tv 2016 State of the Union Address CSPAN January 17, 2016 10:32am-11:46am EST
president obama's executive actions that are so controversial, they are able to shield 5 million immigrants from deportation. these are people that have been here that have not been held up in the court. we will not do for you, but then we will deport these people. brian: the expansion of the current document. host: our time is up. maybe a one-word answer to this. the director expects confidence that our immigration policy would change. immigration reform. you both feel the same way looking at the current political climate? brian: ioc and opening, no. jerry: at the moment, no. eventually, yes. host: thank you. >> in just about 15 minutes,
president obama will address the nation about the lifting of sanctions in connection with the iran nuclear agreement. we will have the president's remarks live right here on c-span at 10:45. as we wait for the president to speak on washington journal this morning, we asked you and got the answer to the question can the world trust iran? host: thank you for being with us. a lot to talk about, but first this is the editorial from the washington post. free at last as iran releases another american. making this point. the obama administration response has been weak. response.w the modest will celebrate his return and the americans but the absence of a firmer u.s. policy that is this morning from today's op-ed in the "washington post."
joining us on the phone is tom, one of the few western reporters inside tehran. thank you for being with us. guest: sure. base for having me. -- thanks for having me. host: let we start with the front page of this morning's new york times. what is the reaction inside the country? guest: people are extremely happy, but they are not showing this happiness by driving around with street parties. there have been some way milestones through the negotiations that some people have grown so cynical. they say sanctions are now lifted, but will i see more money in my pocket? will my purchasing power increase? after so many promises of the
improvement of the situation, they are now taking more of a wait-and-see approach. host: we heard from secretary of state john kerry in vienna, austria, yesterday. he made a point that the sanctions negotiations and the release of these five americans was on a dual but very separate track. can you elaborate on how this transpired? covering the been negotiations that took place in vienna and geneva over the past two years. believe thatd to these are two very separate issues. i think that is why the reporter has written a separate track sort of was established in which state department
and the fbi and cia were in direct negotiations with iranian intelligence officials over the release of jason and the four others. so it was not being very complicated. say this is ad complete effort. if you look at the seven prisoners who have been released or are being released by the u.s., you can see they are all people involved in what we would call a sanction breaking. the iranians are specifically asking for these people because they have helped them survive the section period. the stations are now listed as of last night. the iranians want to tie up the loose ends and make sure people who helped them over the years are reached. host: we're hearing now that the four americans still inside iran are now leaving the country although they were not detained,
but they did stay at the swiss embassy overnight. why the delay in their initial release. they were leaving on saturday. they are now leaving at this hour. guest: to happen a lot of conflicting reports. they have been saying he was out of the country or flying out of the country that he had left iranian airspace the people of germany were waiting for him. people said he was going to switzerland and it turned out he and his wife were still here inside iran. even as we speak now an iranian official confirms to us that while jason has left iran, the according to him the other four , iranian american american prisoners still remain that in iran.
he made clear iran is taking necessary steps to releasing the prisoners that they released in the u.s. before it will send the other ones out. host: we are getting the latest developments from inside tehran with thomas erdbrink. $100 billion in iranian assets now being released to that country. the bottom line economically for the people of iran, what will it mean for them? are you still with us? he was joining us on his cell phone from inside tehran. we may have lost his signal, but we want to thank you for joining him for joining us. his story inside the front page of the "new york times." requested we are asking you is can the world trust iran. your reaction to all of this. caller: i very disappointed but not surprised considering this incompetent president.
first of all, we cannot trust iran. the middle east will be one hellhole as far as nuclear weapons going off. they will try to destroy israel. the bigger question is what is this?america get from actually it is nothing. prisoners were released, but what else do we get in return? absolutely nothing. iran has $150 billion to build up the economy, destroying other countries in the middle east that don't agree with them. basically in the long run, we are in trouble. this president shows he is more for the iranians than the american people because our safety is now at risk. take care, god bless. host: from chicago. joining us on our line for independents. minister of iran with this tweet yesterday. a tweet from one of our viewers.
sandra is joining us from columbus, georgia. independent line. good morning, welcome to the conversation. caller: thank you. host: go ahead please. caller: i am old enough. i remember iran for many years from many years ago as a young teenager to today. i have never known iran to keep their word about one thing. that $150 million that they insisted on having before they would release the american prisoners is not going to be spent to rebuild the economy. they will put it into their military or be given to terrorists. it would not surprise me in the least to find out our american citizens will not be released from tehran.
host: can the world trust iran? that is our question. also on facebook, you can join in on the conversation. some are already weighing in. carol is joining us from minneapolis. good morning to you. caller: good morning to you. no, obviously you cannot trust them. when george bush said it was part of the axis of evil, the leaders in iran got credit. right now, they are putting cement into their nuclear reactors. they have already shipped materials to russia.
iaea is inspecting it. it netanyahu and republicans had their way we would be bombing , them. you cannot bomb inside of a mountain. i wonder how many americans really realize that this is $150 billion of iran's money. the united states is paying zero. it is all of money that had been seized from iranian banks. i have heard several times already this morning donald trump said we are giving them $150 billion. no we are not. it is releasing their own money. lies are all over the place. thanks. host: thank you. appreciate the call. jason one of those held from july 2014. he was a "washington post" reporter. we are hearing from cnn and other news reports that those
who have been held are now leaving iranian airspace and heading to a u.s. military base in germany before returning to the united states. carol from minnesota talking about money. david has been writing about that this morning on the front page of the "new york times." he points out the following. the united states and european nations lifting oil and financial sanctions on iran, releasing $100 billion of assets after it was included the country followed through on promises to dismantle large sections of its nuclear program. we have a tweet from jody. let's hear from brian joining us from washington state. good morning, republican line.
caller: yes, good morning. listening to the comments coming in, and i think this is another giant failure in the obama administration's policy with iran and the united states in general. i see it as probably going to be one of the worst possible deals in the history of the united states. i don't think iran is a country that we have ever been able to trust. the average american pretty well knows this. i think the media and the government in the united states is kind of naive to this. they want to create this better , friendlier, kinder, gentler nation building between the two
countries, but giving them money and access to creating powerful weapons, i don't think they are going to tell us the truth about anything. i think they are involved in literally just taking over the middle east. it seems really naive to think that somehow they are going to be friends of the world now because they have these on unfrozen assets, which the people of iran are never going to see any of that money. it will only be used to sponsor more state terrorism and probably take thousands more lives. and eventually kill christians and jews. host: thank you for adding your ofce to the conversation
early on the republican line in washington state. we appreciate it. thank you. this is from another viewer. here is how the story is playing out in great britain. the guardian newspaper. iranians have greeted with the jubilation the end of a decade of financial stringency under sanctions after was in officials formally lifted a complex network of units of measures as a landmark nuclear deal was of limited. is satisfied with iran's literally concrete moves and it helps bring movement in other -- the president claiming it a golden age in a turning point in its economy. this morning from the guardian newspaper. five americans have been released including "washington , post" reporter jason. we will show you their faces as audra fromm
california on the independent line, good morning. caller: hi. i am calling from alameda. i used to work for peace action west. i have actually worked closely and personally with these activists across the state. i actually think this question , the way it is proposed is kind of alienating especially because , there are countries we could see as our adversary for a and iran is a focal point for a variety of reasons. a variety of reasons because there has been a whole ploy to create a third world war to create more military spending in this country. it is actually a victory for diplomacy. it is actually a standing of america at its best.
it invokes peace and ensures diplomacy and conversation is a way that we can move on to a better world. honestly why do we need to be , bombing? why do we need to be hurting one another when conversations can be had? what i would actually posed to to c-span is to provoke a better question or more intrinsic question about why we holding some countries accountable and not others? what is going on with saudi arabia right now? why are we not also questioning other countries that actually have imposed way more human rights violations than iran has? pres. obama: this is a good thing. we are once again seeing what is possible with strong american diplomacy. and i said in my state of the union address ensuring the security of the united states
and the american people demands a smart, patient, and disciplined approach to the world. that includes our diplomacy with the islamic republic of iran. for decades, our differences with iran met our governments almost never spoke to each other. ultimately, that is not advance america's interests. i ran movedrs, closer closer to having the ability to build a nuclear weapon. from president freeman was about to john f. kennedy to ronald reagan, the united states has never been afraid to pursue diplomacy with our adversaries and as president i decided a strong confident america could adventure were not security by engaging directly with the enemy. we have seen the results. that we, nuclear deal our allies, and partners reached with iran last year, i ran not
get his hands on a nuclear bomb. the region, the united states, the world will be more secure. as i have said many times, the neverr deal was intended to resolve all of our problems with iran but engaging directly with the government for the first time in decades has created a unique opportunity, a window to try to resolve important issues. today i can report progress on a number of fronts. first, yesterday marked a milestone in preventing iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. iran has not fulfilled key commitments under the nuclear deal. i want to take a moment to explain why this is so important . over war than a decade, iran moved ahead with its nuclear program, and before the deal, it has installed more than 20,000 centrifuges that could enrich uranium for a nuclear bomb. today, iran has removed two thirds of those machines.
are and was dealing with statically increasing its stockpile of enriched uranium, and not for up to 10 nuclear bombs. 80% of thatthan stockpile has been shipped out of iran meeting iran does not have material for even one bomb. before, iran was near completion of a nuclear reactor capable of producing plutonium for a nuclear bomb. today the core of that reactor has been pulled out and filled with concrete so it cannot be used again. the world have, relatively little visibility into iran's nuclear program. today, international inspectors are on the ground, in iran is being subjected to the most comprehensive intrusive inspection regime ever negotiated to monitor a nuclear program. inspector will monitor iran's nuclear facilities 20 hours a day, 365 days a year. for decades to come, inspectors will have access to iran's
entire nuclear supply chain. if iran tries to cheat and builds a bomb covertly, we will catch them. iran was steadily expanding its nuclear program. we have now cut off every single path iran could have used to build a bomb. it would have taken iran to just three months -- two to three months to get material, it has now been extended to one year. with the world's unprecedented access to the program, we will know if iran ever tries to break that. now that iran's actions have been verified, and can begin to receive relief from certain nuclear sanctions and gain access to its own money that has been frozen. perhaps most important of all, we have achieved this historic progress through diplomacy without resorting to another war in the middle east.
i want also point out that by working with iran on this nuclear deal, we were better able to address other issues. our sailors in the persian gulf accidentally strayed into iranian waters, that could have sparked a major international incident. some folks here in washington rushed to the great was the start of another hostage crisis. instead, we worked directly with iranian developments and secure the release of our sailors within 24 hours. it brings me to a second major development. several americans unjustly detained by iran are finally coming home. in some cases, these americans face years of -- and i met with their families. i have seen the anguish. the aches for their sons and husbands. i gave these families my word, i made a vow that we would do everything to win the release of their loved ones, and we have been tireless.
on the sidelines of the nuclear negotiations, our diplomats at the highest level, including secretary kerry, used every meeting to push iran to release our americans. i did so myself in my conversation with the president. after the nuclear deal was completed, the discussions between our governments celebrity. -- celebrated. the families got the news they had been waiting for. jason is coming home. the courageous journalist for the "washington post" who wrote about the daily lives and hopes of the iranian people, he has been held for a year and a half. he embodies the brave spirit that gives life to the freedom of the press. jason has already been reunited with his wife and mom. home.r is coming held for three and a half years. is unyielding faith in the
people around the world and the global fight opal the freedom of religion -- fight to uphold the freedom of religion. he will return to idaho. a former sergeant in the marine corps is coming home. he has been held for 4.5 years. today, his parents and sisters are getting thanks. two other americans have already been released. matthew, and iranian in iran as a student. when americans are free to reunited with her families, that is something you can all celebrate. i want to thank my national security team, especially secretary kerry, susan rice, national security advisor, brent macarthur, admiral haynes, roads, our whole team worked
tirelessly to bring our americans on to get this work done, and i want to think this was government which represent our interests in iran for the critical. iran has agreed to deepen our coronation as we work to relocate one missing from iran in more than eight years. as we rejoice the return of others, we will never forget about bob. each and every day, our thoughts are with his family and we will not rest of their family is holding in -- whole again. six iranian americans and one iranian serving sentences awaiting trial in the united states are being granted clemency. these individuals were not charged with terrorism or any violent offenses. they are civilians. the release is a one-time gesture to iran given the unique opportunity offered by this moment in larger circumstances outweigh.
it reflects our willingness to engage with iran to advance our mutual interest, even as we ensure the national security of the united states. so, nuclear deal implement to. --implemented. american families reunited. the third piece of this work that we got in this weekend involved the united states and iran resolving a financial dispute debated back more than three decades. nation's1, after our severed diplomatic relations, with engaged a tribunal to resolve various claims between our countries. and iran areates selling a long-standing iranian government claim against the united states government. its ownl be returned funds including appropriate interest, but much less than the amount iran sought. billions of dollars that could have been pursued by iran's of there was no benefit by the united date in dragging
this out -- united states in dragging this out. it was time to resolve this dispute as well. of course, even as we implement the nuclear deal and welcome our recognizehome, we there remain profound differences between the united states and iran.we remain steadfast against its threats against israel and our golf partners and its support for areas like syria and yemen. we thought sections on iran for its violations of human rights and the support of terrorism and for its ballistic missile program. we will continue to enforce the sanctions vigorously. iran's recent nuclear missile test was a violation, and the united states is imposing sanctions on individuals and companies working to advance iran's
nuclear missile program, and we will remain vigilant about it. we will not waver in the defense of our security or that of our allies and ou partners. i do want to once again speak directly to the iranian people. you're so as a great civilization with a vibrant culture that has so much to contribute to the world in commerce, science, arts. for decades, your government's threats and actions to destabilize the region have isolated iran for much of the world. now, our governments are talking with one another. you,wing the nuclear deal, especially young iranians, have the opportunity to begin building new ties with the world. we have a rare chance to pursue a new path, a different better future that delivers progress for the world. that is the opportunity before the iranian people. we need to take advantage of that.
to my fellow americans, today we are united in welcoming home sons, brothers and husbands who have endured a nightmare. but they never gave in and they never gave up. at long last, they can stand tall and freeze deep the fresh air of freedom. as a nation, we face real challenges around the world and here at home. many of them will not be resolved quickly or easily. but today's progress, americans coming home and an iran that has pulled back the nuclear program and has accepted unprecedented monitoring of that program -- these things are a reminder of what we can achieve only leave -- achieve when we lead with courage. america can do and has done take things. when we work together. world and makes
it safe and more secure for our children and our grandchildren and generations to come. , once again,nk secretary kerry, the national security team led by susan rice. i'm grateful for all of the assistance we have received from our allies and partners and i am hopeful that this signals the to workity for iran more cooperatively with nations around the world to advance their interests and the interests of the people who are looking for peace and security for their families. thank you so much. god bless you and god bless the united states of america. >> where do you see these discussions going next? so, that was president barack obama speaking about the iran nuclear agreement and the lifting of the sanctions and the release of the five americans. you missed -- if
anything that he had to say, we will be playing that later. the president used his final state of the union address to talk about economy, innovation, technology, daschle security and improving participation. this is about one hour 15 minutes. >> the president of the united states. [applause] [cheering]
president of the united states. [applause] [cheers] pres. obama: thank you. thank you. thank you so much. thank you. mr. speaker, mr. vice president, members of congress, my fellow americans -- tonight marks the eighth year i've come here to report on the state of the union. and for this final one, i'm going to try to make it a little shorter. [applause] pres. obama: i know some of you are antsy to get back to iowa. [laughter] [applause]
pres. obama: i have been there. i will be shaking hands after if you want some tips. [laughter] obama:nt barack i understand that because it's an election season, expectations for what we'll achieve this year are low. but, mr. speaker, i appreciate the constructive approach you and the 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 this year on bipartisan priorities like criminal justice reform. [applause] obama: and help people who are battling prescription drug abuse and heroin abuse. [applause]
president barack obama: who knows? we just 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 personalizing medical treatments for patients. and i'll keep pushing for progress on the work that still needs to be done. fixing a broken immigration system. [applause] pres. obama: protecting our kids from gun violence. equal pay for equal work, paid leave, raising the minimum wage. all these things still matter to hardworking families; they are still the right thing to do; and i won't let up until they get done. but for my final address to this
chamber, i don't want to talk just about the next year. i want to focus on the next five years, ten 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, the way we work, our planet, and our place in the world. it's change that promises amazing medical breakthroughs, but also economic disruptions that strain working families. it promises education for girls in the most remote villages, but also connects terrorists plotting an ocean away. it's change that can broaden opportunity, or widen inequality. and whether we like it or not, the pace of this change will only accelerate. america has been through big
changes before. wars and depression, the influx of new immigrants, workers fighting for a fair deal, and movements to expand civil rights. each time, there have been those who told us to fear the future, who claimed we could slam the brakes on change, promising to restore past glory if we just got some group or idea that was threatening america under control. and each time, we overcame those fears. we did not, in the words of lincoln, "adhere to the dogmas of the quiet past." instead, we thought anew, and acted anew. we made change work for us,
always extending america's promise outward, to the next frontier, to more and 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 strengths as a nation -- our optimism and work ethic, our spirit of discovery, our diversity, our commitment to the rule of law, these things give us everything we need to ensure prosperity and security for generations to come. in fact, it's that spirit that
we have made progress these past seven years. that is how we recovered from the worst economic crisis in generations. [applause] that is how we reformed our health care system, and reinvented our energy sector. [applause] that is how we delivered more care and benefits to our troops coming home and our veterans. [applause] that is how we secured the freedom in every state to marry
the person we love. [applause] but such progress is not inevitable. it is 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 inward as a nation, and turning against each other as a people? or will we face the future with confidence in who we are, what we stand for, and the incredible things we can do together? so let's talk about the future,
and four big questions that 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 challenges like climate change? [applause] third, how do we keep america safe and lead the world without becoming its policeman? [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 a 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 longest streak of private-sector job creation in history. [applause] more than 14 million new jobs, the strongest two years of job growth since the 1990's, an unemployment rate cut in half.
our auto industry just had its best year ever. [applause] that is just part of a manufacturing surge which has created nearly 900,000 new jobs in the past six years. and we've done all this while cutting our deficits by almost three-quarters. [applause] anyone claiming that america's economy is in decline is peddling fiction. [applause] what is true, and the reason that a lot of americans feel anxious, is that the economy has been changing in profound ways, changes that started long before the great recession hit and
changes that haven't 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 locate anywhere, and 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. all these trends have squeezed workers, even when they have jobs, even when the economy is growing. it's made it harder for a hardworking family to pull
itself out of poverty, harder for young people to start on their careers, and 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 works better for everybody. we've made progress. but we need to make more. and despite all the political arguments we've had these past 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. few years, there are 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 highs, and boosted graduates in fields like engineering. in the coming years, we should build on that progress, by providing pre-k for all, and offering every student -- [applause] pres. obama: offering every student the hands-on computer science and math classes that make them job-ready on day one, and we should recruit and support 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 a borrower's income. now, we've actually got to cut the cost of college. [applause] providing two years of community college at no cost 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 is the right thing to do. 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 is not too much of a stretch to say that some of the only people in america who are going
to work the same job, in the same place, with a health and retirement package, for 30 years, are sitting in this chamber. [laughter and murmuring] pres. obama: for everyone else, especially folks in their forties and fifties, saving for retirement or bouncing back from job loss has gotten a lot tougher. americans understand that at some point in their careers, in this new economy, they may have to retool and retrain. but they shouldn't lose what they've already worked so hard to build in the process. that's why social security and medicare are more important than ever. we shouldn't weaken them, we should strengthen them. [applause] and for americans short of
retirement, basic benefits should be just as mobile as everything else is today. that, by the way, is what the affordable care act is all about. it's about filling the gaps in employer-based care so that when we lose a job, or go back to school, or you launch that new business, you will still have coverage. nearly eighteen million have gained coverage so far. [applause] and in the process, health care inflation has slowed. and our businesses have created jobs every single month since it became law. now, i'm guessing we won't agree on health care anytime soon. [applause] [laughter]
pres. obama: a little applause right there. [laughter] just a guess. but there should be other ways both parties can improve economic security. say a hardworking american loses his job -- we shouldn't just make sure 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's going from job 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 interest in tackling poverty. america is about giving everybody willing to work a
chance, hand up, and i'd welcome a serious discussion about strategies we can all support, like expanding tax cuts for low-income workers who do not have children. [applause] but there are some areas where we just have to be honest, it's been more difficult to find agreement over the last seven years. a lot of them fall under the category of what role the government should play in making sure the system's not rigged in favor of the wealthiest and biggest corporations. [applause] and it is 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, and there's red tape that needs to be cut. [applause] there you go. yeah. but, after years of record corporate profits, working families won't get more opportunity or bigger paychecks just by letting big banks or big oil or hedge funds make their own rules at everybody else'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 didn't cause the financial crisis,
recklessness on wall street did. [applause] immigrants aren't the reason wages haven't gone up. those decisions are made in the boardrooms that too often put quarterly earnings over long-term returns. it's sure not the average family watching tonight that avoids paying taxes through offshore accounts. [applause] the point is, i believe that in this new economy, workers and startups and small businesses need more of a voice, not less. the rules should work for them. i am not alone in this. this year, i plan to lift up the many businesses who've figured out that doing right by their workers or their customers or their communities ends up being
good for their shareholders. [applause] and i want to spread those practices across america. that is part of a brighter future. [applause] in fact, it turns out, many of our best corporate citizens are also our most creative. this brings me to the second big question we as a country have to answer -- how do we reignite that spirit of innovation to meet our biggest challenges? sixty years ago, when the russians beat us into space, we didn't deny sputnik was up there. [laughter] we didn't argue about the science, or shrink our research and development budget. we built a space program almost overnight, and twelve years later, we were walking on the moon. [applause]
[cheers] president barack obama: that spirit of discovery is in our dna. america is thomas edison and the wright brothers and george washington carver. america is grace hopper and katherine johnson and sally ride. america is every immigrant and entrepreneur from boston to austin to silicon valley racing to shape a better future. [applause] that is who we are. and, over the past seven years, we've nurtured that spirit. we have protected an open internet, and taken bold new steps to get more students and low-income americans online.
we've launched next-generation manufacturing hubs, and online tools that give an entrepreneur everything he or she needs to start a business in a single day. i but we can do so much more. i last year, vice president biden said that with a new and moonshot, america can cure cancer. last month, he worked with this will congress to give scientists at the national institutes of health the strongest resources that they have had in over a decade. [applause] well -- [applause] pres. obama: so tonight, i'm announcing a new national effort to get it done. and because he's gone to the mat for all of us, on so many issues over the past forty years, i'm
putting joe in charge of mission control. [applause] for the loved ones we've all lost, for the family we can still save, let's make america the country that cures cancer once and for all. what do you say? [applause] medical research is critical. we need the same level of commitment when it comes to developing clean energy sources. [applause] look, if anybody still wants to dispute the science around climate change, have at it. you will be pretty lonely because you'll be debating our
military, most of america's business leaders, and 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. [applause] but even if, even if the planet wasn't -- 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 future? [applause] listen, seven years ago we made the single biggest investment in clean energy in our history. here are the results.
in fields from iowa to texas, wind power is now cheaper than dirtier, conventional power. on roof tops, from arizona to new york, solar is saving americans tens of millions of dollars a year on their energy bills and employs more americans than coal in jobs that pay better than average. we're taking steps to give homeowners the freedom to generate and store their own energy. something, by the way, that environmentalists and tea partyers have teamed up to support. meanwhile, we've cut our imports of foreign oil by nearly 60% and cut carbon pollution more than any other country on earth. [applause]
gas under two bucks a gallon ain't bad either. [cheers] [laughter] president barack obama: now we've got to accelerate the transition away from old, dirtier energy sources. rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future. especially in communities that rely on fossil fuels, we do them no favor when we don't show them where the trends are going. that's why i'm going to push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources so that they better reflect the cost they impose on taxpayers and our planet and that way we put money back into those communities and put tens of thousands of americans to work building a 21st century transportation system. [applause]
now, none of this is going to happen overnight. and, yes, there are plenty of entrenched interests who want to protect the status quo. but the jobs will create, the money we'll save, the planet we'll preserve, that is the kind of future our kids and grandkids deserve. and it's within our grasp. climate change is just one of many issues where our security is linked with the rest of the world. that's why the third big question that we have to 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. [applause] period. it's not even close. it's not even close. it's not even close. we spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined. our troops are the finest fighting force in the history of the world. [applause]
president barack obama: no nation attacks us directly or our allies because they know that's the path to ruin. surveys show our standing around the world is higher than 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. [applause] -- when we don't, we don't make good decisions. now, as 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 is 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 millennia. economic headwinds are blowing in from a chinese economy that is in significant transition. even as their economy severely contracts, russia is pouring resources into prop up ukraine and syria, client states they saw slipping away from their orbit. and the international system we built after world war ii is now struggling to keep pace with this new reality.
it's up to us, the united states of america, to help remake that system. and to do that well, it means 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 isil, pose a direct threat to 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 destablize our allies.
we have to take them out. but as we focus on destroying isil, over the top claims that this is world war 3 just play into their hands. masses of fighters on the back of pickup 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 isil wants 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 by echoing the lie that isil is somehow representative of one of the world's largest religions.
[applause] we just need to call them what they are. killers and fanatics. who have to be rooted out, hunted down, and destroyed. [applause] and that's exactly what we're doing. for more than a year, america has led a coalition of more than 60 countries to cut off isil's finances, disrupt their plots, stop the flow of terrorist fighters, and stamp out their vicious ideology. with nearly 10,000 air strikes we're taking out their leadership, their oil, their training camps, their weapons.
we're training, arming, and supporting forces who are steadily reclaiming territory in iraq and syria. if this 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 isil. take a vote. [applause] take a vote. but the american people should know that with or without congressional action, isil will learn the same lessons that terrorists before them. if you doubt america's commitment or mind to see that justice is done, just ask osama bin laden. [applause] [cheers] obama: ask theor withoutpresidk
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 go after you. and it may take time, but we have long memories, and our reach has no limits. [applause] ourident barack obama: foreign policy has to be focused on the threat from isis and al qaeda. but it can't stop there. for even without isil, even without al qaeda, instability will continue for decades in many parts of the world. in the middle east, in afghanistan, parts 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 just fall victim to ethnic conflict or famine. feeding the next wave of refugees. the world will look to us to help solve these problems. and our answer needs to be more than talk talk or calls to -- safe havens for new terrorist more than tough talk or calls to carpet bomb civilians. that may work as a tv sound bite but it doesn't pass muster on 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 quagmire. spilling american blood and treasure that ultimately will weaken us.
it's the lesson of vietnam. it's the lesson of iraq. 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's that america will always act, alone if necessary, to protect our people and our allies. but 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.