Skip to main content

tv   News  Al Jazeera  January 12, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am EST

11:00 pm
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 the first lady spoke for itself.
11:01 pm
the republican response was forceful >> unfortunately, the president's record has often fallen short of his soaring words. 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 good evening. this is al jazeera america's extended live coverage of tonight's state of the union address. the president mapped out the year to come while laying out what he saw as the accomplishments of the last seven years. >> the president of the united states. [ applause ] >> reporter: in a speech seven years in the making the president took to the chamber to deliver his final state of the union address
11:02 pm
>> mr speaker, mr vice president, members of congress, my fellow americans. >> reporter: the white house had promised a forward looking and optimistic message and the president delivered >> i just don't want to talk about next year. i want to focus on the next five years, the next 10 years and beyond. >> reporter: at times the president strained to avoid souping like a lame duck. >> i under that because it's an-- i understand that because it's an election season expectations for what we will achieve is low. >> reporter: the president mostly avoided making specific proposals. >> 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 ] >> equal pay for equal work.
11:03 pm
paid leave. raising the minimum wage. >> reporter: one major initiative, curing cancer which the president likened to a challenge conquered by another generation. >> last year vice president biden said with the new moon shot, america can cure cancer. i'm announcing tonight a new national effort to get it done. >> reporter: in discussing the economy, he focused on income and inequality, a theme of almost all of his state of union addresses >> after years of record corporate profits, working families won't get more opportunities or bigger pay checks just by letting big banks or big oil or hedge funds make their own rules at everyone else allegation expense >> reporter: he alluded to the race to succeed him. departing from electric addition he waited until the end to declare-- >> i stand here as confident as
11:04 pm
i have ever been that the state of our union is strong. thank you. god bless you. >> reporter: we're joined by political correspondented david shuster and another professor at political science. the original word out of the white house was this was going to be focused on his accomplishments of the it felt like we were going back to 2004 and the speech that launched him into the area. >> yeah. it was going to be a different kind of speech, an unusual state of the union address. i do think to a certain extent it was different to what he has done in the past and most presidents do, but you're right. he seemed to be the old president obama who was running for office. we heard that particularly towards the end. i was really struck by as i think he did two difficult things. he tried to present himself as
11:05 pm
the head of the democratic party who wants to make sure that he gets a third term, if you will, with the election of a democratic president and potentially taking the senate, and he also tried to cement his legacy at the same time to say this is where i stand on big issues confronting the u.s. a hard line to walk. i think he did a pretty good job of walking it, but, of course, in this environment nobody is going to be happy. so it was chas tieing and hopefuling while it was certainly a political speech, there was some expectation that we would come out swinging looking for his third term to get democrats reelected or elected in november. it didn't seem like he went that aggressively. >> it wasn't so aggressive, but there was a certain sort of snapping ridicule at the beginning, kid factual of those who want to go back to iowa, those who doesn't deny science.
11:06 pm
there was that with the president making the argument that this is a group that doesn't believe in basic fact or basic science, but he was also able to touch on the greatest fears and concerns that americans have, the concern that the economy has passed by a lot of americans, the concerns that what exactly is our policy on i.s.i.l. and then finally the concerns about the political system being broken, and the president's call to action saying more people need to be engaged to fix it. it was pretty remarkable how he was able to do all three he then said democracy requires basic bonds of trust and talking about compromising, but he didn't put out any real policies for the next year to come. is that an admission on his part? >> i think it's a realistic assessment that he can't get anything through. he talked about trade. he can't get the trance pacific trade partnership through because bernie sanders in his own party will oppose it. the things that he was talking about that are aspirational.
11:07 pm
i think the reason he didn't want to go down the list is he didn't want historians say he went over 30 or whatever it was had in his final state of the union speech he did address terrorism more than he has in others. he said looking at the u.s. historically, he said because he we saw opportunity or others saw peril we emerged stronger and better than before. you could argue why we are strong because we have approached it strongly >> i think he is going to get a lot of heat on the national security, the third part of the speech. i do think he is going to get some heat. he took credit for the situation going on in syria, which seemed an oddity to us listening, hardlily something that you would be taking credit for at this point. i think at the same time he made some important points and something that needs to be said for instance, when he talked about the fact our real pro problem is not ideology, not extreme ideology, but failed
11:08 pm
states. that's something we don't hear often enough from our elected officials. why has i.s.i.s. grown the way it has? it is because it has filled a vacuum in a failed state. until you address that state you cannot confront and take down down i.s.i.s. no matter what donald trump and republicans say i want to mention nicky haley, your response to that speech? she said that it sounded like president obamaing talking with these grand themes but in the end most of his promises not true >> nicky haley were fellow republicans, seeing her at a possible rising star. it probably wasn't as strong as when he delivered that extemporous street. her audience-- speech. herp aweden saw her as somebody to bring help were the republican brand. >> let's hear a little bit about
11:09 pm
the women who the republicans chose to give their response. it was governor nicky haley. she criticized the president as being ineffective and passive. here is a sample >> 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 economy too weak to raise levels. a health care plan that has made insurance less affordable and doctors less available. chaotic unrest in many of our cities. even worse, we are facing the most dangerous terrorist threat our nation has seen since september 11. this president appears unwilling or unable to deal with it president obama did, indeed, talk about the threat of i.s.i.l. and other groups possesss to us and we vowed to stoep them >> priority number one is
11:10 pm
protecting the american people and going after terrorist networks. [ applause ] >> both al-qaeda and now i.s.i.l. pose a direct threat to our people because in today's world, even a handful of terrorist $who place no value on human life, including their own, can do a lot of damage-- terrorists a retired major in the u.s. army, our guest. the president also went on to talk about, as we focused on destroying i.s.i.l., the over the top claims that this is world war 3, just play in their hands and he said that i.s.i.l. does not threaten our national existence. the is that going to give some fodder to opponents who are going to say here is the president again underestimating
11:11 pm
the threat of i.s.i.l.? >> i think so. it doesn't go to the world war 3 limits of death and destruction of the countries that are involved, but it is clearly a regional conflict there that our allies and friends are involved with. we have to help them and recognise it will spread. look at what boko haram is doing. this is going to be a long war. to his point generational and has been going on for a thousand years, let's say, but we have allied friends this that region to be supportive of does congress needs to do something themselves, they have not been willing to take a vote on, as he said, that if congress is serious about winning the war and wandz to send a message to the troops in the world, you should finally authorises the use of military force against i.s.i.l. >> that's right. the problem with these wars is are not funded, paid for. this is why the debt is the way it is. we hadn't thought that through. what ends up happening is the
11:12 pm
military goes to war not the country. they authorize the spending, they have to raise taxes for it. the whole country feels the pinch of going after al-qaeda and i.s.i.s. we're united when we do it that way two small navy boats were captured by the iranians and ten american sailers are in their cupped as we speak. the timing of that is certainly questionable. right as we're facing lifting sanctions on iran by the united nations. what do you see - what do you think happened there and the fact that the president didn't address it at all? >> i think he tried to address if by having the secretary of state say that the sailors would be released shortly as opposed in the morning worrying about the cover of darkness. the power in our u.s. navy is the strongest why the world by far. the fact that they were taken by iranians is not good what does it say to our
11:13 pm
relationship with them on the date that the president was delivering a speech >> those of us that remembered that they took americans hostage and where that went we remember. this from their perspective doesn't look like someone that we're doing a treaty with, that they're going to abide by. they want t150 billion dollars. what happens if they break this nuclear treaty and build a weapon. if this country willing to fire the first shot? we will talk to you some more i hope. for more reaction to the president's assessment. war against i.s.i.l., our correspondent is in iman. while the president did focus on combatting i.s.i.l. as we've been talking about, he really didn't address iraq, afghanistan or even syria much. how do you think this will be received by both the leader and the people of the region?
11:14 pm
>> reporter: this is a region where the u.s. is always doing too much or too little. the president had is that right his term in office two terms ago believing that he could disengage to the middle east and poift to asia and this would be behind him. clearly that hasn't happened. he has more troops out than he every envisioned. one thing that hasn't changed is his belief that the essential message here is that the u.s. can't fix everything and it shouldn't try. >> 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' recipe for spilling american blood and treasure that ultimately will weak inus. it is the lesson of vietnam, it
11:15 pm
is the lesson of of iraq and we should have learned it by now. >> reporter: so there are a lot of his allies here, here in jordan, some iraqi leaders and kurdish leaders who would like to see the u.s. do more, but that is not going to happen on his watch you're in jordan which has been overwhelmed by syrian refugees as have other middle eastern countries. the president did not address the humanitarian crisis there or in europe. that's an oversight that won't be welcome in the region. >> reporter: no. it won't. that's a really interesting point. this crisis is something that occasionally people see on the pages of newspapers when a dead child washes up on the shores in europe or people are starving to death, as they are now in syria. here it is something that people live every single day. people are surrounded by
11:16 pm
refugees and misery. there are a lot of things that people here do not under about the u.s. response to the refugee crisis in the humanitarian crisis-- do not understand. they don't under how politicians can be threatened by refugees, particularly children, or how a state will accept a dozen refugees and the debate. there are things widening the gap between the u.s. and the rest of the world. it is worrying and sad. it is a huge crisis here that many people feel the u.s. has contributed to, starting with the war in iraq and onwards thank you for that. we have much more ahead on president obama's final state of the union address. he spoke about bridging divides in america, including racial divided that have become
11:17 pm
apparent in america over the recent years.
11:18 pm
when you're on hold, your business is on hold. that's why comcast business doesn't leave you there. when you call, a small business expert will answer you in about 30 seconds. no annoying hold music. just a real person, real fast. whenever you need them. so your business can get back to business. sounds like my ride's ready.
11:19 pm
don't get stuck on hold. reach an expert fast. comcast business. built for business. >> i see it in the american who served his time, made bad mistakes as a child but now is dreaming of starting over. i see it in the business owner who gives that man a second
11:20 pm
chance. the protester determined to prove that justice matters and the young cop walking the beat treating everybody with respect president obama spoke about bridging divides between americans, divides caused by economic inequality, race or religion. our correspondent, are you surprised at how little he focused on race relations? >> i was really stunned. this was his big opportunity. so many people said he can't talk about this while he is president. we have to give him a chance. here with are with one of the biggest social movements, it is a multi racial movement to support people of color with their treatment at the hands of the police. there is no discussion. there is a deep misunderstanding to talk about race is to be divisive. i want to emphasise that this is a deep mig understanding. because if we're going to have a vision for all of the kind of
11:21 pm
harmony and connectedness and diversity, his breach was so brilliant in many ways. you have to be able to posity a vision for a multi racial democracy that handles it all. it is not one place, one mortgage, one cop, one healthed care treatment, not one school. it is an entire system aside from the broader picture of economic and inequality, there was not much of a focus on these issues that in many ways have defined his presidency or at least at times have. why do you think he made that choice? >> i think ultimately it is a lightning rod, it is something that he still thinks potentially is divided. this rise of lifting philosophy. i'm sure he thinks that security and stability is what we want. we all want these things. the conditions under which we want them and the circumstances we face in relation to them and
11:22 pm
what has to be done to create a justice multi racial area means constructing structural racism, not the hate that was talked about in the church, which is a different kind of problem, but acis testimonyic form-- a systematic way. if he says that he will get into trouble. how can he invoke king. how do you have a speech on an armed troops and unconditional love. it is a moment if you're going to use king for unarmed troops, then you must tell the truth about the way that we want when you talk with racism, do you think some races are worse than they've been in the past 20 years? >> i think they're worse in the sense that people are brain washed into believing, many people believing we're in a post-racial nation and people talking about it is dragging us
11:23 pm
backwards as the president did not talk much about race relations in his speech, as we mentioned, that didn't bother at least one member of the congressional block caucus. >> reporter: we're talking with the democrat of colonel foreign i can't. the president didn't talk much about race issues tonight. he didn't talk about black lives matter as a focus of this speech >> you know, it was a very good speech however. i was pleased he talked about the rights of protesters seeking justice, gun violence, and while he may not have talked about racial perry j justice per se, he did layout his accomplishments. he talked about the issues around gun violence and what is left to do. i was very proud of the fact that my guest tonight was one of
11:24 pm
the officials from black lives matter. it is good that he said that everyone should get involved. i wanted him to talk more about racial justice, but this was his final speech. he talked about the big picture, he talked about the common good. he really spoke to the best in human nature. >> reporter: criminal justice, he said he may be able to work on that across the aisle. did you hear other issues that might resonate with republicans that you sea places in congress that you can work together to make achievements? >> i coach here and i'm a member of the pie pat son steer-- bipartisan steering economy for the working group. i have tried to move the agenda to other areas. we must lift the travel ban.
11:25 pm
he talked about that. i think with our bipartisan efforts i am optimistic we can do that. there were areas in terms of technology. i think in a lot of ways we can cooperate in addition to criminal justice reforms. i'm hoping the congress will do the right things around gun legislation. not likely in this era. >> i know. why did he have to do that? because congress won't move. necessity keep talking about the fact that this president is issuing these executive orders, but he has asked the congress. we have been trying for years to pass gun safety and common sense gun measures. i hope that the congress, at least this year, will not go along with the wish earlier on
11:26 pm
in wanting this president to be a one-term president. >> reporter: legislators only have 80 some days this year. will the about president's agenda get time before the end? >> it's not a lot, it's the election year. if it were left up to myself, we would be here day and night working on behalf of the american people. maybe speaker ryan will see the light and will allow us to be here more days it to do the work that we need to. >> reporter: thank you for that. >> thank you thanks. we go now to ray suarez. >> reporter: this district centers on the industrial city of flint, michigan, which has been in the news lately for less
11:27 pm
than it makes than it's real needs now. while the president was getting ready to make his peach, the news broke that there had been at least a partial emergency response to flint's terrible led contamination crisis. tell us the latest >> finally the governor activated the national guard. it has been since july that he was aware that there are high levels of led in water here. thousands of children have life-long impacts on this. his response hasn't been adequate. the national guard has been activated. we have to deal with the long-term issues which are going to be really terrible. >> reporter: you note that in your view the governor was slow off the dime in responding to flint's problems, but what about the federal government? we're all gathered here.
11:28 pm
the president in what was billed as a different kind of state of the union address didn't do a we're going to do this and we're going to do this. there wasn't anything about cities like flint directly. did you hear, did the people of these areas hear a president who understood what michigan is up against? . i'm not sure that the government has adequately ever dealt with the issues facing older industrial cities. i worked with the president on some of that. certainly his focus on reinvigorating the manufacturing sector has helped, rescuing the auto industry made a big different in flint, but we have to go further than that. we have to rebuild the cities, reset the markets. the president has helped in that way just in the last budget we got two billion dollars to go after the issue. we have a long way to go and
11:29 pm
fixing our infrastructure say big part of that. there's a lot more to it. >> reporter: at the top of the speech he regretted the fact that many are looking ahead to a congressional year where very little gets done. it is that disheartening for you? from a place with a lot of need and already they're acknowledging that not much is going to between now and the election day? >> i took his call seriously. i hope speaker ryan picks up on that. we cannot afford to skip a whole year and concede that year to the corn value of what has become our-- carnival of our election cycle. people expect congress to act. we can do a lot. we can deal with criminal justice reform. i think we can grow big on infrastructure. we can do some things that typically are not partisan issues. we augt to be able to do those things in this year and then, obviously, next year will be a much better situation, with a
11:30 pm
new congress and president. hopefully a new majority in congress. >> reporter: the national guard on the way to flint. thank you. >> thank yous president obama used his address to issue a dire warning. he says the world's most war torn areas are likely to be the same in the time to come.
11:31 pm
11:32 pm
our foreign policy has to be focused on the threat from
11:33 pm
i.s.i.l. and al-qaeda, but it can't stop there. or 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, part of pakistan and parts of central america and africa and asia. some of these places may become safe havens for new terrorist networks. others will fall victim to ethnic conflict or famine speeding the next wave of refugees president warned tonight that instability in some parts of the world, including afghanistan, as you heard, is likely to continue for decades to come. we go now to kabul al jazeera's correspondent is standing by. the president, as we heard, just touched on afghanistan only in passing. could that be because he was positive about progress in
11:34 pm
afghanistan in last year's state of the union, but he then had to change his plans to withdraw troops? >> reporter: absolutely. i think this is the big possibility because he has nothing really to tell congress or the american people. when you look at the facts that the president promised to end america's longest war in 2016, that never happened. now we expect that the 9800 troops in afghanistan will remain throughout 2017 which probably means president obama had left office by then. when you also look at the taliban and their rising power since last year, that would raise some eyebrows and also the emergence of i.s.i.l. making gains in at at least 7 afghan provinces the taliban has gotten
11:35 pm
stronger and holding more territory than it did since the afghan war no 2001. do you think afghan expected to hear more from the president in this speech? >> reporter: i think when you spoke to afghans, i think it depends on which ones you talk to. there is deep mistrust that after 14 or 15 years of war against the taliban the group is still strong and creating who have havoc. they have mistrust to obama's plans. some afghans told me that they think the american forces should have cleared afghanistan from the taliban and other militants. others understand that it is a difficult job for them. now the issue of foreign troops is a very contentionous one.
11:36 pm
the afghanis want them out. as i said, they mistrust the american troops. they were very hopeful at the beginning that a new era would start. however, 14 years, the taliban still poses threat and it is making afghans very suss suspicious there are some hopes that poo peace talks that are planned that they will join with the other force force. we were able to get a reaction from elliot angel. >> reporter: we're here with the ranking member of the house economy on foreign affairs from new york. the president's last speech, what stood out to you tonight? >> what really stood out to me is it wasn't a thing where the
11:37 pm
president was managing congress. he was trying to work with congress. he was trying to bring congress together. i think this was a speech that he probably had more to do with writing than any of his other speeches. this reflected his thoughts >> reporter: you heard his voice? >> yeah. >> reporter: there were some moments where he chided republicans, where he called out some of the things they opposed during his administration. do you think he won anybody over tonight? >> i don't know if he won anybody over. it was a little bit disheartening to see that the standing ovations came from one side of the aisle, not from both. i think there were certain things that he spoke about in that everybody should have stood up and applauded. >> reporter: did you feel that more tonight than past years? >> no. i think it has been this way in past years. i think he has the division
11:38 pm
after having been president for so many years to kind of see it right there before him. i wouldn't be surprised if he was responsible for writing the majority of his speech himself. >> reporter: foreign policy is an area that you have expertise in. is he giving a strong enough message on fighting i.s.i.l.? >> i don't think he could have been more stronger. he talked about it today as a major priority, it is something that we have to do to defeat them. i think he was very strong, but he is also right in saying that america cannot have boots on the ground in every conflict in the world, that there is a time that we have to work with people and other countries and there's a time when there are other things that can be done. i think he made that very, very clear, that we are strong, we will stand up for what we believe and we will be strong and i don't think we have to be the there's men of the world and i think he's right. >> reporter: is there anything that you wanted to hear that you
11:39 pm
didn't? we didn't hear many on the issues that have been dominating the campaign trail, such as black lives matter. >> yes, and gun control. i think that because it is the laft one, the eighth year, this was more a reflective speech of how he sees the country moving and what he thinks, what his vision is and what we can do in the if you. i don't think it was-- the future. i don't think it was like one of those five years ago that he had a bunch of proposals that he wanted the congress to pass. he knows he is limited this year in an election year, where he can't run again. traditionally congress doesn't get much done because it gets tied up in politics. he knows that, but at the very beginning he said it needn't be that way, we should be trying to work together. i think this was more reflective of the speech rather than i have all these new powers that i want you to pass.
11:40 pm
>> reporter: thank you. you got here this morning very early to get a prime seat, as you often do >> yes. i take all my work with me and i work. >> reporter: thank you for talking with us president obama took aim at russia's involvement in the conflicts in ukraine and syria. our correspondent joinsous now from moscow. the president only lightly l lightly touched on russia referencing those conflicts where russia stands on the opposite side to the u.s. >> reporter: yes. i was a little confused, actually, and i think some people that i was looking at on twitter were confuseed as well by the way that obama phrased it. he accused russia of propping up countries like ukraine and syria and, of course, for anyone who has been following the conflict in ukraine over the last couple of years, they should know that the obama official position on russia's involvement in ukraine is that it is destabilizing that
11:41 pm
country, not propping it up. i think that was a clumsy bit of scripting. beyond that there wasn't much mention of russia at all. last year, 2015, there was much, much more. he talked of mr putin's aggression in ukraine, he said that the united states was hitting russia with sanctions and that russia's economy was in at that timers - tatters and that russia's leadership of persistence and resolve. beyond that, there wasn't much. there was a line where he said that people of the world do not look to beijing or moscow to lead, they call us. from the russian perspective, that's exactly what the kremlin have criticized. it says the u.s. has ruined countries like iraq and libya and is messing around in syria
11:42 pm
too and it's middling in europe which russia considers to be its backyard. they have long criticized the u.s. for these things and probably won't be stopping that soon he sounded different from last year when he said that american policy had weakened vladimir putin by sanctions that had hurt russia's economy and putin made a lot of mischief last year. thank you. many presidents enter the white house promising bipartisanship. president obama was no exception. it was been hard to find during his term. the split and how he prompted americans to change it next. nge it n
11:43 pm
11:44 pm
11:45 pm
not surprisingly g.o.p. members of congress gave the president's speech a failing grade. one said the president talks a good gain but can't back it up. >> reporter: did you see areas that you can work with the president on based on his speech tonight? >> in this speech i saw areas where i could work with the president as i did on the last seven speeches. i've only actually heard five of his speeches, but areas where i could work on. he does not reach across the aisle. his idea of that is his way or no way. there are many pieces of legislation that [ inaudible ]
11:46 pm
my issue is all the things he talked about tonight, why did he implement them over the past seven years? unfortunately, this president has done a terrible job on foreign policy and on other issues. it's class warfare. divide the people and a president is supposed to bring people together and he didn't do that tonight. >> reporter: you mentioned foreign affairs. you do sit on the foreign affairs committee. what would you like to hear differently on i.s.i.l.? is the president trying to balance that saying we shouldn't act like it's world war 3. no. it's not world war three. the president had an opportunity to take i.s.i.s. out. he said it was nothing would worry about. first mistake. second mistake he said they are contained and they were not contained because of the work around the world.
11:47 pm
the third thing is the president could step up the bombing. now, he did step up the bombing more so at the end of last year than what he did over the past seven years, but he has a great deal to go there. why not arm the people in iraq who want to defend their country and take their country back instead of them basically using single-shot rifles against air missiles. >> reporter: he did call you guys to take a vote. >> it's not congress's responsibility to put a plan together. the president is the commander in chief. he is the head of the military of, the armed forces. he is to put a plan plan together and submit it to congress. they decide it and send it back and say yes we will pass that. >> reporter: you want more leadership from him? >> yes. he does not want to be a president that gets into a war
11:48 pm
particularly if it doesn't go well so he can blame it on congress. no. it's his responsibility and he better step up to the plate and act like a leader and a commander in chief and he is not doing that. the president has to make tough decisions. >> reporter: one last thing about gun control. you have talked about concerns about the mentally ill being able to obtain guns. will you support him on this? >> if he explains how he handles this. we have to handle the metal health issues in this country >> reporter: he is asking congress for funding. can you support that? >> give us a plan on what he will do with the money. >> reporter: you want specifics? >> yes. i'm tired of throwing money to the government and it not being used wisely. if the president has a plan and wants to sit down about a plan, we're ready. just give me several hundred
11:49 pm
billion dollars and we will put it to mental health - specifically what. >> reporter: thank you for that. >> it's a pleasure thanks again to lib imprshgs. there is little doubt that the division between democrat accurates and republicans have grown during his presidency. so much so that researchers have published studies. tonight the president called for change. we're back with our political reporter.'would discussed earlier he called for some reconciliation but he also took a shot at republicans saying that anyone who claims is america is in dedecline is pedal meddling fiction. >> it was so interesting because i'm looking on line and on twitter and what you're seeing is republicans calling him out for being a hypocrite. calling out the republican candidates and the party for this kind of doom and gloom approach to the economy and the idea that the u.s. military is
11:50 pm
on decline. he suck talking about bringing people together which has been a part of his presidency over the years. he comes off as something of a hypocrite. that said from his perspective, he had two really important things that he had to do tonight. one was he has to try to help democrats who are coming behind him running for president, senate, house and he has to cement his own legacy. to do those two things is difficult. to please an audience like that, which is obviously heavily republican, which were not prepared to stand up and cheer for most of what he said gun control, which is one of the things the president would like to be a part of his legacy, and today there was an empty chair as a symbol of all of those who died because of gun violence in the united states, but that created an issue
11:51 pm
because you had steve king who decided to leave his chair empty for all the babies that had been aborted and there should be a chair for all the syrians who have died who ended up as he said because of the president obama's reckless policies. >> it is such a great example. there's almost nothing you can do in washington today that doesn't create and exacerbate this enormous divide. you see the president trying to honor the children that were killed at sandy hook and others who have died by leaving the seat and it illicits that kind of response. we don't want to diminish that response. in a real way the issues that are being talked about are very real to people, particularly people in king's case on the right. it is interesting that almost everything you do today, particularly as 2016 at the election, becomes this divide that we can't seem to get over still ahead a look at
11:52 pm
president obama legacy following this final state of the union address and how both democratic and republican presidential candidates, what they're saying about that legacy as they campaign for the primaries.
11:53 pm
>> al jazeera america brings you independent reporting without spin. >> not everybody is asking the questions you're asking me today. >> we give you more perspectives >> the separatists took control a few days ago. >> and a global view. >> now everybody in this country can hear them. >> getting the story first-hand.
11:54 pm
>> they have travelled for weeks, sometimes months. >> what's your message then? >> we need help now. >> you're watching al jazeera america. >> on hard earned, down, but not out, >> 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 back with our correspondent. leading up to this there was a lot of talk about what the president was going to do in the speech and then in the coming
11:55 pm
year to burnish legacy. >> the important thing is to ensure that a democrat succeeds. by framing the republicans on climate science, it is a reminder to voters out there that the president and democrats see the republicans as not making arguments based on facts. in terms of the policies, the achievements, the legacy is going to get people out of the recession. he reminded people of the job growth, the oil prices and unemployment coming down. he got in a jab at republicans by talking about we may have some disagreements over health care. he didn't get into if, but it was a remainder that signature legislative agreement has been his passage of health care reform. that's a big deal the republican argue that it has not achieved what had it
11:56 pm
harris scarfe intended to achieve >> it is a debate. you can argue that health care costs may still have gone up, but not as quickly as they were before. more people have health insurance, and yet republicans say it has created more red tape and not done the job of making the system more efficient or effective the president spent a big chunk of his dlaes on what he called the rancor and suspicion of the parties. he warned against giving into election year cynicism. they will echo on the campaign trail. michael, it is getting talking about contentious, it's getting heated there now. >> reporter: not outside. not outside it isn't. yeah. absolutely. you talked about it, the president talking about cynicism. i talked to david in l.a. at the last debate, the former
11:57 pm
communications guru at the white house. i said what are you not seeing that you would like to see in this race. he said there was a lack of optimism. so the president talking to the candidates showing that you can be optimistic and also talk about his record. he made plays to the four top candidates. look at donald trump, the president talked about how good the country is, how great we are, what a power we are, how the world turns to us. that goes contrast to what donald trump is saying which is we need to make america great again. that's his slogan. he says we don't need to talk about carpet bombing. that is something that ted cruz. bernie sanders wanted to hear and talk so much about income and inequality. also talked about campaign finance. you heard a president of talking about campaign finance in the speech and then hillary clinton, talking about the optimism,
11:58 pm
talking about how she needs to take day message to the people, that he has done a lot. altogether subtle, not overt but very important there was also a shot taken at donald trump and ted cruz likely by their own party. nicky haley saying during anxious times it can be techting to following the siren of voices. >> reporter: in the wake of her remarks, what you really don't want when you give that speech is have any attention, negative or positive, it's a requirement, but now the conservative talkers are talking about how she spoke like the president, not as a conservative, not an as a republican an that's the problem. ted cruz said this wasn't a state of the union reference to the speech, said it was the president giving a state of denial. he would not agree at all. of course, on defense, so there
11:59 pm
is a divide within the party that was exposed by that speech and what happened then thank you for that. we thank you all for watching our special extended coverage of president obama's final state of the union address. i'm antonio mora and the news continues next >> our unique strength as a nation, our optimism and work ethic, our spirit of discovery, our diversity, our commitment to rule of law, these things give us everything we need to ensure prosperity and security for generations to come. ♪
12:00 am
it diminishes us in the eyes of the world. it makes it harder to achieve our goals. it betrays who we are as a country. >> the u.s. president, barack obama makes his final state of the union address calling out politicians who insult muslims. mellow. ism richelle carey in doha. ahead to the program: south korea calls for tougher sanctions against its neighbor in the wake of a nuclear test. foreigners are killed in a popular tourist spot in