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tv   State of the Union Address  Al Jazeera  January 12, 2016 8:00pm-11:01pm EST

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♪ >> standing before congress and the country, president obama's final state of the union address. a second term of triumphs, challenges and tears. >> every time i think about those kids it gets me mad. >> from guns in america to the war against isil, to the men and women fighting for his job. it is an historic moment, and
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perhaps a defining one. this is our special coverage of president obama's final state of the union. here is john seigenthaler and a ali velshi. >> welcome to our special coverage of the state of union. president obama set to deliver his seventh and final state of the union talking with a joint of congress. it is high political theater once a year. the drama watched by millions of people, and it will begin in about an hour. >> just about, this speech marks the beginning of president obama's farewell from office. typically they layout the political to do list for the next year, but the white house said that president obama will take a big-picture approach tonight. he'll share his vision and challenges that we face as a nation, but we'll try to define his political legacy. >> and we're told a non-traditional address tonight. the backdrop for the speech, of course, is the presidential
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campaign, and the focus is on iowa and new hampshire. the white house said that the speech will be beyond the election, but we expect the president to talk about what is at stake this november. >> and regardless of whether he does or doesn't, the republicans will have their say. governor nicky haley has been tapped to give the response. we're going to get to all that tonight. but tonight we've got a team of reporters around the country and the world to help us take a closer look at the issues we expect the president will discuss tonight. >> ali, let's get started. here in studio, profession of political science in new york. and national security contributor and david shuster, and i want to start, there is an international incident, a story hanging over this speech. two u.s. navy boats seized by
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iran. and tonight they're holding ten american sailors. we're told the president won't address this, but isn't it a reflection of how the world has changed in the last year? >> no question, and this cannot be a begin coincidence. the fact that the iranians decided to take these sailors in, hold them. they won't be released until after this speech. i've got to be concerned, and i think search concerned until they're actually home. >> the fact of the matter is that one of the ships ran aground they were stuck, and we'll see. >> we'll find out. what do you expect from the president tonight? >> i think the president will layout a vision in contrast to what we've been hearing on th the 2016 campaign trail particularly from the republicans and donald trump who have been talking about how bad the state of america is, how the economy is so bad. we're diagnose to hear a president say, listen, america
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is strong. america has good days in front of us, and this is why. and he's going to talk about the economy and other things. he'll try to contrast himself to what the republicans have been saying about the dire situation that america is facing. >> that world is a dangerous place. the world is worried about a nuclear iran, nuclear korea and isil. will the president talk about that tonight? >> i think he has to. those in the military will hear what he has to say about the national security and then it's important where america is in its defense. the question is how deep does he go into it, and how much does he look over the horizon to its defense, and then we'll look at how he has helped veterans at home. >> we hear that this speech is going to be different, but what does that mean? >> it's different in that this is the first major speech o of 2016. if the president wants to protect his legacy and keep his policy going he needs to help a democrat succeed him. >> this is all about getting a democrat elected president?
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>> look, you can say the white house says this is not a political speech, but the fact of the matter this is a political event. to the extent that the president can help democrats underscore that they can be a solution and help people's problems, this will help democrats in 2016. >> doesn't the president want to secure his own legacy? >> the two go hand in hand. i have to agree with david on that. if he doesn't get this third term for a democrat, so to speak, it will effect his legacy. the president has to be vitally concerned about helping democrats in 2016 trying to maybe take the senate and pick up seats in the house. this is absolutely a political speech designed to help the democrats and designed to help insure his legacy. >> stand by for a second. ali, a big night for the president, but not the same kind of pressure as in other years, a chance to talk about his goals for the final year, and we'll get a preview of what we might expect tonight.
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>> yes, and for that preview i'm joined by mike viqueira. mike, typically the white house puts out a few excerpts about what we can expect from this speech. what are you gleaning? >> well, we've heard him say this before. before the oregon attacks that saw casualties at the college, he will say it's up to americans to change washington. you have to go to the voting booth, open your wallets and get out and knock on doors if you're going to see real change. it's ironic when the president has come full circle. this is going to be a farewell address, almost a valley dicti validiction. what is he going to be doing? talking about the needs for change. >> he's going to be talking about how we move forward with
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these disagreements and these fissiures, and maybe they've gone beyond discussion. >> we believe that the president will take a realistic tone but is he going to create a pessimistic tone now? it is inextricably linked, his need to for his legacy and putting a democrat in the white house a year from now. the need for action on immigration, the environment, guns, the affordable care act, as we've seen when both the house and senate passed a rejection which he had to veto. if there is a republican in the white house all that is out the window. >> just a few moments ago we heard from paul ryan already about the situation on iran on the ground. and we have not heard from the president. the likelihood of the president
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touching on what is going on in iran. >> forgive me if i look at this through the crass lens of politics? paul ryan has to do that. this is a gift for paul ryan and the republicans. from john kerry and on down. there is no linkage between the nuclear deal and iran's bad behavior on the world stage. in a sense they've ignored themselves on this incident. but this feed and fuels all the disagreement and all the unhappiness and criticism the president has withstood because many believe that was a bad deal. paul ryan is going to seize on that. i do not expect the president to add more fuel to the fire by talking about it in the speech tonight. >> you're going to the chamber. we're going to talk more about that. john, back to you in the studio. >> we'll talk more about national security and the fight against isil. expect it--expected to be more themes tonight. the step up against isil including the increase in
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airstrikes and more u.s. forces playing a role. >> they want us to live in fear, and we refuse. >> the hospital was mistakenly struck. >> there will be attacks on the united states. >> we face threats from those who self-radicalize. >> leave the children alone. >> isil leaders cannot hide, and our next message to them is simple: you are next. >> clark is a retired army four-star germ. he was one a member of join chiefs of staff also nato's supreme allied commander. that's little rock, arkansas, welcome. >> thank you. >> are you satisfied with the president's strategy in the fight against isil? >> i think he has the right strategy in general, because you can't win this by putting 50,000
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or 100,000 americans in syria or northern iraq and storming through. what you're doing here is you're fighting a movement. and the movement is founded on a set of ideas and a set of appeal. if we put american ground troops in there, it energizes the movement. they'll get more recruits from elsewhere, and there will be more sympathizers that don't come to syria that cause problems elsewhere in the world. what you're left with is it's a fight for the people in the region. the united states can advise, we can assist, we can provide weapons, training we can provide air support, intelligence, we can't fight this fight ourselves. >> interesting. many americans believe he's not doing enough to reduce the terror threat, the threats to this country. how do you think he can change their mind if he can? >> i think he has to put it in perspective, if he can do so. there is a threat of
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self-radicalization. that's the biggest threat. several dozen people have been arrested trying to escape and go from the united states to turkey or some other country to join isis. we watch for that. maybe some have made it successfully. but the threat at home has--yes, it's present. yes, it's a terrible thing if this couple in san bernardino kill people. we don't want that to happen anywhere 37 but the best approach to that is to keep our forces out of the region, work internal security within the united states. we do need cooperation from high tech wizards on social networking, and we need citizen alertness, people who are doing things that they shouldn't be doing, someone sees it, they should report it and we'll take
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action. >> how well did president obama handle the backlash against syrian refugees in this country after some of these incidents in the u.s.? >> well, i think what happened was there was a backlash against it. principally based on what happened in europe. on the other hand what happened in san bernardino showed that the threat really isn't people coming in from abroad. it's people who are here who don't understand america, who don't identify with it, and they radicalize themselves. we've learned so lessons from those experiences in san bernardino. we're applying those lessons. if we go through the right process with the syrian refugees who come in, they'll be looked at exhaustively before coming here, and they'll have a chance to be american citizens. that's a great chance for america. >> it's great to talk to you on the program. good to see you.
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thank you very much. >> thank you. >> let's swift gears, the president came in to 2016 with a renewed focus on gun control. he said that the u.s. is facing an. democrat with gun violence. >> yes, we'll hear more about this. last week president obama issued a series of executive action to curb gun violence. those moves women in a recent number of mass shootings across the country. the white house said there is the only option because there is little support for real gun control in this republican-controlled congress. >> there hats been another mass shooting in america. >> the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. >> you can't make a rule to change the constitution. >> every time i think about those kids it makes me mad.
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>> well, john, joining me now is our congressional correspondent libby casey. she's at statutory hall across the building. libby, the president recently used his executive action to push a number of gun-control initiatives. but the reality is that congress holds the purse strings for some of the things that the president wants to do. >> that's right, namely components of the president's plan like boosting mental health funding and enforcing existing law. just as president obama has chose on it go around congress, he has used his pen and his phone to get things done, congress is also flexing its muscle, in this case it's fiscal muscle. they'll try to use that mechanism to stop what he's doing. let me give you some examples. the chairman on justice, a tex texan, as president i don't need a bill. i don't need an amendment.
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i can stop the justice department by building an electric fence around it. by cutting off the funding, he'll stop what president obama has in mind. >> the issue of gun has been personal and emotional for president obama. we went to his hometown of chicago, where gun violence is a huge problem. take a look. >> i'm diane estherbrook in the inglewood neighborhood. last year 26-year-old andre donor was gunned down on this corner on sunday morning as church services were under way nearby. inglewood is chicago's deadliest neighborhood last year. 37 people died here and nearly 470 were shot. across the city of chicago deadly shootings were up 11% last year. more than 2400 people were shot. that's about six people every day. >> libby, six people every day. chicago is a perfect example of
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why this discussion is so difficult in congress. chicago is a place where it is very, very difficult to legally get a handgun. when these things happen across the country at the rate they're happening, how is it played out here in congress? >> well, you know, ali, senator chris murphy of connecticut, he walked through the hall here to go into chamber. his guest tonight is father of a sandy hook elementary school victim. the republicans relish the fight because a lot of republicans live in conservative districts. the country has become increasingly polarized, and the house reflects that. many house members say bring on this fight because the people who vote for me back home, they don't want to see gun control efforts happen. they can benefit politically from this debate as well. we'll see that in their reaction to what president obama has to say tonight. a big message we hear from
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republicans if you want to change what the president is trying to do, elect a republican to the white house in 2016. unlike some of president obama's other hallmark issues like opening up cuba or getting gays in the military, gun issues can be rolled back quite easily, something that fluctuates with every administration. republicans feel like they can publish back on this one. >> libby, you're there where things are getting busier, as people move into the house. adam schauffler, who is in roseberg, oregon, the seen of the shooting at a college this past october that left nine people dead, the president visited roseberg after the shooting, but he did not get a warm reception there in the wake of the shooting. >> no, indeed, it was not a warm reception. several hundred people turned out to protest and let the president know that they were not happy about him coming to this town so quickly after that shooting. we should say that most of those people at those protests were not from here. not from roseberg.
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in fact, i would say they were from anywhere on the west coast border-to-border from the folks we talked to, but they converged in roseberg to send a message. there were raw feelings in this town. not because of the politicalization of the shooting when it happened in october, but because of the immediate politicalization by the president. he went on television and spoke out about the need for further gun patrol measures. a matter of hours when the shooting took place when the campus was still being buttoned down. many people here did not take that kindly. yes, it would be great to have the president here to talk to families, but maybe not so soon. maybe that was a little fast. >> allen thank you so much. stay with us. we'll continue this conversation. much more to talk about with respect to guns and other topics coming up tonight in the state of the union. when we come back, the state of race relations in america and the impact of several high
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profile deaths of black men at the hands of white police officers. income inequality and ethnicity. the crisis is officially over but not all americans are reaping the rewards.
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>> and welcome back, everyone, we're looking at live pictures of the white house where the president is expected to emerge in just a few minutes. and the motorcade will head down to the capital for the state of the union address. when president obama was first elected in 2008 many thought it would be a turning point for race relations in this country. recent gallup poll suggests far more people are dissatisfied with the state of race relations than they were a year ago,
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perhaps driving the decline several high profile depth deaths of black men it's a the hands of white police officers. [ protesting black lives matter ] >> lives matter. >> this is an issue of survivo survival. >> we see this as an assault on white heritage. >> it is time for government leaders to start taking action. >> the panel is back to talk about the president and what he might say tonight about race relations. trisha rose is with us, director at the center for the study of race and ethnicity at brown university. jeanie, let me start with you. as the nation's first plaque president, there have always been high expectations placed on president obama, but it seems that he has been hesitant to
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talk about race relations at times in his presidency. is tonight going to be different? >> i don't know if it will be different tonight. it is one of things that he has been criticized for as the nation's first african-american, that he has not taken on this issue. as the first lady. but he has said things from a policy perspective. this year he hopes to pass criminal justice reform. if he can do that, that will go a long way to begin some of this healing. >> trisha, there seems to be anger at president obama over the last seven years. is that race based in your opinion? >> race is absolutely central. it's not the only factor. there are existing political divide, but much of the way that people have attacked obama is to use race as a dog whistle or explicit attack by associating him with black people, poor people, marginal people and us using that to foment and
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underline anxiety among whites that the country is some how changing, and leaving their hands. >> why hasn't he talked about race more? >> one, he can't do it and get away with it without tremendous backlash. two, some of his politics is t to--lift up your pants, don't wear slippers outside, given the racial inequality that is the result of mass discrimination in every walk of life, it is not about where your pants are located. >> is race something to talk about in this presidential campaign. >> the republicans will make this race, the political race about president obama. there is an underlying racial component in his disdain for the president, but the government exists to late people up and solve people's problems and the republicans say no, that's not
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the government's job, that's the dividing point. >> how police officers have handled issues of race has been a major issue in several cities. we're going to take a look at several situations in baltimore. >> i'm in baltimore on the street where freddie gray was arrested back in april. it was here where police dragged the 25-year-old into a van, and at so the point while in police custody his spine was severed. gray died a week later. gray became a symbol for this neighborhood. where half of all young black men live in poverty. many of those young men like gray say they feel trapped with few ways out. nine out of ten won't graduate college. many of them end up behind bars. 90% of the inmates in baltimore city jails are black. many of them will also end up dead. african-americans account for nine out of ten murder victims in this city.
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>> now we've been talking about the racial divide in this country. there is also an economic divide. and in many ways those two issues are closely related. ali is back on capitol hill with more on that. >> the economic question in america is an interesting one that we'll hear about tonight. president obama took over a nation in the grips of an economic crisis. seven years later the economy is stronger, but not everyone is reaping the benefits. the income inequality appears split along racial and ethnic lines in large part. it is an initial that the president is most likely to address tonight. jake ward will take a closer look at income inequality. it's an important thing, it's happening all around the world, but it's happening more in the united states than in many developed countries. >> that's right. over all the united states has become steadily more prosperous since world war ii, and president obama can take pride in the fact that despite the 2007 financial crisis, we're still the richest country on
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earth. the problem is those riches do not belong to everyone. first, income inequality is getting steadily worse. that's a fancy way of saying that while the rich get richer while everyone else has leveled off. since the 1970s everyone benefited from the growing economy at the same pace. they all saw their income increase roughly in parallel. but beginning in the 1980s, the very rich gun leaving everyone else behind. and now the richest 3% of americans hold half our nation's wealth. beyond that life is very different depending on your ethnic background. median household income in 2014 was reported to be over $53,000. that's not for everyone. asian americans who compose 5% of the population had the highest income $74,000. caucasians $60,000. hispanic americans $42,000. and for african-americans it was
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just over $35,000 a year. not even half was asian americans earned that year. ali, we'll be exploring the variety of experiences this evening, but it's worth noting when the president speaks generally about life in this country, details matter. you cannot generalize life. there is no one argument. >> it's interesting when you talk about the difference in income, what we don't think about is the fact that when your income is that low you've got less to pass on. if you've had a family that's been making more than the average income for the last 100 years, you're inheriting a little bit more of that. when you're making under the median income in the country you're not passing anything on, so the next generation is starting again. so you did talk about shared prosperity and parallel growth before the 1970s. tell us more about that. >> well, that's absolutely right, and the dynamic that you described, the compound effects of seeing your family's income
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go up steadily over time can be incredible here. we've had back then, what you had substantial economic growth between 1940 and 1970 basically people's incomes doubled. but it was for everybody. that was the richest families and the poorest families. they all could expect to do better and better. from the 1970s, the irony is that the economy slowed, and that gap widened. at this point about 0.5% of people in the united states have absolutely the most wealth. that was not the case. >> one of the arguments put forward is that the poor are better off than they used to be. sometimes the argument is observed that sometimes poor people have cellphones, refrigerators. while they have not been gaining as quickly as the rich, the poor have not been doing that badly. >> that argument does have some merit on the face of it in that definitely the poverty level has fallen. basically from 1969 to now it's
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dropped by roughly 10% or so, there has been an improvement for poor people. the thing to look at, however, is just how important the safety net has been in the united states when it comes to that. the estimate is without the safety night basically 38 million people, including 8 million children would be below the poverty line right now. that brought it up. in fact, everyone would have gotten a great deal poorer. the poorest would have gotten poorer if there hadn't been that safety net. that is the difference. we're talking about the rich getting richer while the poorest people in america have basically been hanging on with the help of the government. >> and jacob ward in the last search years there are some americans who don't think we're out of a recession. if you went into this recession with credit and with assets, this may have been one of the best seven-year periods you've seen in a long time. i'm looking forward to more conversation with you. many of you in philadelphia, where i spend half my time, the
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current economic conditions are not great for everyone. sara hoyt has spent a lot of time living and reporting in philadelphia. sara, philly is one of the nation's largest cities. tell us what income inequality looks like in a city like that, a city that is quite bifurcated. >> as you heard between you and jake the devil is in the details. here the latinos have the highest rate of poverty. that group is followed by asians, blacks and followed by whites. while there may be some up ticks in the numbers, here it is felt hard, fast and deep. >> yes, so latinos may have the highest rate of poverty in philly, put it is not the only story when it comes to poverty. tell us more about that. >> so the other story we want to talk about when we talk about poverty is what is deep poverty. deep portsmouth mean poverty. you're at half the poverty
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level. there are many people here in the city of philadelphia who are in deep poverty. some 12% of the population, which translates to about 60,000 children. so when it comes to poverty, it's just not about low numbers, we're talking deep poverty. >> and two of the largest ethnic groups in philadelphia are blacks and whites. when you compare them side to side what does it look like? >> things may look great, there used to be a black mayor, a white mayor, a black police chief and a black district attorney. but when it comes to those numbers, the neighborhoods with high concentration, they have the highest mortality rates, death rates. higher cancer rates and so on, so on, down the list. those details matter, and they matter in philadelphia. >> sara hoyt for us in philadelphia right in front of the one of the most beautiful city halls in the country. back to you. >> we'll talk in a little while.
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let's take a look at the white house where the president is getting ready--well, we'll do that in a minute. there we are, the white house, where the president is getting ready to depart and head out to capitol hill where members of congress are gathering. we'll have more coming up. the impact of tonight's speech could have on the presidential campaign in both parties. we'll have a report from des moines, iowa right after this. don't go away.
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>> welcome back to al jazeera america. i'm john seigenthaler along with ali velshi. we're now 30 minutes away from the final state of the union address by president obama. ali? >> all right, let's bring in
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libby casey to recap what we can expect to hear from president obama tonight. she's on the other side of the hill in statuary hall. the president's speech will be in the room that is used by congress. >> that's right. it has been for the last couple of years. but this year republicans are smelling what it ahead. they're sensing what is around the corner, namely 2016. here at statuary hall, many will filter through. we saw supreme court justices going through and we've seen members of the senate senate, we saw senator bernie sanders walk through and right behind him elizabeth warren, the darling of the democratic party. walking in step with senator marco rubio, running for the presidential nomination.
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the two of them in big conversation. we're seeing some pairings here as members walk in, talking to each other. now that exchange of ideas stopped once the speech starts because you will see a very divided room. republicans sitting in their seat while democrats get up and cheer. as president obama tries to outline some of his achievements over the last seven years you'll see on the republican faces and in their reaction of how they disapprove of the direction he has taken the country. >> this is one of those weird things. if any other environment other than just sports matches you don't see this sort of thing where one side is up up a roarously with standing ovations and the other side sitting on their hands. are there any other areas where the president and republicans can work together, and you might see everyone getting up and applauding? >> well, there are. here are a couple of big ones that the president wants to address. criminal justice reform.
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that's something republicans say they can work on well. also this trans-pacific trade deal. the republicans are more amenable to this than many democrats. a key point, ali, congress only plans on being here in washington about 80-some days over the rest of the year. 80-some days in the president's final year in office. that does not leave them a lot of time to accomplish much here on capitol hill or get much done even in terms of what republicans want to see happen over the next year. >> that's interesting that you brought up the trans-pacific partnership, the tpp. that's one i don't know if the president will mention it. if he does, he might get the standing ovation from the republicans and not from the democrats. >> we're not expecting a big laundry list tonight of his term agenda items. this is a time to reflect on what his administration has done so far, and we expect to hear some of the style the president is known for, some of these lofty goals, and big-picture
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ideas, and they will likely get a response from largely democrats. now you will be watching the people sitting behind president obama. vice president biden, who has been by his side throughout his presidency, and also house speaker paul ryan, a new face. the president has had john boehner or nancy pelosi when the president had the democrats in majority in congress. paul ryan has been tweeting this evening. he is a young guy who uses social media. he has been tweeting that it might be hard for him to hide how he reacts to the president with a poker face because he disagrees with the president on a lot of things. >> although he has moved very quickly to deal with the president, and say that they're going to have business to do together. that will be very interesting to watch. thanks, we'll be back to you. john, i hope you have a lot of facts, statistics and things like that because we're still looking at that door on the side of the white house, and president obama has not left the
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white house, although he has not had traffic problems to deal with. >> i don't know about statistics, but we've got some interesting pictures. there you have the vice president speaking with the new speaker of the house. we're waiting the president's departure, as many members in congress. there are many smiles on the floor as vice president biden moves around. but south carolina governor nicky haley is going to deliver the republican response following the state of the union. many say it was a contrast to the g.o.p. right now. >> we have losers. >> donald trump is a jerk. >> let's stop fighting with each other. >> everyone wants unity in this country. >> unity around what. >> i'm totally committed to the republican party. >> i don't think the federal government has been more out of touch with the people than it is today. >> it is time to reclaim the constitution of the united states. >> there is no one head of the
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party that is causing dissention in the party right now. >> if there was a time for us to step up, this would be that time. >> let's go back now as we look at the crowd beginning to gather, i mean, david, you wanted in on this, but i--i get the sense that there is a lot of excitement that the president--that there is a changing of the guard tonight. >> when you see those pictures, can you imagine the conversation that they're having? the last time they were together on a big national stage was in 2012 when joe biden was running for re-election. vice president running against mitt romney's running mate. they've had their share of time under the big lights, but this is different and you can imagine the conversation they've been having. >> we see the joint chiefs coming into the room as well. this is probably against national security among the top issues in this speech, right? >> it has to be. it's the state of the union
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people they want to know how the country has been defended. looking over the horizon, the threats we have in the world right now. you can argue that we haven't had the president has got to address national security. >> mike viqueira is inside the room. mike, tell us what you're seeing. >> i'm seeing a ritual that has been played out countless times. members of congress who see each other, i won't say every day monday through friday because they're not here that often, but often enough that they greet each other as old friends and you can see the senate make its way into the house chamber. this is a ritualistic event. bernie sanders entering the ca from the back of the room. and there are ritualistic aspects to it, no question about it. when white house officials told us over the holidays that this was going to be a non-traditional speech. all our ears picked up. everyone who covers washington certainly likes to be in this environment. i think the people look at it as
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sort of hollow. they look at it as washington self reference, the sort of thing that is given to donald trump and bernie sanders who have portrayed themselves outside that ritual. when he said non-traditional, does that mean that he's going to go into the audience like phil donahue and wander around? no. >> i just want to mention, the president and the first lady. getting into the limousine, and heading down. >> there is not going to be a lot of traffic. >> yes, they will. >> 1.1-mile they'll travel down pennsylvania avenue and then to the house side where he enters the chamber. once again we'll see people depart and be the escort committee and then they'll come in with glad hands and hand shakes. we'll see familiar faces who
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have been camped out on that aisle all day long. sheila jackson and others. they get here at 8:30 in the morning so they can have that opportunity to be in the camera range when the president comes in. and shaking hands. >> i think you should repeat that fact. members of congress camp out at 8:30 in the morning to get that seat? >> oh, yes, probably earlier. >> to be on the end. >> that's the whole idea, to get that center aisle seat to be in the shot when the president comes into the chamber. he will at engle is--eliott engle is probably the pioneer, he has been on that aisle for years now, and a lot of other members, the usual members who use that practice. i got to tell you, i've been in this chamber at 8:30 in the morning. they keep it meet-locker cold in here. >> like our studio. >> because much all the people and tv lights that will heat it up later. they're you had there in
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snuggies and blankets trying to keep warm. it's something of a spectacle. >> we have the president going over his speech as he heads down to capitol hill. >> yes, you mention that. the white house, one other thing i want to mention, it is no longer an one-night speech. the old fashion notion of a network roadblock where anyone can watch. that's not the case with the proliferation of other outlets, but they've pulled out all the tops to amplify this message on snap chat, and the president put forward a teaser video, as tradition holds he'll be traveling around the country the next few days to amplify it. >> one member does not come to the capital, homeland security secretary jay johnson, who will not be in the building and will probably watch on tv. >> but he does get the cull
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secret service detail that normally goes with the president, and he gets the nuclear launch codes. the previous case. the guy with the air force goes with him just in case. >> so he has all the trappings. michael shure with us in des moines. the site of the first presidential caucus just three weeks away. what is happening there? >> well, the news, john s that it's very cold in des moines. aside from that, the political news is that the republicans have been crisscrossing this state as have the democrats, the republicans have been spending time going after all the things that president obama has done. you're going to hear about his legacy tonight, john. you're going to hear the president talk about the things he has accomplished, a laundry list of things that we're going to hear what he's going to do in the next year, but what you are going to hear are accomplishments from guns, from immigration, that he looks at, and of course healthcare as accomplishments, and republicans
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in iowa have been spending a lot of time saying they're going to do immediately should they get into the white house. >> all right, michael, thank you very much. we'll get back to you in just a second. i just want to continue the discussion with our political panel on the state of the republican party. trisha, from a democratic point of view, it would appear that the republicans are--are in a fight, in a big fight. how does that get resolved, and how important is iowa and new hampshire to him? >> well, i think that the republicans are so incredibly, intensely interested in completely erasing any legacy of obama, to spend all of the energy of focusing on how to undo every possible achievement. it's a stunning gap. we're not just talking about some mild differences. we're talking almost about a coup, as it were, that is being planned. >> you know, the polls recently throw things in flex a bit.
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you have sort of trump-cruz race in iowa. you've got apparently bernie sanders coming on in iowa and in new hampshire competing with hillary clinton. what do you--you know, i'm almost sick--well, i am sick of the polls because i don't know if they're right, and sometimes they've been very wrong, right? >> sometimes they've been very wrong. from a pollster's perspective, this is a very difficult race to call. most poll certificates are polling online and that favors people like donald trump. i do think we have to look at them accidentcally, and we have to understand that what happens in iowa will impact what happened in new hampshire. this is a progressive event. that will be an impact. that said, if you look at the totality of what is going on out there, you're right. you have bernie sanders and hillary clinton battling it out in iowa, and in new hampshire it will be who can get people out to the polls. bernie sanders has response from
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young people, but young people tend not to turn out. that's a big question. cruz may take iowa, but trump is also saying he's well organized there, and we always see iowa surprises. it will be a big question whether the polls got it right when we go to iowa, going into new hampshire and then south carolina. >> david, talk about what is going to happen. >> you heard about the escort committee, the escort for the president, a special designation, and honor to be parts of the escort committee that escorts the president in. you're about to hear the assistant sergeant of arms kathleen joyce will announce the diplomatic corp, and there is a remarkable story about that, we'll talk about that in a second. and then members of the supreme court who are in attendance. what you're basically see happening now, some lawmakers going out to line up and, this escort committee that will bring the president come in, and then
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we'll here from kathleen joy and then paul irving, the sergeant at arms. he's the one who introduces president obama. >> mike, you know, we talked about important issues, obviously in the last year i think the landscape has changed dramatically. clearly income, and income inequality and taxes. those are important issues. but how the country fights terrorism. how it deals with foreign policy seems to have moved to the forefront, right? >> no question. >> there is dr. jill biden, the vice president's wife, sitting in the box, go ahead. >> probably breaking out of this model fighting wars like we fought world war ii, frying to declare victory, and trying to really understand what it's going to take to win. and while americaens want winners, as you see from the campaign trail and how much that resonates, they have to almost change what they're doing. you see the army drawing down. the navy will project power.
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cyber war will project the landscape as well. whoever is the leader this time next year will have their work cut out for them. >> a preview of the president's address, i believe you have the full transcript. >> the white house has released it on www.medium.com. this is by passing the media to just give it to everyone. as i look it over, the president will do what we had a sense he would. not trying to do a laundry list of things, trying to make this a little more personable, a little more friendly, talking about ways he can work with republicans across the ai aisle on hallmark issues. but he talked about wanting to talk about important aspects, the economy is one. how to make technology work for the american people on something like climate change, and keeping america safe without being the world's policemen, and how to improve the political process. those are the big things that
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the president stands to draw out tonight. >> libby, thank you. i want to shift to mike viqueira, who is in the chamber, and mike, talk about who is sitting along with jill biden and the first lady in the first lady's box. i believe there are, what, some 20 people there? >> yes. we talked about how this is a validiction, a farewell to the president's legacy, and he wants to talk about the accomplishments of his term. they have chosen people to sit with the first lady--i'm almost arm's length away from the section of the balcony. they have chosen people to i willlous trait that by their very appearance, who they are and their life stories the people that the president has pushed. first and foremost there will be an empty seat between the first lady and governor dan malloy to symbolize all the victims of gun violence. we don't have to be reminded of
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the president's emotional appeal just last week. dan malloy, from the sandy hook elementary school, and the tragedy that happened there. this will be something that both republicans and democrats will be eager to work on, the strongly endorsed issue by dr dr. jill biden. edith childs, the woman from south carolina who got behind president obama during the primary season down there coined the phrase fired up and ready to go. they're going back to the campaign. there will be the reservist, the female reservist who passed the army ranger school. there will be an mexican immigrant from syria who came to this country after his house was bombed in syria by the assad regime, killing his wife and one
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of his children. he'll be there. and i'll mention jim, the plaintiff in the supreme court case that effectively legalized marriage equality around the country just last year. >> let me just break a little news here because we just received in, this note that the secretary of state says that americans will be released soon, the ten sailors who were stopped and detained by the iranians, apparently after they had problems with their boat. they will be released soon. that is according to the secretary of state. as we watch and the chamber prepares for the president to enter, ali, what do you expect to hear from the president on the economy tonight? >> well, the president, as libby and i were just looking through his comments, you know, reacting, without saying it to the republican presidential campaign where everyone is outflanking each other on how bad the economy is, he goes on to outline all the changes to the economy over the last search years, and says anybody who says
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that the american economy is not doing well is peddling fiction. >> let's go back--they just announced the entrance. go. >> he's going to be talking about how they're peddling fiction. one thing that was meaningful, we were talking about how he'll be announcing any big initiatives. one thing he's going to be talking about is an initiative to cure cancer. he's calling it the moon shot, something that joe biden said, if we treat the cure to cancer the way we treated getting to the moon, america can cure those remaining cancer that don't have a meaningful cure yet, and there are a handful of them. the president announced he's putting that to vice president yesterday biden, something that is close to joe biden's heart. >> ali, i'm just looking through the speech. we're all kind of going through
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the speech. >> while you're doing that, can i tell you something about the iran situation? >> yes, talk a little bit about that. >> i've been talking to people there. it does seem that the foreign minister and secretary kerry has spoken, and you have the up shot of that, but this is a little island that says these two boats. these are called riverine boats. they're very small boats and drifted towards iran that has a military complex on this island that's in the middle of the gulf. they captured these soldiers. there is no reason why these little boats should have been there in the first place. if they did become disabled on route it's suspicious that they would have drifted all the way into iranian waters. it does look like an american exercise that fell close to iranian-controlled waters and the revolutionary guard in iran captured them and probably, you know, there was interesting diplomatic conversation that ensued, but it looks like they'll be released soon. this is a big deal. there are typically no
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interactions between iranian revolutionary guard and u.s. service members. >> obviously tensions have been high the last couple of hours, but it looks like they've figured out without. >> we have seen one member of the diplomatic counselor come in. he's the ambassador from palau. very tiny pacific island nation. their gdp is less than one-third of the power ball lottery. but there he is. >> you guys have been reading this. anybody want to pop up with anything they've discovered that they think is an interesting fact from the speech? >> i think it is clear he's going to be touting his accomplishments for the last search years, and that is no surprise. this is going to be a legacy speech. >> associate justices of the supreme court. [applause] >> the president of the united states, there are some who say that he has not done a good
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enough job touting his accomplishments. >> i think every time he did tout an accomplishment it produced more backlash. he has been trying to skate a very fine line. as a figure he provoked a lot of differing opinions and intentions, and so he has to manage them all the time. what you see every success has critique and a failure really from the left and the right. >> and mike viqueira, what are you seeing in the speech? >> well, i mean, it's a lot the time--i'm talking quietly as the chamber calms down. a lot of time that they're spending on the speech, the president will talk about the need to fix the political system, which i find to be fascinating and ironic at the same time because it is the president who came into office saying that was his mission. the first lady entered just to my left. [applause] as the crowd stands up and cheers for michelle obama.
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>> to be the first couple, the president and first lady to experience this. it must be-- >> i can't imagine the kind of pressure, the complexity that they would have, not only that is typical for the first lady and president, but being the first black couple to be under so much scrutiny. >> the governor, the state of connecticut, is standing next to the first lady. i do--i do think that there is--this is political theater, and there has been question whether the state of the union is even relevant any more. >> one of the supreme court justices thinks its political waste. you have some who have skipped for the 20th year in a row, to skip the state of the union.
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the supreme court justice chief justice john roberts describes it as a political pep rally. he feels obligated to go as well. but interestingly enough those who are keeping track, the justice who is decided not to go, scalia, clarence thomas and sam ymca alito. >> secretary of state, who has been working very hard today to make sure that the ten u.s. sailors are released from iran. >> i was going to say, not to be a cynic, but interesting that the state department would put that information out five minutes before the networks go out tonight so the broadcast media can deal with the story saying everything is going to be fine. the sailors are going to be released. that way when the president doesn't make mention in the state of the union, it does not stand out as a sore thumb. >> as we watch members of the cabinet come into the room. the other thing we're going to hear from the governor of south
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carolina. carolina. an opportunity tonight. she is a female. she is a minority and she has done a lot of really good work in her state. it was a very interesting choice at a time when they were often accused as being sexist. they're putting a woman out to make a response. they wanted to layout what the future could be like. we do put a republican into the white house and republicans control the entire federal government. >> let's speak to you one last time before the president walks in. what are you seeing? >> i'm seeing the cabinet come in. before we saw michelle obama, a standing ovation from all. the president is going to spend
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time talking about the broken political system. he is going to specifically mention jerry. mandering, the need to make voting more accessible and easy. this is something that we have heard him talk about since after the roseberg tragedy. we have to get people to the voting booths to vote. if you want change, that's the only way it will happen. he is talking about jerry man dpshgs ering, who draws these congressional districts around the country. it is the state legislators around the country, and this is one of his legacies, that they are going to focus on, have gone overwhelmingly republican over the course of the president's tenure. ten more republic governors than when he began.
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since the day he took office. these are the individuals who are drawing these districts, regardless of whether you think he is to blame for the issues that we have seen. it is a double-edged sword. >> thank you. let me talk to you about what david was saying. is the white house politicising the news that they're going to release the sailors in the country? >> i think they will say turning them over in the dark will not work. i think this seg go let them out of that is that the sort of thing that ought to be going on, on the state of the union night? obviously, you say it is a political night. >> it is a political night and it is why when a lot of people are hearing the news, the ten american sailors have been
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taken, they don't know what it means. when people are tuning into the speech, one of the thirs things their saying the secretary of state announced it will release them, and that would not have to be mentioned if you're hillary clinton or bernie sanders what do you want to hear? >> you want to hear the president say that if you elect a third term of obama essentially, all of the good things that have happened will continue. i think you also want to make the case that you don't want to turn the government over completely to the republicans and that is exactly what happened if you elect a republican if you are donald trump or ted cruz, what do you want to hear the pz say tonight? >> you want him to continue to defend the kinds of program that donald trump and ted cruz have been attacking, the affordable care act, to discount the economy's growth. any success of obama's is a legit hit claim-- legitimate
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claim we haven't talked much about donald trump tonight although he has been very much in the news. how much has donald trump changed politics david? >> it has changed it enormously. for the last several years, have had approval ratings 15% to 20% nationally as a body. there is a perception that government is broken, politicians can't get things stuck, so along comes the donald trump on the right to say they're at losers, along comes a bernie sanders on the left to say they're all corrupt because of the wall street money and that resonates with people. add to that donald trump has the enormous entertainment stage presence skills and donald trump has ridden this wave of anger at washington, at people let's listen >> the president of the united states. [ applause ]
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look at the man behind his right shoulder. he said our mission has to be to deny him a second term, not to legislate for the common good, but to deny him any opportunity of claiming victory on anything. a lot of democrats look at that and say that has been, perhaps, one of the greatest roadblocks that the president has had and that is an unwillingness of republicans even being willing to meet the president halfway the senator is right behind
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the president and smiling and grinning. the coveted seats, those were the ones along the aisle where congress women she la jackson-- shilah jackson. >> >> let's listen in a little bit to the crowd. >> thank you. thank you. [ applause ] plaus plaus looking over the president's
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speech last year, he took a great deal of time to talk about the divide in congress, how to get things through in congress and how he thought he could accomplish that. he has spent time doing that and he hasn't been able to do that. why? >> i think he has done all of his time doing that. as a person who feels he was on the race with ethnicity, and the way racism runs in this area, the obvious discomfort, the claim makes you wonder how much of obama being an african american drives that. we won't know. we will find out if a democratic candidate wins around this time, we will have enough to measure.
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it extremes extraordinary to grid lock the government on things that are not so much from any a republican will break the grid lock. is that that simple? >> it is not that simple it seems the republican party is as divided as some other groups >> if absolutely is, hence the rise of donald trump and some others. i don't think it is that simple. [ applause ] the 7th time the president of the united states will speak and the last time he will speak at the state of union address. you will imagine there is some relief here, a little bit, after seven years. >> the ceremonial hand over, to the time when they handed over a speech, it was just written remarks and then that was changed about 80 years ago.
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>> members of congress, i have the high trivial and the distinct-- privilege and the distinct honor of presenting to you the president of the united states. [ applause ] >> thank you i guess some would say after seven years you're entitled to a victoi victim-- victory lap, all right? >> yes. the economy-- let's listen >> mr speaker, mr vice president, members of congress, my fellow americans, tonight
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marks the eighth year that i've come here to report on the state of the union. for this final one, i'm going to try to make it a little shorter. [ applause ] >> i know some of you have to get back to iowa. [ applause ] >> i've been there. i will be shaking hands afterwards if you want some tips. [ laughter ] >> i understand that because it is an election season, expectations for what we will achieve this year are low, but mr speaker, i appreciate the constructive approach that you and other leaders took at the end of last year to pass a budget and make tax cuts permanent for working families, so i hope we can work together
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this year on some bipartisan priorities, like criminal justice reform and helping-- [ applause ] >> and pepping people who are battle-- helping people who are battling prescription drug abuse and heroin abuse. [ applause ] >> so who knows, we might surprise the cynics again. but tonight i want to go easy on the traditional list of proposals for the year ahead. don't worry, i've got plenty, from helping students learn to write computer code to personalising medical treatments for patients and i will keep pushing for progress on the work that i believe still needs to be done. fixing a broken immigration system. [ applause ] >> protecting our kids from gun violence. [ applause ]
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>> equal pay for equal work. paid leave, raising the minimum wa wage. all these things, all these things still matter to hard-working families. they're still the right thing to do. i won't let up until they get done. for my final address to this chamber, i don't want to just talk about next year. i want to focus on the next five years, the next 10 years and beyond. i want to focus on our future. we live in a time of extraordinary change, change that's reshaping the way we live and the way we work, our planet and our place in the world. it has changed the promises amazing medical breakthroughs
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and economic issues that problems families, and has problems for the people in remote villages and terrorists plotting an ocean a way. it has changed and broaden opportunity or widen enkwlt. whether we like it or not, the pace of this change will only exercise-- widen inequality. america has been through big changes before. wars and depression, the influx of new immigrants, workers fighting for a fair deal, movements to expand civil rights. each time there have been those who told us to fear the future, who claimed we could slam the breaks on change, who promised to restore past glory if we just got some group or idea that was
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threatening america under control. each time we overcome those fears. we did not in the words of lincoln adhere to the dogmas of the quiet past. instead, we fought anew and acted anew. we made change work for us, always extending america's promise outward to the next frontier, to more people, and because we did, because we saw opportunity where others saw peril, we emerged stronger and better than before. what was true then can be true now. our unique strength as a nation,
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or upt michl and-- optimism and our diversity, our commitment to rule of law, these things give us everything we need to ensure prosperity and security for generations to come. in fact, it is in that spirit that we have made progress these past seven years. that's how we recovered from the worst economic crisis in generations. [ applause ] that's how we reformed our health care system and reinvented our energy sector. [ applause ] >> that's how we delivered more care and benefits to our troops
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coming home and our veterans. [ applause ] >> that's how we secured the freedom in every state to marry the person we love. [ applause ] >> but such progress is not inevitable. it's the result of choices we make together and we face such choices right now. will we respond to the changes of our time with fear, turning
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inward as a nation, turning against each other as a people, or will we face the future with confidence in who we are, in what we stand for, and the incredible things that we can do together. so let's talk about the future. and four big questions that i believe we as a country have to answer. regardless of who the next president is or who controls the next congress. first, how do we give everyone a fair shot at opportunity and security in this new economy. [ applause ] >> second, how do we make technology work for us and not against us, especially when it comes to solving urgent
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challenges like climate change. third, how do we keep america safe and lead the world without becoming its policemen. [ applause ] >> finally, how can we make our politics reflect what's best in us and not what's worst. [ applause ] >> let me start with the economy and the basic fact. the united states of america right now has the strongest most durable economy in the world. [ applause ] >> we're in the middle of the
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longest streak of private sector job reaction in the history. [ applause ] >>-- creation in the history. [ applause ] >> more than 14 million new jobs, the strongest two years of job growth since the 1990s, an unemployment rate cut in half, our auto industry just had its best year ever. [ applause ] >> that's just part of the manufacturing surge that has created nearly 900,000 new jobs in the past six years and we've done all this by cutting our deficits by almost three-quarter three-quarters. >> anyone claiming that
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america's economy is in decline is purely fiction. now, what is true, and the reason that a lot of americans feel anxious, is that the economy has been changing improfound ways. changes which started long before the great recession hit, changes that have not let up. today technology doesn't just replace jobs on the assembly line, but any job where work can be automated. companies in a global economy can local anywhere and they face tougher competition. as a result workers have less leverage for a raise, companies have less loyalty to their communities and more and more wealth and income is concentrated at the very top.
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all these trends have squeezed workers, even when they have jobs, even when the economy is growing. it has made it harder for a hard-working family to pull itself out the poverty, harder for young people to start their careers, tougher for workers to retire when they want to, and although none of these trends are unique to america, they do offend our uniquely american belief that everybody who works hard should get a fair shot. for the past seven years our goal has been a growing economy that also works better for everybody. we made progress, but we need to make more. despite all the political arguments that we have had these past few years, there are
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actually some areas where americans broadly agree. we agree that real opportunity requires every american to get the education and training they need to land a good paying job. the bipartisan reform of no child left behind was an important start, and together we've increased early childhood education, lifted high school graduation rates to new hifts. -- heights. in the coming year we should build upon that for all. [ applause ] >> offering every doesn't the hands-on computer science and math classes that make them job-ready on day one. we should recruit and support
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more great teachers for our kids. [ applause ] >> and we have to make college affordable for every american. [ applause ] >> no hardworking student should be stuck in the red. we've already reduced student loan payments to 10% of the borrower's income, and that is good, but now we've actually got to cut the cost of college. [ applause ] >> providing two years of community college at no contest for every responsible student is one of the best ways to do that and i'm going to keep fighting to get that started this year. it's the right thing to do.
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but a great education isn't all we need in this new economy. we also need benefits and protections that provide a basic measure of security. it's not too much of a stretch to say that some of the only people in america are going to work in the same job, in the same place, with a health and retirement package for 30 years or sitting in this chamber. [ laughter ] >> for everyone else, especially folks in their 40s and 50s, saving for retirement or bouncing back from job losses has gotten a lot tougher. americans understand that at some point in their careers in this new economy they may have to retool or retain, but they-- retrain but they shouldn't lose
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what they've worked for march far. that's why social support and medicare is so important in the process. we shouldn't weaken them. we should strengthen them. [ applause ] >> for americans short of retirement, basic benefits should be just as mobile as everything else is today. that by the way is what the affo affordable theory is about, it's about filling the gaps that when you lose a job or you go back to school or you strike out and launch that new business, you will still have coverage. nearly 18 million people have gained coverage so far and in the process-- [ applause ] >> in the process, health care
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inflation has slowed and our businesses have created jobs every single month since it became on. i'm guessing we won't agree on health care any time soon. [ laughter ] >> but - applause there. just a guess. but there should be other ways parties can work together to improve economic security. say a hardworking american loses his job. we shouldn't just make sure that he can get unemployment insurance, we should make sure that program encourages him to retrain for a business that's ready to hire him. if that new job doesn't pay as much, there should be a system of wage insurance in place so that he can still pay his bills. and even if he is going from job
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to job, he should still be able to save for retirement and take his savings with him. that's the way we make the new economy work better for everybody. i also know speaker ryan has talked about his interests in tackling poverty. america is about giving everybody willing to work a chance, a hand up, and i would welcome a series discussion about strategies we can all support, like expanding tax cuts for low-income workers who don't have children. [ applause ] >> but there are some areas where we just have to be honest. it has been difficult to find agreement over the last seven years, and a lot of them fall under the category of what role the government should play in making sure the system is not
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rigged in favor of the wealthiest and biggest corporations. it's an honest disagreement. the american people have a choice to make. i believe a thriving private sector is the lifeblood of our economy. i think there are outdated regulations that need to be changed. there is red tape that needs to be cut. [ applause ] >> there you go. yeah. [ applause ] >> but after years now of record corporate profits, working families won't get more opportunity or bigger pay checks just by letting big banks and
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big companies make big law rules at everybody's expense. [ applause ] >> middle-class families are not going to feel more secure because we allowed a tax on collective bargaining to go unanswered. food stamp recipients did not cause the financial crisis. recklessness on wall street did. [ applause ] >> immigrant are not the principal reason why wages haven't gone up. they're the issues in board rooms. it's sure not the average watching tonight that avoids paying taxes through offshore accounts. the point is, i believe that in
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this new economy workers and start-ups and small businesses need more of a voice, not less. the rules should work for them and i'm not alone in this. this year i plan to lift up the many businesses who figured out that doing right by the workers or their customers or their communities ends up being good for their shareholders. i want to spread those best practices across america. that's part of a brighter future. [ applause ] >> in fact, it turns out many of our best corporate citizens are almost our most creative, and think brings me to the second big question we as a country has to answer-- this brings me-- how do we ignite that spirit of innovation to meet our biggest challenges.
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60 years ago when the russians beat us into space, we didn't deny sputnik was up there. we didn't argue about the science or shrink our research and development budget. we built a space program almost over night and 12 years later we were walking on the moon. [ applause ] >> now, that spirit of discovery is in our d.n.a. america is thomas edison and the wrighf brothers and george washington carver, catherine johnson and sally ryde.
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america is every immigrant to entrepreneur racing to shape a better future. that's who we are. over the past seven years we've nurtured that spirit. we've protected and opened internet and taken bold new steps to get more students and low-income workers on line. we've had online tools to give an entrepreneur everything he or she needs to start a business in a single day. but we can does much more. last year vice president biden says with a new moon, america can cure cancer. last month he worked with this congress to give scientists the strongest resources that they've had over a decade. [ applause ] >>
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>> so tonight i'm announcing a new national effort to get it done and because he has gone to the mat for all of us over so many issues, i'm putting joe in charge of mission control. for the loved ones we've all last, for the families that we can still save, let's make america the country that cures cancer once and for all. what do you think? [ applause ] >> medical research is critical.
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we need the same level of commitment when it comes to developing clean energy sources. look, if anybody still wants to dispute the science around climate change, you will be pretty lonely because you will be debating our military, most of america's business leaders, the majority of the american people, almost the entire scientific community and 200 nations around the world who agree it's a problem and intend to solve it, but even if the planet wasn't at stake, even if 2014 wasn't the warmest year on record until 2015 turned out to be even hotter, why would we want to pass up the chance for american businesses to produce and sell the energy of the
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futu future? [ applause ] >> seven years ago we made the single biggest investment in clean energy in our history. here are the results. in field from iowa to texas, wind power is now chep year than dirtier conventional power. on roof tops from arizona too to new york, solar is saving tens of millions of dollars a year on their bills and employs more americans in coal in jobs that pay better than average. we're taking steps to give home owners the freedom to generate and store their own energy. something by the way that environmentalists and tea partiys have teamed up to support.
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we have cut our imports of foreign oil by nearly 60% and cut carbon pollution more than any other country on earth. [ applause ] >> under two bucks a gallon for gas ain't too bad either. [ laughter ] >> now we've got to accelerate the transition away from old, dirtier energy sources. we have to invest in the future, especially on communities that rely on fossil fuels, we don't do them a favor when we don't show them where the trend is going, and that's why i'm going to push the way we change our resources so they better reflect the costs that they imimpose on
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our taxpayers and our planet and that way we put money back into the communities and put tens of thousands of americans to work building a transportation system. [ applause ] >> now, none of this is going to happen overnight. yes, there are plenty of entrenched interests who want to protect the status quo, but the jobs will create, the money will save, the planet will preserve. that is the kind of future our kids and our grand kids deserve. it's within our grasp. climate change is just one of many issues, where our security is linked to the rest of the world, and that's why the third big question that we have to
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answer together is how to keep america safe and strong without either isolating ourselves or trying to nation build everywhere there's a problem. i told you earlier all the talk of america's economic decline is political hot air. well, so is all the rhetoric you hear about our enemies getting stronger and america getting weaker. let me tell you something. the united states of america is the most powerful nation on earth. period. period. [ applause ] >> >> it's not even close. it's not even close will. it's not even close. we spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined. our troops are the finest
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fighting force in the history of the world. [ applause ] >> no nation attacks us directly or our allies because they know that's the path to ruin. surveys show our standing around the world was higher when i was elected to this office and when it comes to every important international issue, people of the world do not look to beijing or moscow to lead. they call us. so it's useful to level set
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here. because when we don't, we don't make good decisions. someone who begins every day with an intelligence briefing, i know this is a dangerous time, but that's not primarily because of some looming super power out there and it's certainly not because of diminished american strength. in today's world we're threatened less by evil empires and more by failing states. the middle east is going through a transformation that will play out for a generation. rooted in conflicts that date back millennium. economic head winds are blowing in from a chinese economy that is in significant transition. even as their economy severely
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kon tracts. russia is pouring resources to prop up ukraine and syria, they state that they saw sl slipping away from their orbit. the international system we built after world war ii is struggling to keep pace with this new rault. it's up to us-- new reality. it's up to us, the united states of america, to help remake that system, and to do that well it means that we've got to set priorities. priority number one is protecting the american people and going after terrorist networks. [ applause ] >> both al-qaeda and now i.s.i.l. pose a direct threat to
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our people because in today's world even a handful of terrorists who place no value on human life, including their own, can do a lot of damage. they use the internet to poison the minds of individuals inside our country. their actions undermine and destabilize our allies. we have to take them out, but as we focus on destroying i.s.i.l., over the top claims that this is world war 3 just play into their hands. masses of fighters on the back of pick-up trucks, twisted souls plotting in apartments or garages, they pose an enormous danger to civilians. they have to be stopped, but they do not threaten our national existence. that is the story i.s.i.l. wants
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to tell. that's the kind of propaganda they use to recruit. we don't need to build them up to show that we're serious and we sure don't need to push away vital allies in this fight but echoing the lie that i.s.i.l. is somewhat representative of one of the world's largest religions. [ applause ] >> we just need to call them what they are, killers and fanatics, who have on to be rooted out, hunted down and destroyed.to be rooted out, hunted down and destroyed.to be rooted out, hunted down and destroyed. out, hunted down and destroyed. that's exactly what we're doing.
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for more than a year america has led a coalition of more than 60 countries to cut off i.s.i.l.'s financing, disrupt their plots, stop the flow of terrorist fighters and stamp out their vicious ideology, with nearly 10,000 air strikes we're talking out their leadership, their oil, their training camps, their weapons. we're training, arming and supporting forces who are instead lee reclaiming territory in iraq and syria. if in congress is serious about winning this war and wants to send a message to our troops and the world, authorize the use of military force against i.s.i.l. take a vote. take a vote. [ applause ]. >> the american people should
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know that with or without congressional action, i.s.i.l. will learn the same lessons as terrorists before them. if you doubt america's commitment or mine to see that justice is done, just ask osam a bin laden. is the leader of al-qaeda in yemen who was taken out last year, or the perpetrator of the benghazi attacks who sits in a prison cell. when you come after americans, we come after you. we have long memories and our reach has no limits. [ applause ] >> our foreign policy has to be focused on the threat from
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i.s.i.l. and al-qaeda, but it can't stop there. for even without i.s.i.l., even without al-qaeda, instability will continue for decades in many parts of the world. in the middle east, in afghanistan and parts of pakistan, in parts of central america, in africa and asia. some of these places may become safe havens for new terrorist networks. others will just fall victim to ethnic problems or famine feeding the next wave of refugees. the world will look to us to help solve these problems. our answer needs to be more than tough talk, or to carpet bomb civilians. that may work as a tv soundbite, but it doesn't pass muster on
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the world stage. we also can't try to take over and rebuild every country that falls into crisis. even if it's done with the best of intentions. that's not leadership. that's a recipe for quagmeyer. spilling american blood and treasure that ultimately will weak inus. it is the lesson of vietnam, it is the lesson of iraq and we should have learned it by now. [ applause ] >> fortunately there is a smarter approach. a patient and disciplined strategy that uses every element of our national power. it says america will always act, alone if necessary, to protect our people and our allies, but
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on issues of global concern, we will mobilize the world to work with us and make sure other countries pull their own weight. that's our approach to conflicts like syria where we're partnering with local forces and leading international efforts to help that broken society pursue a lasting peace. that's why we built a global coalition with sanctions and principal diplomacy to prevent a nuclear armed iran, and as we speak iran has rolled back its nuclear program, shipped out its uranium stock pile and the world has avoided another war. [ applause ] >> that's how we stop the spread of ebola in west africa. our military, our doctors, our
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development workers, they are heroic, they set up the platform to allow our countries to join in behind us and stamp out that epidemic. hundreds of thousands, maybe a couple of million lives with saved. that's how we forged a trance pacific partnership to markets and advance american leadership in asia. it cuts 18,000 taxes on products made in america, which will then support more good jobs here in america. ttp china do not set the rules in that region. we do. do you want to show the strength in this area, give us the tools to enforce it. it's the right thing to do. [ applause ] >> let me give you another example. 50 years of isolating cuba had
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failed to promote democracy. it set us back in latin america. that's why we restored diplomatic relations, opened the door to travel and commerce. positioned ourselves to improve the lives of the cuban people. so if you want could consolidate our leadership and credibility in the hemisphere, recognise that the cold war is over. lift the embargo. [ applause ] >> the point is american leadership in the 21st century is not a choice between ignoring the rest of the world, except when we kill terrorists, or occupying and rebuilding whatever society is unravelling. leadership means a wise
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application of military power and rallying the world behind causes that are right. it means seeing our foreign assistants as a part of our community, not something separate, not charity. when we lead nearly 200 nations, the most aggressive agreement to help climate change, it helps other countries but also our kids. when we help ukraine to fight democracy, that strengthens the international order we depend on. when we help countries feed their people and care for the si sick, it's the right thing to do and it prevents the next pandemic from reaching our shores. right now we're on track to end the scourge of hiv aids. that's within our grasp, and we had the chance to accomplish the
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same thing with malaria, something that i will be pushing congress to fund this year. [ applause ] >> thanks american strength, that's american leadership. that kind of leadership depends on the power of our example. that's why i will keep working to shut down the prison at guantanamo. it is expensive, it is unnecessary and it only serves as a recruitment brochure for our enemies. there's a better way. that's why we need to reject any politics, any politics, that targets people because of race or religion. [ applause ] >> let me just say this.
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this is not a matter of political correctness. this is a matter of understanding just what it is that makes us strong. the world respects us not just for our arsenal. it respects us for our diversity and our openness and the way we respect every faith. pope francis told this body from the very spot that i'm standing on tonight that to imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place.
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when politicians insult muslims, whether abroad or our fellow citizens, when a mosque is vandalized or a kid is called names, that doesn't make us safer. that's not telling it like it is. it's just wrong. it diminishes us in the eyes of the world, it makes it harder for us to achieve our goals, it betrays us as a country. [ applause ] >> we the people, our
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constitution begins with those three simple words, words we've come to recognise mean all the people, not just some. words that insist we rise and fall together. that's how we might perfect our union. that brings me to the fourth and maybe most important thing that i want to say tonight. the future we want, all of us want, opportunity and security for our families, a rising standard of living, a sustainable peaceful planet for our kids. all that is within our reach, but it will only happen if we work together. it will only happen if we can have rational, constructive
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debates. it will only happen if we fix our politics. a better politics doesn't mean we have to - this is a big country, different regions, different attitudes, different interests. that's our strengths to. our founders distributed power between states and branches of argument and expected us to argue, just as they did, fiercely, over the size and shape of government, over commerce and fortunately relations, over the meaning of liberty and the imperatives of securi security. what democracy does require is basic trust between its citizens. if we think the people who disagree with us are all
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motivated by malice, it doesn't work if we think that our political opponents are unpatriotic or are trying to weaken america. democracy grinds to a halt without a willingness to compromise or when even basic facts are contested or when we listen only to those who agree with us. our public life wirthers when only the extreme voice gets attention. tm democracy breaks down when the average person feels that their voice doesn't matter, that the system is rigged in favor of the rich or the powerful or some special interest. too many americans feel that way right now. it's one of the few regrets of my presidency, that the rancour
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and the suspicion between the parties has gotten worst instead of better. i have no doubt a president with the gift of lincoln and roosevlt might have bridged the dwit. i will try to be better as long as i hold this office, but my fellow americans, this cannot be my task or any president's alone. there are a whole lot of folks in this chamber, good people, who would like to see cooperation, a moral serrated debate in washington, but feel trapped by the imperatives of getting elected, by the noise coming out of your base. i know. you've told me. it's the worst kept secret in washington. a lot of you aren't enjoying being trapped in that kind of
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rancour, but that means if we want a better politics, and i'm addressing the american people now, if we want a better politics it's not enough just to change a congress man or change a senator or even change a president. we have to change the system to reflect our better selves. i think we've got to end the practice of drawing our congressional districts so that politicians can pick their voters and not the other way around. [ applause ] >> i believe we've got to reduce the influence of money in our politics so that an election
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can't be bank rolled. if our existing approach to campaign finance reform can't pass muster in the courts, we need to work together to find a real solution because it's a problem. most of you don't like raising money. i know. i've done it. we've got to make it easier to vote, not harder. we need to modernise it. [ applause ] >> this is america. we want to make it easier for people to participate, and over the course of this year i intend to travel the country to push for reforms that do just that. but i can't do these things on my own. changes in our political proc s
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process, in not just who gets elected but how they get elected. that will only happen when the american people demand it. it depends on you. that's what's meant by a government of, by and for the people. what i'm suggesting is hard. it's a lot easier to be cynical. to accept that change is not possible and politics is hopeless, and the problem is all the folks who are elected don't care, and to believe that our voices and our actions don't matter, but if we give up now, then we foresake a better
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future. those with money and power will gain greater control over the decisions that could send a young soldier to war or allow another economic disaster or roll back the equal rights and voting rights that generations of americans have fought for and even died to secure. then as frustration grows, there will be voices urging us to fallback into our respective tribes, to scapegoat fellow citiz citizen citzents who don't look like us or vote like us. we can't go down that road. it will not produce the security we want. most of all, it contradicts everything that makes us the envy of the world. so my fellow americans, whatever
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you may believe, whether you prefer one party or no party, whether you supported my agenda or fought as hard as you could against it, our collective futures depends on your willingness to uphold your duties as a citizen. to vote, to speak out, to stand up for others, especially the weak, especially the vulnerable, knowing that each of us is only here because somebody somewhere stood up for us. [ applause ] >> we need every american to stay active in our public life and not injuring an election
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time, so that-- not just an election time and so that we reflect the good and the decency that i see in american people every day. it is not easy. our brand of democracy is hard. but i can provide that a little over a year from now, when i no longer hold this office, i will be right there with you as a citizen inspired by those voices of fairness and vision of grit and good humor and kindness that have helped america travel so far, voices that help us see ourselves not first and foremost as a certain cla color, not democrat or republican, but
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americans first bound by a common creed, voices dr king believed would have the final word, voices of unarmed truth and unconditional love, and they're out there those voices. they don't get a lot of attention, they don't seek a lot of fan fair, but they're busy doing the work that this country needs doing. i see them everywhere i travel in this incredible country of ours. i see you, the american people, and in your daily acts of citizen ship i see your future unfolding. i see it in the work around the assembly line who clocked extra shifts to keep his company open, and the boss who pays them higher wages instead of laying them off, i see it in the
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dreamer who stays up late at night to finish her science project, and the teacher who comes in early, maybe with some extra supplies that she bought because she knows that young girl might some day cure disease. i see it in the american who served his time, made bad mistakes as a child but now is dreaming of starting over, and i see it in the business owner who gives him that second chance. the protester determined to prove that justice matters and the young cop walking the beat, treating everybody with respect, doing the brave quiet work of keeping us safe. i see it in the soldier who gives almost everything to save his brothers, the nurse who tends to them until he can run a
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marathon, the community that lines up to cheer them on. it's the son who finds the courage to come out as who he is and the father whose love for that son overrides everything he has been taught. i see it in the elder woman who will wait in line to cast her vote as long as she has to, the new citizen who casts his vote for the first time, the volunteers at the polls who believe that every vote should count because each of them, in different ways, knows how much that precious right is worth. that's the america i know. that's the country we love. clear-eyed, big-hearted, undoubted by challenge,
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optimistic that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have final word. that's what we makes me so hopeful about our future. i believe in change because i believe in you, the american people, and that's why i stand here as confident as i have ever been, that the state of our union is strong. thank you. god bless you. god bless united states of america. [ applause ] there you have it, president obama's-- president obama's state of union address. an emotional address. i'm john sigenthaler in new
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york. it was an emotional speech by saying he wanted to focus on the future. he talked about his accomplishment and how to move forward on economy, education and health care, i.s.i.l., foreign policy, but he did speak about some of his few regrets, which is not something you hear often from a president. he regrets what he called the rancour and suspicion between the parties and he said it is getting worse instead of better. he talked about the need for optimism and really in the last couple of paragraphs you really did hear the sort of old president obama and his discussion about hope, but i think that what we will remember, ali, is his exasperation and frustration that he couldn't do more >> yeah. you're absolutely right. the speech in a tenor to it that sounded typically political at the end. it was a list of accomplishments, some ideas that he wanted to fulfil and then it
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became the old campaign obama again, the soaring rhetoric which i'm sure you will hear referred to by the governor of south carolina providing the g.o.p. response. you and i had the same moment there. i think everybody plotted up when you heard him talk about his regrets. he implied a better president look roosevelt or lincoln would have done a better job and the regret that he didn't do a better job, that it was worse now from before. from that moment on it was an i philanthropist in the street. it was talking about how to take back those failures, what america could do. it became an optimistic speech at the end. a very interesting speech. very interesting to watch paul ryan realisticing to his guns about not getting caught in the moment. he was steel faced the whole time, but there were some moments where he got republican applause and bipartisan support. it was an interesting speech very few, i think, but the
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democrats always cheer and the republicans sit in their seats and you saw that tonight, except for a couple of cases. let me go to m ice who is inside the house chamber. >> i thought it was a remarkable speech. certainly unusual by the standards of the state of union, both of substance and formula and structure. you're right, just to amplify a point you made, i'm sitting here, i've sat through several of these, i cannot remember a speech with fewer applause lines. i can very seldom remember when the minority party, in this case the republicans, or at least the opposition party, sat stone faced through much of a speech like this. i thought it was in your face speech. at least the first half. i think we're seeing a president who just doesn't care as much any more who is just letting it fly and it doesn't matter what republicans are going to say. he is talking about the economy is great, republicans than
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didn't react to that global warming is what i was going to sda >> they booed when he said the country was stronger and not weaker. there was grum belling-- gru mfshgs bing did - grumbling. i thought it was fascinating that's interesting because >> it is going to fall on deaf ears it is hard to on the one hand taunt are republicans and at the same time offer them to come together >> yeah. one of the dangers of the old obama that you referred to, the one we're familiar with from campaigns, is that to some soaring rhetoric is a teacher-like lecture. depending on which side of the argument you're on, you can say go for it or i'm getting lectured by you, you just admitted apart son rancould you remember is worse than when you got in there - rancour is worse
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than when you got in in. he covered so many of those toxic and moved on. when it came to the philanthropist, national unity working together, that last part of his speech, he spent a lot of time on it, on all the things that he thinks americans should be do to create a stronger union. he addressed the pessimism but treated it as though it was something outside of this, anger and frustration of americans at washington, that works the way people get frustrated by and the things people need to do and why americans are angry about it. it almost seemed like he was talking about donald trump a bit or ted cruz or everybody who is campaigning for those in favor of wanting to throw the bombs out in wrashing tonne >> yes. he specifically referenced ted cruz when he talked about the ridiculous rhetoric of xarpt bombing. the no doubt he was referencing what ted cruz had said about
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seeing if the sand would blow. these are the sorts of things, and the president has made no bones about this for the last several years. the rhetoric he criticized. remember when he was turkey for the g20, his outburst for people calling for action. this is the president who wants to play the long game, who values persistence of valerie jearod, he is someone who takes the long view she said, but i think the frustration is evident on the president today when he is talking essentially conceding his inability to change washington, the very platform that he had run on in 2007 and 2008 liby, was there any chance that the president moved the needle at all in terms of the end it is ransigence? >> no. it's almost a long view of history to reflect to this.
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president obama was trying to have one of the history books. i recognised at the time that there was a part son time, i am here using this moment of the state of the union to voice my concerns about it, but it is not going to change how the republicans feel tonight. even as we saw paul rye ann, his staff was tweeting out a lot of responses. republicans were using social media to push back. especially on foreign policy. that's one that republicans have a lot of differences on and they do feel the president is weak on. foreign policy is significant tonight because, of course, there is a backdrop of a situation with the sailors, being taken, captured, captive in iran, watching that play out. but also with this question of i.s.i.l., and the president had to walk a line together of showing the american people that he is taking this issue very seriously, he has been criticized in the past for
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seeming a bit clinical about it. hae did talk about how important this is and how important it is to defend america, but he did once again try to give some perspective. he used a line where he is talking about how this can be blown out of proportion and actually play into the hands of the u.s. enemies. that has to be something done carefully. one place we did see republicans on their feet applauding what when he praise the military. if it takes that bar to get republicans to applaud here in this speech, that gives you a sense of the part son ra-- bipartisan roncour that was interesting when he said that our military is the strongest in the world, gene the generals wouldn't-- even the will generals wouldn't stand up. when he said our fighting force is the are greatest in the history of mankind, they got up. this will be an interesting
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conversation when you have it with the general. the president did say we have learned our lesson about not getting involved in quagmyers, throwing it out there that he is not willing to change his mind about groups on the ground, iraq and syria. >> yeah. it really was one of the moments that stood out. we're back at the panel now. it's almost like he was taunting the republicans in the audience to cheer for american troops. >> yeah. i thought national security ends up being the third act in a four act play. i think he will be panned on in tomorrow by those in the international community. taking credit for things that shouldn't be taken credit for. we didn't speak at all about the syrian refugee crisis, the hands-off approach that was taken in syria. we've got to support our allies. we have to help them gain their country back. i think the speech is going to go over very poorly from national security the governor, in five
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minutes will speak. let's talk about other moments that we saw tonight. david. >> i think the point that was made about the ridicule of republicans, the talking about the sputnic and denying the science, that was the part of the speech wsh the president was doing his job as the top democrat in this country trying to set the stage and say this is a party that doesn't believe in science. along the way he also hits some of the main concerns that americans have and that is making sure the economy works for everybody. trying to get money out of politics and fixing the political system. those two issues are the very same issues that donald trump and bernie sanders are riding to the top of their respective areas. the sense of that washington has been corrupted by anything money. for the president on to speak on those issues was very skillful appeared smart to tap into the national mood he didn't talk that much about race tonight did he? >> actually i would say not at
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all. i just wanted to add one thing to this, which is the idea that the government is usefulful that the role of government is very important for things like cancer research, which did get a pie part son response, and other kinds of-- bipartisan response, but part of this anti science politics denies the special role of the government to help solve human problems that are bayinger than any given state or any given local community can solve. on the question of race, it is amazing how absent it was. it's just stunning, actually. it's really stunning i look back at the gun town hall meeting that the president held recently and i think about his approach tonight to congress. he is so - he seems so ex-as per eighted and so frustrated-- exasperated, but didn't you get the feeling that he really was challenging congress, republicans and congress on
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almost every point he could? >> absolutely. i was struck by how often he took it to the republicans on the 20016 campaign trail, going so far as to say carpet bombing civilians may work on tv, but it's not going to work here. it's not world war 3. over and over again he took on donald trump, he took on ted cruz and all of the republicans for the rhetoric, the various things in terms of science. i was struck by that. i was also struck by the fact that this speech, really, is a speech that is going to play better in a long-term than it is in the short-term because there are moments in this speech where he did things that he hasn't done before, when he told us what he thinks the role of the u.s. in the world should be, the economic inequality and reforming our political system. these are big issues that presidents needs to address. i think he did a skillful job of trying to walk this line. the politics of this whole thing. speaking before. very unhappy and disinterested
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congress and talking about the big issue >> there is also a generational part this. younger people want to told about how can we make a difference. the president is saying we need you to engage, we need you to vote and participate of the that is a call to action that may resonate to young people who are looking to be part of a solution i want to go back to the whole world war 3. this is not world war 3 is what the president said. i'm not sure that is playing well in this country. there is a lot of fear both internationally of i.s.i.l. in this country, right? >> no question. i think the president measures success in wars that are avoided and he is taking this war with iran. that remains to be seen whether that's the case. we have a nuclear deal with them, but now that deal has to be complied with. we have already seen one power in north korea explode one. that's a threat to the u.s.
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putting a launch doesn't a democrat have to be a hawk in order to grab the american people on that issue? >> look at harry trueman and jfkennedy. they have to be strong on that. they have to project power there i know you want in on this >> the only point i want to make is that there is something to all the political rhetoric around nuclear powers. iran doesn't have a nuclear weapon, north korea we've got this. we've got pakistan, we missed the news, but pakistan says if iran attacks saudi arabia, which it won't do, pakistan will use its nuclear weapon to wipe iran off the map. there are powers we should be worried about but we don't talk about to those i believe we're - i just want to - we're about 30 seconds away from the governor of south carolina. >> i am speaking tonight from
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our state's capital city. much like america as a whole our state has a rich and complicated history. one that proves the idea that each day can be better than the last. in just a minute i'm going to talk about a vision of a brighter american future, but first i want to say a few words about president obama who just gave his final state of the union address. obama's election as president seven years ago broke historic barriers and inspired millions of americans. as he did when he first ran for office, tonight the president spoke eloquently about grand things. he is at his best when he does that. unfortunately, the president's record has often fallen far short of his soaring words. as he enters his final year in office, many americans are still feeling the squeeze of an economy too weak to raise income levels. we're feeling a crushing national debt, a health care
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plan that has made insurance less affordable and doctors less available and chaotic unrest in many of our cities. even worse, we are facing the most dangerous terrorist threat our nation has seen since september 11 and this president appears unwilling or unable to deal with it. soon the obama presidency will end and america will have the chance to turn in a new direction. that direction is what i want to talk about tonight. at the outset, i will say this. you've paid attention to what has been happening in washington and you're not naive. neither am i. i see what you see and many of your frustrations are my frustrations. a frustration with a government that has grown day after day, year after year, yet doesn't serve us any better. a frustration with the same endless conversations we hear over and over again.
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a frustration with promises made and never kept. we need to be honest with each other and with ourselves. while democrats in washington bear much responsibility for the problems facing america today, they do not bear it alone. there is more than enough blame to go around. we as republicans need to own that truth. we need to recognise our contributions to the erosion of the public trust in america's leadership. we need to accept that we have played a role in how and why our government is broken, and then we need to fix it. the foundation that has made america that last best hope on earth hasn't gone anywhere. it still exists. it's up to us to return to it. for me, that starts right where it always has. i am the proud daughter of immigrants who reminded my
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brothers and sister and me how blessed we were to live in this country. growing up in the rural south my family didn't look like our neighbours and we didn't have much. there were times that were tough, but we had each other, and we had the opportunity to do anything, to be anything as long as we were willing to work for it. my story is really not much different from millions of other americans. immigrants have been coming to our shoers for generations to live the dream that is america. they wanted better for their children than for themselves. that remains the dream of all of us. and in this country we have seen time and again that that dream is achievable. today we live in a time of threats like few others in recent memory. during anxious times it can be tempting to follow the call of the angriest voices. we must resist that temptation. no-one who is willing to work
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hard, abide by our laws and love our traditionals should-- traditions should every feel unwelcome in this country. at the same time, that does not mean we just flat-out open our borders. we can't do that. we cannot continue to allow immigrants to come here illegally, and in this age of terrorism, we must not let refugees, whose-- let in refugees whose swengss cannot be term-- intentions cannot be determined. we must fix our immigration system, that means stopping illegal immigration and it means welcoming, properly vetted immigrants regardless of their race and religion, just like we have for centuries. i have no doubt that if we act with proper focus, we can protect our borders, our sovereignty and our citizens, all while remaining true to america's noblest legacies.
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this past summerer south carolina was dealt a tragic blow. on onotherwise ordinary wednesday evening in june at the church in charleston 12 faithful men and women, young and old, went to bible study. that night someone new joined them. he didn't look like them, didn't act like them, didn't sound like them. they didn't throw him out. they didn't call the police. instead, they pulled up a chair and parade with him for shall-- prayed with him for an hour. we lost nine incredible souls that night. what happened after the tragedy is worth pausing to think about. our state was struck with shock, pain and fear, but our people would not allow hate to win. we didn't have violence, we had vigils, we didn't have riots, we had hugs, we didn't turn against
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each other, race or religion, we turned to god and to the values that have long made our country the freest and greatest in the world. we removed the symbol that was being used to divide us and we found a strength that united us against a domestic terrorist and the hate that filled him. there is an important lesson in this. in many parts of society today whether in popular culture, academia, the media or politics, there's a ten dn see to falsely equate noise with results-- tendency. some think you have to be the loudest voice in the room to make a difference. that's not true. often the best thing we can do is turn down the volume. when the sound is quieter, you can actually hear what someone else is saying, and that can make pay world of difference. of course, that doesn't mean we won't have strong disagreements. we will. as we usher in this new era,
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republicans will stand up for our beliefs. if we held the white house, taxes would be lower for working families and we would put the breaks on run-away spending and debt. we would encourage american innovation and success instead of demonizing them. so our economy would truly soar and good jobs would be available across our country. we would reform education so it worked best for students, parents and teachers, not washington bureau accurates and-- overture accurates and-- bureacrats and union bosses. we would actually let you keep your doctor. we would respect differences in modern families, but we would also insist on respect for religious liberty as a cornerstone of our democracy. we would recognise the importance of the separation of powers and honor the constitution in its entirety and, yes, that includes the
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second and 10th amendments. we would make international agreements that were celebrated in israel and protested in iran, not the other way around. rather than just thanking our brave men and women in uniform, we would actually strengthen our military. so both our friends and/or enemies would know that-- and our enemies would know that america seeks peace, but when we fight wars, we win them. we have big decisions to make. our country is being tested, but we've been tested in the past, and our people have always risen to the challenge. we have all the guidance we need to be safe and successful. our forefathers paved the way for us. let's take their values and their strengths and rededicate ourselves so doing whatever it takes to making america the greatest country in the history of man, and woman. thank you.
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goodnight and god bless the republican response and, of course, both of these speeches are political tonight. she suggests that if the republicans were in the white house, there would be lower taxes, good jobs, they would reform education and get rid of obamacare. just to add, ali, a little tweet, or a couple from lindsay graham, who was running for president, he says at home our economy is stagnant and abroad our nation is very much at risk. he also said i heard nothing from the president tonight to suggest we're actually going to destroy i.s.i.l. >> i have a lot of time tore lindsay graham. i was saddened when he left the race. he has a lot to say and he is more nuanced about i.s.i.l. and the middle east than most on that platform. he was an interesting choice and
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she has-- she was an interest choice and has gained in profile over everything that happened. bomb obama is a hard act to follow. she had me until the point of lower taxes and putting the breaks on the deficit. if you study our debt, liby, you know this debt has much more to do with war than it has to do with so-called run-away spending on other issues. it was good until that point, but that's the red meat that republicans tend to like. >> that red meat is certainly exactly what members want to hear, not just republicans here but also those watching the presidential race. there has to be a balance in this response between the optimism and the push back against the president. you can't just have optimism because the push back to the president is key to firing up
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debates, to motivating people and to make sure that they ratchet it up a notch themselves. how engaged are they in the political fight, how much are they thinking about what is next michael short, these responses are always a tough thing to figure out how to go up against the president. i would say in the history of spopss to state of the union, this wasn't bad. -- responses to the state of the union. >> no. it wasn't. it's a thankless job. they have trade it in state houses, in living rooms, way small audience. it never seems to work. i can't believe that people volunteer to do it. the focus will be on south carolina. there are two debates and then the primary in february. there is a little bit of a sense of all right, we're going to show her to america again and then she is going to be on the stage a lot. it is a very difficult job and people have largely tuned out at that point. so listening to what the agenda is, is a little bit like the saturday morning address. you don't hear about it but you don't get a lot from it
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generally speaking if you are going to talk about being careful about refugees and immigrants, cutting down on immigration, it doesn't hurt to have a child of immigrants. they've tried this before, but in this case she brings something to this discussion. >> yes. that's true. she has a unique within the republican party american experience, one they're trying to resonate with. they tried it with bobby jindall and it didn't work. i think we should separate the fact that whatever we have in this conversation about her, she is a face to watch in the republican party and they know that and so they want to put it out there michael is in iowa for us. liby is here with us. mike is following up. coming up, protecting the u.s. look at the president's plans to stop the i.s.i.l. attacks. we will have a live report from
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welcome back to al jazeera's coverage of state of the union 2016 with john siegenthaler. president obama delivered his final state of union address. he touched on a variety of issues facing the issues today and in the future. he talked about the efforts to keep america safe, including destroying i.s.i.l. >> if this congress is serious about winning this war and wants to send a message to the troops and the world, authorize the use of military use against i.s.i.l. take a vote. [ applause ]-- for against i.s.i.l. take a vote. [ applause ] >> the american people should
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know that with or without congressional action, i.s.i.l. will learn the same lessons as terrorists before them of course, the question in many minds of americans is did the president do enough to fight i.s.i.l. and did he do it soon enough? >> yeah. that all depends on whether you agree with him or not, whether you agree with the idea that i.s.i.l. and al-qaeda are not exise ten shall threats. he also said in the battle against them, don't ail yent the allies they would have - alienate. one of the things the president pointed out is that we have gone with a 20th century with nations too powerful into a 21 st state. it is becoming a region of failed states. was the thing he said things that our allies in the middle east want to hear?
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>> as you know, a lot of the allies here wanted to hear more. they want more american help, but they pretty much know that they're not going to get it. now this was a very much more realistic president obama. you will remember that his first state of the union address he was pledging to bring the troops home and said and looking forward to bring them home that year in fact. now in iraq and afghanistan he is sending more troops than he ever thought he would. it's all because of the rise of i.s.i.l. and the disintegration of countries like iraq and syria. really what stood out from that speech was his insistence that rushing to military action is, as he said, the past. that was a lesson of vietnam and for president obama that is the enduring lesson of iraq it will be interesting to hear from others about what military people say they need more troops in for longer. president points out that i.s.i.l., al-qaeda, extremists in general, are not threats to
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america. how does that go over in the middle east because a lot of these countries are treating like it's not a threat when you look at the responses from the gulf nations, when you look at the iraqi leadership telling u.s. they don't need more troops, the syrians don't want more american help, they don't want americans in there that will. the bottom line the arab doesn't see ichl as a threat either. -- i.s.i.l. as a threat either. >> the arab world certainly does in part of it see it as a threat. here in jordan it's over whelmed with refugees. iraq was only just a few months ago last year that people were worried that i.s.i.l. was on the doorstep of baghdad. so that was another really interesting thing about the state of the union address. president obama downplaying essentially the role of i.s.i.l. and that sits as well into a
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strategy which says basically that by building up i.s.i.l., by saying they're this invinsable force they're playing into their hands. he did broadly over simplify a couple of things which will raise eyebrows here. clearly a lot of people here agree with him that they are killers, fanatics and not a religious movement, but it does ignore a lot of the reasons why there's so much alienation in so many young people here who are drawn to i.s.i.l. he also referred to this being a conflict that has gone on for millennia. a lot of people would say it's recent conflict with players that didn't exist thousands of year ago. at the end of the day this was a feel-good address and it's hard to make people feel good about the middle east, but president obama did try john. >> as you mentioned, westly clerk is a retire general, also
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nato's supreme allied commander and he joins us again from little rock. general, president obama said if congress is serious about winning the war against i.s.i.l. t should pass new war powers to fight them. your reaction? >> absolutely right because one of the most powerful things you can do as i president is show that the country is united behind you. it sends a very strong message to friends, allies and also to our adversearies. one of the way you show that is the ivory coast of the united state congress president obama mentioned that u.s. foreign policy has to be focused on terror threats on i.s.i.l., but did you hear any new strategy or policy in this speech? >> no. i didn't hear a new policy, but i did hear him enunciate some of the thinking behind it. really that's what he has to do. he has to communicate this to the american. he has to help them understand. i think fundamental to that is the idea that you cannot rebuild
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someone else's country for them. not with the best intent, not with the best young men and women in the armed forces. they can't do it. he cites that as a lesson of invite man and lesson-- vietnam and lesson of iraq. that kind of understanding is what is missing in the sdrugs of the strategy. that's what i said earlier-- discussion-- you can't put people in there. john, i was not a joint member of the joint chief of staff. i was director of strategic plans and policies for the joint chiefs of sta of snooch thank you for the correction. -- state. >> he is an important general. what do you do with the fact that americans in this election season are coming down on two sides of this, the obama slow and steady work with our allies in the middle east to fight extremism and some of these campaign things that are coming out about a strong - look, not everybody is talking about forces but there are people
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talking about actual american forces being on the ground an arguing that those arab allies of ours do not have the abilities to fight these terrorists off. american force and nato forces but the arab forces don't >> of course, in an election season things get politici $ed. we put millions in the army. we're trying to rebuild that. saudi arabia has strong forces, turkey has strong forces. we put money in to help the peshmerga. it's also true that every nation in this fight has its own private agendas. so it's very difficult to bring allies together. the key element that's missing in all the public discussion is the politics of the fight.
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this is the sunnis, saudi arabia and turkey, against the she' power of per sha, iran, reaching through, iraq and into syria. this is a geostereo tea jik fight. -- geostrategic fight. the president said it right, we're going to go after the terrorists and hunt them down, but we cannot rebuild this part of the world. not ourselves thank you for that all right. the president talked about making the economy more fair for americans and we're going to have more on that coming up right after this.
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one of the things that the president said in his state of the union address is he looked back to the goal to land a man on the moon.
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he says this same inovation shoub used to involve cancer >> because he has gone to the mat for us, i'm putting joe in charge of mission control. for the loved ones we have all lost, for the families that we can still save, let's make america the country that cures cancer for once and for all. what do you say joe? jack a feel good moment surrounded by this idea that america is not firing on all cylinders reminding that america can do this. a war on cancer was made in 1971. many people will tell you that that helped. we only have a handful of cancers that we really don't think have a survival rate of five years or more. tell me what you thought? >> i thought it's a wonderful, wonderful idea. certainly since 1971 when
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president nixon announced a desire to fix the war on cancer, military were becoming research hospitals to fight cancer. even if you account for how much older people are living here, the survival rate and the death rate on cancer has really stapled the same. it has gone down about 5%. we made good inroads on a couple of things, child leukaemia, but if you consider heart disease and stroke, our fight against cancer has stalled. we're pinning our hopes on certain things. that is what has motivated bide whoshgs who lost his son to cancer a big promise long on rhetoric, very, very short on detail. do you have any idea what this moon shot means and what it can hope to achieve? >> really the thing that is stalling us now is the ideal of
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immuno therapy, trying to kick-start the human immune system to try and fight cancer. the trouble is it is not like other diseases where there say single evil in the body. each person's cancer is different. the tumors all look different. so it is difficult to fight that off. there has been other drugs which supposedly did some of this work. something like that cost $150,000 for just a year's treatment. it seems that it's going to require some sort of governmental kick-start, a kick in the panels to get that industry to a place where they are coordinated properly to make those kinds of advancements and to bring the cost down so that people have a shot at these kinds of treatments thank you very much for that there are several issues that the president really did not discuss at all in tonight's address. one of those is immigration.
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heidi has covered this. you would have to take this as a sign that immigration reform would be dead on rival in his last-- arrival in his last year in office? >> i think that would be fair to say. this was really what i saw as the president waving the white flag when it came to his last months in office and pushing any meaningful reform through congress. he has failed to do so in the years in the white house. his conceive actions on immigration that had sought to offer protections to almost five million people in this country illegally. they have yet to see the light of day. those actions are still caught up in the court system and if the supreme court takes up the case and if the justices side with obama, even in that best case scenario, the president would have less than seven months left in office and that is his plan. so what was interesting though when we saw the g.o.p. rebuttal
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with the speaker, a daughter of immigrant parents, that was meaningful. she said that america is a welcoming country and she was clearly trying to steer the rhetoric away from donald trump's divisive comments against immigrants and saying g.o.p. may have a solution to all of this thank you very much. there was also no mention of gun control. our correspondent is at the scene of a mass shooting back in october. >> yeah. interesting the number of times that the president mentioned the executive actions on gun control that he rolled out last week. that was zero. the number of gun violence, that number was one. he said the phrase in his preamble, but clearly this president believes that there's just no political traction in
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this year of advancing or advertising efforts on his part. it might have been a missed opportunity. we spent a time today with an 86-year-old gun owner, no supporter of the president, but she indicated support. anything that would get more support for services in the mental health industry, anything that would get more support for people in the mental health industrying getting information to law enforcement about people who shouldn't have access to guns. there are things like that, that people on both sides of the political aisle can agree on, and yet there was absolutely no mention whatsoever, again one mention of gun violence and it was simply a statement of the phrase thank you very much. our panel who has watched the address here in our studio, they will be discussing this more in our next hour. thank you very much. ali, i just want to mention
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another thing that the president didn't say. it's important to note, i think, one of our producers points this out, despite i.s.i.l. being the bulk of international portion of the president's speech, he didn't mention - he really did not address the mument crisis in-- humanitarian crisis in syria which the worst ever >> no. he skipped over that, not focusing on any particular religion or ethnicity. he spoke in broad generalities. he did not speak about the rev gene kri sighs which is one of the most important things going on in the world. under normal circumstances seven years after taking office with an unemployment rate of 7.9% which went up to 10 wheres with the economy in the shape it was, he should have been able to do a victory lap, but the wealthy don't care. they've forgotten, and the poor think things are still very bad. he didn't celebrate the things on the books that he should be
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celebrating thank you very much. that's our special coverage of the state of the union. the news continues next with antonio mores. don't go away. >> i'm in recovery, i've been in recovery for 23 years... >> last shot, at a better life... >> this is the one... this is the one... >> we haven't got it yet... >> it's all or nothing... >> i've told walgreen's i quit... >> hard earned pride... hard earned respect... hard earned future... a real look at the american dream hard earned only on al jazeera america >> we're here to fully get into the nuances of everything that's going on, not just in this country, but around the world. getting the news from the people who are affected. >> people need to demand reform... >> ali velshi on target.
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looking ahead. >> i don't want to just talk about next year. i want to focus on the effects five years. -- the next five and 10 years and beyond president obama's state of the union addressed focused broadly on the future, highlighting the economy, opportunity and security. >> priority number one is protecting the american people his legacy is sure to influence this year's elections for better or worse. ichlts p >> one of the few regrets of my presidency, that the rancower and suspicion between the parties has not got better in t the entry next to t

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