Obama renews vow to fight for working class
February 1st, 2014
11:23 AM ET
9 years ago

Obama renews vow to fight for working class

Washington (CNN) - After a week in which he signed executive orders focused on bolstering the middle class, President Barack Obama repeated his State of the Union promise Saturday to act with or without Congress.

In what he termed a "three-minute version" of Tuesday's all-encompassing State of the Union speech, the President promised he would not let his "opportunity agenda" get stalled by a bitterly divided legislative branch, and that "wherever I can take a step to expand opportunity for more families on my own, I will."

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"Every single day," Obama said, "I’m going to fight for these priorities - to shift the odds back in favor of more working and middle-class Americans, and to keep America a place where you can always make it if you try."

Though Obama has witnessed the unemployment rate fall to its lowest level in more than five years, average wages have remained relatively stagnant as the gap between the nation's wealthiest and its poorest citizens continues to grow. The President said it is his mission to "reverse those trends."

"Inequality has deepened. Too many Americans are working harder and harder just to get by. And too many still aren’t working at all," Obama said.

In the condensed version of his State of the Union address, Obama touched on four parts of his agenda: spurring job creation, training more Americans for skilled jobs, enhancing access to education and helping make sure Americans save enough money to comfortably retire. Obama said he will ask leaders in business, education and philanthropy to partner with him to advance his agenda, reiterating that wherever he can bypass Congress, he will.

"These ideas will strengthen the middle class and help more people work their way into the middle class," he said.
Despite his repeated assertion that he will use a "pen and a phone" to help achieve parts of his agenda, Obama has not relied on executive orders in the past. He has signed them at the lowest rate since the Grover Cleveland administration and has proved reluctant to test his executive authority.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    5 years, FIVE YEARS, we have had this administration. 8 million jobs lost because libs like you wanted affordable housing given to people who couldn't afford them, with millions more entering the work force and no jobs available. Only 2 million jobs gained in that 5 years. That translates to a job deficit equal to or greater than initial jobs lost. The first order of business in Obama's first term was to screw 145 million working Americans with Obamacare. Those of us who lost our health insurance not only lost it as individuals but families and the initial 6 to 8 million people who lost insurance is multiplied greatly.. The first thing in your empty mind when you read this will be the so called hindrance to obama's agenda by conservatives, which is ludicrous, because how was obamacare passed in the first place and why wasn't Obama focused on jobs from the beginning. What little restrictions conservatives were able to achieve to this administration's failed agenda is a blessing, because unfettered spending with unlimited debt would put America in a hole impossible to escalate. You and all liberals ranting about the tea party and conservatives only proves you can't defend this administration's actions.
    Start (thinking) for yourself for the 1st, FIRST time, because a new direction is coming and you can begin counting down!

    How much did the war in Iraq cost ?

    February 2, 2014 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  2. don in albuquerque


    Is Oz a nice place to live?

    February 2, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. countingdown

    Really! Another liberal that won't accept the fact as in the truth as in come on get real, that all of congress had access to the data concerning Iraq and voted WITH the Bush administration. I'm sure you are saying but they lied and I say to you if YOU have proof of such present that information to congress.

    In your tax increase example the first 7 groups had a tax increase totaling $133. The next group $200k to 500k had an increase 14.4 times the first 7 groups together. 500k to 1mil had a tax increase of 57.3 times the first 7 groups totaled. The group 1mil plus had a 56.8 increase over the first 7 groups total. The last three groups had an increase of $17,111. That translates to 128.6 times the first 7 groups together. According to you this indicates a tax increase. Now imagine the total taxes these three groups pay and ask yourself who pays for all the social programs your liberal agenda requires!
    As for obamacare if what you said were true there would be millions more signing up. Get real guys!
    The count down has begun.

    February 2, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. barryinlasvegas

    We've been hearing this same old story for the past 5 years. How many times is this guy going to pivot? He must be dizzy by now.

    February 2, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  5. Name Frankie

    The first time I heard you I knew your heart was in the right place but I also knew politics would make you better or swallow you up

    February 2, 2014 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
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