.

    December 25, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  4. Marcus

    Jerry – stop being so petty
    EVERYBODY ELSE... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

    December 25, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  5. one voice

    I wish OUR hard working POTUS and his fellow hard working Democrats a happy and health holiday season. As for the Republicans: The ball is your court now to step up to the plate for the American middle class, Just try and sit back and say NO now when you have a majority in the house. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL

    December 25, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  6. vikingslost

    Attn: Jerry – Loosen up! It's the holidays, relax and think of all the good things around you.

    When you want to act like Scrooge all the time, it dampens your outlook.

    Happy Holidays, Jerry!

    December 25, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  7. one voice

    Jerry, you are one misinformed CLOWN. Our POTUS could take the whole month of January off and he would still be behind the Bush in time off the first 2 years of service. Be informed that your IDOL rush is a liar.

    December 25, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  8. Albo58

    Looks like "one voice" got another Obama poster and cuddly Michele doll for Christmas! Instead of trying to trim people's minds of the FACTS, perhaps you should take a gander at the $14T+ deficit and double digit unemployment and try to fanthom what your hero has actually done about it! Oh yeah, signing up to the START Treaty and repealing DADT will be a boon to the economy, right?

    December 25, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  9. yocheved

    American troops deserve our greatest respect for the sacrifices they make. It is sad to see how the media distorts everything that could be good – for example the picture of a sour faced Michelle Obama which is NO REFLECTION OF THE WARM HEARTED MESSAGE the Obamas were sending to the troops.

    When the history of the decline of America will be written – the media which distorts everything – will have been found to have played a big role in its decline. In the words of Neil Postman "Amusing Yourselves to Death."

    December 25, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  10. deuce

    I suppose Hawaii was as far as the King and Queen could go to get away from the "little people"!

    December 25, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  11. Gil

    During this time of Christmas we should remember that this is the time of "Peace!" and that this was the message of Jesus. We need to bring the troops home now, and not wait, from our illegal wars started by the Scrooge, g. w. bush!

    December 25, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  12. Alan

    Vacation time for any president regardless of party really isn't a "vacation." So Jerry and One Voice, both of you get a clue.

    December 25, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  13. Debbie from Arizona

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to our troops, our President and First Lady and to everyone – including you Jerry.

    December 25, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  14. Brian

    one voice, it's funny how when people actually think for themselves, instead of just believing whatever their government tells them, you say they are just followers of the usual suspects. Been watching Olbermann too much?

    December 25, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. NC

    I agree with Jerry.....this obama guy shouldn't be on his royal Hawaiian vacation....he should be visiting the troops....he is a disgrace to our country and the new congress should begin impeachment come January 3rd.....Merry Christmas to Jerry and yes to all of you other blogs.....

    December 25, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  16. Outside Observer

    Jerry reserve that for next year. Meanwhile, let the President relax after that pressure full of political wrestling with Repubs the past few weeks. He deserves it just like anybody else.

    This is the season of joy and giving, so be generous. Meanwhile have yourself a very Merry Christmas... and to all as well.

    December 25, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain

    Jerry: Unlike GW Bush, who constantly went to Crawford to hang around the ranch and clear brush, the vast majority of time President Obama has spent away from the White House has been to work for our country.

    You really need to ask yourself what folks like the GOP and Rush really think of you that they lie to you all the time, usually in an effort to get you to vote against your own self-interest. I mean, really, calling for the President of the United States to fail? Doesn't that mean our whole country would fail as well?

    With folks like the GOP and Rush as friends, who needs enemies ...

    December 25, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  18. Marie MD

    Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2011 to the Obamas and all our troops. Stay safe!!

    @jerry – give it up man. Our troops wouldn't be in the pickle they are in if it wasn't for the shrub sending them to Iraq and Afghanistan. Don't hate on our President.

    December 25, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. Steven in Charleston

    I stand with the Obama's in thanking our troops for their service.

    As for Representative Pitts, please keep the hypocrisy to a minimum. You certainly weren't "behind" the thousands of fighting men and women who happen to be gay when you voted against the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" just a few weeks ago.

    December 25, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  20. Joe

    What's wrong with Michelle Obama?, she doesn't look too happy. Maybe she just didn't feel wishing anyone any Merry Holidays.

    December 25, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |