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tv   State of the Union Address  NBC  January 12, 2016 9:00pm-11:00pm EST

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tonight for the final time -- >> the president of the united states. all as we're only 20 days away from the first vote to elect the new president. >> announcer: from nbc news the state of the union address. live from washington. here's lester holt. good evening from washington
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january night. inside the house chamber, we're awaiting the arrival of president obama who will deliver his final state of the union address tonight. his take on where america stands seven years into his presidency cast against the competing vision in the race to replace some of them in that very chamber. tonight, also, against an international playing out into the night. i'm lester holt alongside chuck todd and andrea mitchell. the president will give his state of the union speech with ten americans being held right now in iran. they were sailors. they were on a pair of boats. one suffered a mechanical failure and apparently drifted into iraraan territorial waters. how much effort has gone on today to resolve this before this speech? >> there has been frantic effort. in fact, secretary kerry was in a meeting with top filipino
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rushed out and called his counter part and said it was an accident that we're trying to get it resolved, and assured them it was not a deliberate venture into their territorial waters. zarif asked a couple of questions. and the iranian officials promised the sailors will be released promptly we're told, with daylight, which is a couple of hours. they have not changed the state of the union address. they posted it. and the president has two sentences. he said "as we speak, the world avoid the another water ". they're days away from implementing the deal and lifting sanctions. the initial sanks. he said republican candidates are all over this tonight criticizing this iran policy. you're going see more criticism if those sailors are not released. >> chuck, it will tee up the trust argument with iran. >> timing couldn't be worse for the president. iran was one of the examples he
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feels are big accomplishments in his administration. but i'll tell you this could be -- i'll be curious to see how the room reacts to this. because there are -- look, there are a lot of skeptics in that room. they're not all sitting on the republican side. there's skeptics how we deal with iran on the democratic side as well. i think this couldn't be more uncomfortable politically. >> secretary kerry we saw come in a moment ago. he didn't want to take questions on that. it's been occupying the most of his afternoon and evening. >> we saw energy secretary earn nist earnest moniz. secretary moniz and there's kerry with jack lew the secretary treasury and ashe carter. they are arguing if it happened
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relationship with iran, those sailors might have been held as british sailors were in 2007 years ago. we should note the first lady is already in the room. we expect -- they're running a few minutes late. we expect to see the introduction of the president. this was about five or six minutes ago when the first lady was welcomed into the chambers. you see some of the people in her box tonight will be recognized throughout the evening. kelly o'donnell, our capitol hill correspondent is in the chamber tonight. we don't see her, but she's going to give us her perspective. what do you see down there? >> when the first lady arriveded there was a roaring standing ovation from both members of both parties to honor her arriving tonight. i've been watching secretary john kerry, and he has been having private conversations.
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south carolina's lindsey graham, a senator who is prominent on foreign policy issues and just recently left the presidential race. kerry is smiling and talking with people. part of this night is also about how the outside issues find their way into the chamber through the guests that are here. i spotted a woman who made a lot of news earlier this year the kentucky clerk, kim davis, is a guest tonight of an ohio lawmaker who is the head of the freedom caucus, which used to be the tea party group in the house. she has been controversial over gay marriage. we see the head scarves of many americans who are muslims who were invited by their lawmakers, mostly democrats making that of the harsh rhetoric on the campaign trail. we've seen members of the congressional black caucus take their seats. the president is arriving.
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sergeant of arms paul herman announcing the arrival of the president. >> no laying your coat on the chair saying you'll come back. >> no. there he is. there he is. a congressman who always gets into the shots. >> chris january singjansing is watching. they try to set the stage they promise is a different speech than we would -- might expect. this is something that the president talked about since
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this to be. if you look at his speeches over the years, they're very much a laundry list. how is he going to work with congress? what are the things he wants to get done? you see him being greeted here. today i think it's very much bigger schematic. he wants to set an optimistic tone. something that will be aspirational and inspirational. very future looking. having said that, he's trying to break out at a time when, obviously, the huge political year has been dominated by the people who want his job. this is his night to say what he wants it to be. lay out what he believes the democratic party should stand for. and lay out to his successes. because he wants to say.
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little bit of a sales job, you should not want to ask for your money back. here is the reason because together we have gotten some things done. a huge night for him. probably the biggest television audience he'll have for the rest of his presidency to make that point, lester. >> members of the supreme court. the first page of the speech, by the way, we see a nonembargoed topic. some issues of leadership that down of legally -- >> i haven't read the whole speech but i've already read a lot of it. this feels like a president who for six months watched the campaign take shape. for six months has wanted to say some things about how he feels particularly how the republicans
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to me it's a rebuttal. to me, it feels like, i think it will be curious to see. >> yeah, look at that picture. paul ryan, new speaker of the house. chuck and i were at breakfast meeting. it was a question if he'll be on camera for a great deal of the evening for the president's speech speech. he was. >> he was practicing his poker face. >> paul ryan and joe biden ran against each other for vice president. and the vice president has also been told by his wife he has to make sure that he works on his expressions. >> yeah, i mean, ryan said they
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>> all right. let's bring this to order. >> members of congress, i have the high privilege and the distinct honor of presenting to you the president of the united states. [ applause ] >> mr. speaker, mr. vice president, members of congress,
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tonight marks the eighth year that 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 ] some of you have to get back to iowa. i've been there. i'll be shaking hands after wards, if you want some tips. now, i understand that because it's 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.
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year on some bipartisan priorities like criminal justice reform. [ applause ] and helping people who are battling prescription drug abuse and heroin abuse. [ applause ] who knows, we might surprise the cynics again. but tonight i want to go easy on the traditional list of proposals nor the year ahead. don't worry, i've got plenty. from helping students learn to write computer code to personalizing medical treatments for patients. i will keep pushing for progress on the work i believe still needs to be done. fixing a broken immigration system. [ applause ] protecting our kids from gun violence.
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paid leave. raising the minimum wage. all of these things still matter to hard working families. they are still the right thing to do, and 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 ten years, and beyond. i want to focus on our future. we live in a time of extraordinary change-change that is 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
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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. weather we 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, 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. who promised to restore past glory if we just got some group
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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 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.
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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. in fact, it's in that spirit that we have made progress these past seven years. it'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
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coming home and our veterans. [ applause ] that's how we -- [ 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 is the result of choices we and we face such choices right now. will we respond to the changes
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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 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
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climate change? [ applause ] third, how do we keep america safe and lead the world without becoming its policeman? [ applause ] and 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
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job creation in 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 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 ]
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economy is in decline is peddling fiction. [ applause ] >> now 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. 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 locate 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
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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 their careers. tougher for workers to retire when they want to. and all though 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've made progress, but we need to make more. and despite all the political
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years, there are 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 ghs, 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 ] -- offering every student the hands-on computer science and math classes that make them job we should recruit and support
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kids. [ applause ] and we have to make college affordable for every american. [ applause ] no hard working student should be stuck in the e d. we've already reduced student loan payments to 10% of a boar borrower's income. that's good. but 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.
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get that started this year. it's 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's 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. for everyone else, especially folks in their 40s and 50s saving for retirement or bouncing back from job loss has gotten a lot tougher. americans understand at some point in their careers, in this new economy, they may have to retool or retrain. but they shouldn't lose what they've already worked so hard to build in the process. that's why social security and
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we shouldn't weaken them. we should strengthen them. [ applause ] and for americans short of retirement, basic benefits should be just as moble 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 you lose a job, or you go back to school, or you strike out and launch that new business, you'll still have coverage.
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gained coverage so far. [ [ plause ] 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. just a guess. but there should be other ways parties can work together to improve economic security. say a hard working 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.
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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 speak ryan has talked about his interest in tackling poverty. america is about giving everybody willing to work a chance, a hand up, and i'd welcome a serious discussion about strategies question all support like expanding tax cuts for low-income workers who don't have children. [ applause ] but there are some areas where we have to be honest. it has been 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
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favor of the wealthiest and biggest corporations. [ applause ] it's an honest disagreement. and 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 is red tape that needs to be cut. [ applause ] but after years now of record corporate profits, working families won't get more opportunity or bigger paychecks
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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 did not cause the financial crisis. recklessness on wall street did. [ applause ] immigrants aren't the e ason 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.
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this new economy, workers and start ups and small businesses need more of a voice. notless. the rules should work for them. and i'm 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. i want to spread those best practices across america. that's a 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
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sixty 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 slooing our research and development budget. we built a space program almost overnight, and 12 years later, we were walking on the moon. [ cheers and applause ] 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 catherine johnson and sally ride. america is every immigrant and
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austin to silicon valley racing to shape a better future. [ applause ] that's who we are. over the past seven years, we've nurtured that spirit. we've 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, an online tools that give entrepreneurs everything he or she needs to start a business in a single day. but we can do so much more. and last year, vice president biden said that with a new moonshot, america can cure cancer. last month, he worked with this congress to give scientists at the national institutes of
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they've had in over a decade. [ applause ] 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 40 years, i'm putting joe in charge of mission control. 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. [ applause ]
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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'll be pretty lone lily because you'll be debating our military, most of the business leaders, 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
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of the future? [ applause ] 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 rooftops from arizona to new york, solar is saving americans tens of millions of dollars a year on their energy bills, and in jobs that pay better than average. we're taking steps to give generate and store their own energy. something, by the way, that environmentalists and tea parties have teamed up to
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we have cut our imports on foreign oil by nearly 50 percent, and cut carbon pollution more than any other country on earth. [ applause ] gas under $2 a gallon ain't bad, either. 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 communityies that rely on fossil fuels. we do them no favor when we don't show them with the trends are going. that's why i'm going to push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our
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that way we put money back into those communities, and put tens of thousands of americans to work building a 21st century transportati system. [ applause ] 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 we'll create, the money we'll save, the planet we'll preserve. that's the kind of future our kids and 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
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togetherers 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. i mean, let me tell you something, the united states of america is the most powerful nation on earth. period. [ cheers and applause ] 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.
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fighting force in the history of the world. [ cheers and 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 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.
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[ 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. of some looming superpower out there. 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 millennia. economic headwinds are blowing in from a chinese economy that is in significant transition.
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contracts, russia is pouring resources into prop up ukraine and syria, 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 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 isil pose
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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 isil, over-the-top claims that this is world war iii 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's the story that isil wants
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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 vitaleolate -- vital ally sies in this fight by echoing the lie that isil is 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 ] that's exactly what we're doing.
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has led a coalition of more than 60 countries to cut off isil'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 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 ] the american people should know
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congressional action, isil 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 0osama bin laden. ask 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 go after you. it may take time, but we have long memories, and our reach has no limit. [ applause ] our foreign policy has to be
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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 and parts of pakistan, in 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 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 tough talk or calls to carpet bomb civilians. that may work as a tv sound
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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 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 says america will always act, alone if necessary, to protect
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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. that's why we built a global coalition with sanctions and princed diplomacy to prevent a nuke-armed iran. as we speak, iran has rolled back its nuclear program, shipped out the uranium stockpile, and the world has avoided another war. [ applause ] that's how we stopped the spread of ebola in west africa. [ applause ] our military, our doctors, our
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they were heroic. they set up the platform that then allowed other countries to join in behind us and stamp out that epidemic. hundreds of thousands, maybe a couple million lives were saved. that's how we forged a transpacific partnership to open markets and workers in the environment, 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. with ttpp, china doesn't set the rules in that region, we do. you want to show strength in this century? approve this agreement. give us the tools to enforce it. it's the right thing to do.
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50 years of isolating cuba had 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, and positioned ourselves to improve the lives of the cuban people. [ applause ] so if you want to consolidate our leadership and credibility in the hemisphere, recognize 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 unraveling.
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application of military power, and rallying the world behind causes that are right. it means seeing our foreign assistance as a part of our national security. not something separate. not charity. when we lead nearly 200 nations to the most ambitious agreement in history to fight climate change, yes, that helps vulnerable countries, but it also protects our kids. with we help ukraine defend its democracy, or colombia resolve a decades-long war, that strengthens the international order we depend on. when we help african countries feed their people and care for the sick, it's a 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 have the chance to accomplish the same thing with malaria.
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congress to fund this year. [ applause ] that's american strength. that's american leadership. and that kind of leadership depend 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. [ applause ] and that's why we need to reject
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because of race or religion. [ applause ] this is not a matter of political correctness. this is 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. his holiness, pope francis, told this body from the very spot i'm standing on tonight that "to imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murders is the
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when politicians insult muslims, whether abroad or our fellow citizens, when a mosque is 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 who we are as a country. [ applause ]
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our constitution begins with those three simple words, words we've come to recognize mean all the people, not just some. words that insist we rise and fall together. that's how we might perfect. that brings me to the fifth, and maybe the most important thing 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. it will only happen if we work together. it will only happen if we can have rational constructive
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it will only happen if we fix our politics. a better politics doesn't mean we have to agree on everything. this is a big country, with different regions, different attitudes, and different interests. it's one of our strengths, too. our founders distributed power between states and branchs of government and expected us to argue, just as they did, fiercely over the size and shape of government, over commerce and foreign relations, over the meaning of liberty and the imperatives of security. but democracy does require basic bonds of trust between its citizens. it doesn't work if we think the people who disagree with us are
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it doesn't work if we think that our political opponents are unpatriotic. or trying to weaken american. democracy grinds to a halt without a willingness to comprise, or when even basic facts are contested, or when we listen only to those who agree with us. our public life withers when only the most extreme voices get all the attention. and most of all, democracy breaks down when the average person feels 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.
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suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better. i have no doubt that a president with the gifts of lincoln or roosevelt might have better bridged the divide, and i guarantee i'll keep trying 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 more cooperation. who would like to see a more elevated 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 in
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rancor. but that means if we want a better politics, and i'm draeds addressing the american people now, if we want a better politics, it's not enough to just change a congressman, 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 a handful of families and hidden interests
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[ applause ] and 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. raising money. i know. i've done it. we've got to make it easier to vote, not harder. we need to modernize it for the way we live now. [ applause ] this is america. we want to make it easier for people to participate. 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.
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process, and 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 policy and politics is hopeless, and the problem is all the folks who are elected don't care. and to believe that our voices and actions don't matter. but if we give up now, then we
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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, even died, to secure. and then as frustration grows, there will be voices urging us to fall back into our respective tribes, to scapegoat fellow citizens who don't look like us, or pray like us, or vote like we do, or share the same background. we can't afford to go down that path. it won't deliver the economy we want. it will not produce the security we want. but most of all, it contradicts everything that make us the envy of the world.
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whatever 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 citizens. 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
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so that our public life reflects the goodness and the decency they see in the american people every single day. it is not easy. our brand of democracy is hard. but i can promise that a little over a year from now, when i no longer hold this office, i'll be right there with you as a citizens. 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 black or white or asian or latino, not as gay or straight, immigrant or native born. not democrat or republican, but
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common creed. voices dr. king believed would have the final word. voices of unarmed truth and unconditional love. they're out there, those voices. they don't get a lot of attention, they don't seek a lot of fans, but they're busy doing the work this country needs doing. i see them everywhere i travel in this incredible country of our ours. i see you, the american people, and in your daily acts of citizenship, i see our future unfolding. i see it in the work on the assembly line who clocked extra shifts to keep his company open, and the boss who pays higher wages instead of laying him off.
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stays up late at night to finish her science project, and the teacher who comes in early, maybe with some extra supplies she bought because she knows that young girl might someday cure a disease. i see it in the american who served his time, made bad mistakes as a child, but now 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
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marathon, the community that lines up to cheer him 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's been taught. i see it in the elderly woman who will wait in line to cast her vote as long as she has to. the new citizens who casts his vote for the first time. the volunteers at the polls who believe every vote should count, because each of them in different ways know how much that precious right is worth. that's the america i know. that's the country we love. clear-eyed, big-hearted,
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optimistic that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. that's what 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've ever been that the state of our union is strong! thank you. god bless you. god bless united states of america. [ cheers and applause ] president obama ending with the words that the speech began with the state of our union is strong. the speech that lasted close to an hour. he made reference it's perhaps shorter. nonetheless, it was a speech that probably described in terms of part victory lap talking about the improving economy,
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things in the campaigns regarding america, and plain of it speech. andrew mitchell and chuck todd are here. >> first of all, i thought they were more specific references to donald trump and one in particular to ted cruz the things he's said on the campaign trail. a real rejection of the rhetoric of republican candidates this year. a inclusion saying that targeting muslims and people by race and religion is not a it's a matter of who we are as a country. i thought this was his rebuttal of the republican campaign, and the first obama speech of 2016. >> chuck, i saw you tallying the trump never by name but it was clear. >> clear at least in a reference there were rebuttals to trump's statements. there was the cruz, as you mentioned, and also, even referenced chris christie's slogan telling it like it is.
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it was definitely a dig. look, i think it was interesting in this -- it was a laundry list of issues, but it was a greatest hits of things he didn't get done. i want to fight for this and i'm still going to do that. that's how he got the laundry list of issues in there. the only part of the speech i thought was defensive was the national security. it was interesting, it was veries a spirvery aspirational in tone. he was trying to put a period on the legislative policy. it was striking. it was a point-by-point rebuttal of every charge that lindsey graham, marco rubio, and mccain made. >> wait, we can hear a little bit of the conversation here. making his way out. kelly o'donnell has been on the
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there were mogt ofments, kelly, moments appreciative. when they stood up when the president talked about the strength of the u.s. military. also, i suspect it might have been interesting when the issue of iran came up and the president noting that the nuclear deal, and of course, the elephant in the room is the fact that iran, tonight, is holding ten u.s. navy sailors whose vessel strayed into iranian territorial waters. give us a sense of what it was like inside. >> i think, lester, one of the things that stands out when there's obviously a point that democrats favor. there's a fiery response from them on their feet. i saw them gesturing to say stand up as well, almost. and some republicans, in some cases, did join on points they share common ground. often when there would be that obvious moment of a lopsided standing ovation. the skill in the president's
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follow up with something like you referenced the men and women in our uniform, or veterans, which will get both sides of the chamber on their feet. tonight i felt there were some of those automobile comments from members of the gallery, the guests here reacting to some of the more personal issues. i also noted, at one point, when the president was talking about the u.s. going after terrorists and going after those who perpetrate crimes against the united states. some of the guests by their dress appear to be muslim were also standing. they were in the area where they were the only ones standing and applauding the president. that was sort of point i can't,gnant. there was someone behind me wearing a firefighter uniform. tonight was different in that the president did not announce them. they were invited by the first
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house reflect a lot of concerns for each party that are a part of the national conversation right now. right now. i think the white house advisors indicated there were the victory lap moments for the president with democrats wanting to get on their feet. lester? >> i find it almost quaint autographs in this area of selfies. i didn't know people actually still collected autographs. he's slowly making his way out. i want to go quickly to chris jansing. typically this is teeing up broader conversation with the american people. what does this launch? what happens tomorrow? >> reporter: he's going to be going to omaha, nebraska, which i think not so subsequently is in the iowa television media market. having said that, he wants to get out there and make this same
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it's not just going to be him. virtually every member of his cabinet is going to be out over the next three days. they're going to be in 25 -- 30 different cities across america making the case that this is what america needs to be. and i think besides the specific things we heard they were aimed at donald trump or ted cruz, there was a broader statement of what he believes the democratic policy should be. you know, he said immigrants aren't the reason wages haven't gone up. he took on climate change tonight deniers. he took on people who criticized him for not using the phrase "islam". i think in many ways tonight's speech was, for me, the most i
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we have the rare opportunities to hear him in off the record conversations. but also channelling some of the frustrations we've seen in press conferences about republicans and about what he sees as their negative rhetoric. >> chris jansing. curious, chuck and andrea, the chuck didn't talk about race or guns. >> yeah. even though we had the big empty seat there. >> i thought it was surprising because he's speaking about the things he cares about most, and when i talked to people at the white house they said he's talked about so much lately. but i would have thought more about race and race relations and the police conflicts. he didn't want to dig into it tonight. >> comments made about the empty chair next to the first lady that represented victims of gun violence. >> i thought there would be more of a poignant moment there, but there wasn't.
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of the union, this was obama. okay. the other states of the union he's given were following a blueprint of state of the unions that bill clinton had given or george w. bush or ronald reagan. what we expect the state of the union to be. this was the obama interpretation of it. this was his attempt to, yes, it channelled more frustration. a little looser in language. >> o'malley, sanders, or clinton. are you feeling good about the speech you just got? >> sure, the leader of the democratic party, which still is barack obama now, sort of made the progressive case for sort of the larger progressive case. i have to say it is interesting when chris was reporting we have the cabinet is going to also tour the country to reinforce the speech. what are they rallying around? it's an idea. >> there weren't a lot of initiatives there. >> correct. i don't know what they're using the cabinet for.
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there to sell this. by the way, someday when somebody attacks our broken politics system, they'll do it in the first year they're here in washington. the president is following a long tradition of presidents in their last year and senators the year they retire, congressmans the year they retire our system of politics is so broken. hey, buddy, guys, you've been here a long time. why didn't you do something about it when you had more -- >> you interviewed the democratic congressional campaign committee leader, raising money, getting people elected, trying to take back the majority and said he's leaving congress because he doesn't like to raise money. >> the issue of the broken politics is a huge issue. i think it's the number one issue overall. if you don't fix it, you can't deal with the other things. the problem is politicians find religion on this issue the last year they're leaving. >> and the president has now left the chamber.
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we should tell you we'll be getting the republican response from south carolina governor nikki haley in a moment. you won't want to miss it. we'll be right back. this is sheldon, whose long day setting up the news starts with arthritis pain and a choice. take tylenol or take aleve,.. the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors. just two aleve can keep pain away all day.
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welcome back into our post state of the union coverage. the president left the house chamber a few minutes ago after his almost hour long address to the nation. millions, of course, watching it. one of those donald trump who has issued a couple of tweets in the last short while. the state of the union speech, he tweeted, is boring, slow, hard to watch. he also tweeted the iran deal is terrible. why didn't we get the iranian's
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it was sent to russia. it's worth noting those responses from trump because he figured so prominently in the speech today. the president making not so oblique reference. >> it's clear. and trump animates this president a lot. i've noticed this in talking with his staff. when he think abouts the race -- don't forget, trump made his life miserable on the birth certificate in 2011. he hasn't easily forgiven him. >> and it's also an emotional response to what he believes is the worst part of our nature and our politics right now. this is a real contrast between what barack obama represents and what donald trump represents. >> once there's a democratic nominee, you almost have to wonder if the president would relish being in the thick of that fight on behalf of the democratic nominee.
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you're like, okay, it's going to be his when he campaigns for whichever democrat he chooses. >> we talked about sending members of i had cabinet on the road. what, in this speech, set up anything that will or might likely get done or he wants to get done over the next year? >> well, we got one policy initiative that, you know -- >> what about -- >> that's right. when presidents normally in state of the unions. we have two piles of papers going on here. we have the speech text and all the different issues that put up there. they stack up. we only got one. >> we want to go to the gop response delivered by the 43-year-old governor of south carolina nikiki haley in her second term. she gained national prominence the past year in the aftermath of the church shooting in charleston and the battle over the confederate flag on the state grounds. here now is the governor. >> good evening. i'm nikiki haley, governor of the great state of south carolina. i'm speaking tonight from
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city. much like america as a whole, our state has a rich and complicated history. each day can be better than the last. in just a minute, i'm going 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. barack 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 president obama spoke eloquently about grand things. he's 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
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plan that made insurance less affordable, and doctors less available. and chaotic unrest in many of our cities. even worse, we're facing the most dangerous terrorist threat our nation has seen since september 11th, and this president appears unwilling or unable to deal with it. soon the obama presidency will end and america will have a chance to turn in the new direction. that's what i want to talk about tonight. at the outset, i'll 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. 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
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over and over again. 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 recognize our contributions to the erosion of the public trust in america's leadership. we need to accept that we've 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'm the proud daughter of indian immigrants who reminded my
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day how blessed we were to live in this country. growing up in the rural south, my family didn't look like our neighbors and we didn't have much. there were times that were tough, but we had each other. 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 shores 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. in this country, we have seen time and again 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 siren call of the angriest voices. we must resist that temptation.
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hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever 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. in this age of terrorism, we must not let refugees whose intentions cannot be determined. we must fix our broken immigration system. that means stopping illegal immigration, and it means welcoming properly vetted legal immigrants regardless of their race or 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
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this past summer, south carolina was dealt a tragic blow. on an otherwise ordinary wed evening in june, at the historic mother emanuel 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 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 each
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we turned toward god, and to the values that have long made our country the freest and greatest in the world. we removed a symbol that was being used to divide us, and we found a strength that united us against a domestic terrorists and the hate that fill them. there's an important lesson in this. in many parts of society today, whether in popular culture, academics, media, or politics there's a ten dance to falsely equate noise. that's not true. the best thing we can do is turn down the volume when the sound quieter, you can actually hear what someone else is saying. that can make a world of difference. of course, that doesn't mean we won't have strong disagreements. we will.
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republicans will stand up for our believes. if we held the white house, taxes would be lower for working families. and we would put the brakes 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 bureaucrats and union bosses. we would end the disastrous health care program, and replace it with reforms that lowered costs and actually let you keep your doctor. we would respect differences in modern families, but also insist on respect for religious liberty as a corner stone of our democracy. we would recognize the
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constitution in its entirety, and, yes, that includes the second and tenth amendments. we would make international agreements that were celebrated in israel and protested in eded eded in iran. not the other way around. rather than thanking our brave men and women in uniform, we would actually strengthen our military so our friend and enemies would know that america seeks peace, but when we fight war wars, we win them. we have big decisions to make. our country is being tested. 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 strengths and rededicate ourselves to doing whatever it takes to keep america the greatest country in the history of man and woman.
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god bless. >> governor nikki haley with the republican response to the state of the union address from south carolina tonight. we want to go to republican senator ted cruz. he's joining us live from the campaign trail in manchester, new hampshire. senator, good evening. nice to have you with us. >> good to be with you, lester. >> you made the choice not to be in the chamber tonight. why? do you regret it? >> well, i don't regret it. i think the speech tonight surprised nobody. it was more of the same. it was sadly, i think it was less state of the union than it was a state of denial. president obama demonstrated just how out of touch he is. he told the american people the economy is doing fantastic. i'll tell you i travel this country, as i travel the state of new hampshire, as i travel ohio, iowa, south carolina, and across the country. that's not what i'm hearing from the men and women across this country. i'm hearing from young people
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with student loans up to their eye balls and they're afraid they can't get a job. i hear from working men and women -- >> in the speech, i think we all agree that the president essentially called you out on the issue of leadership. he said the answer needs to be more than tough talk or calls to carpet-bomb civilians. again, on the topic of leadership. what was your response to that? >> listen,ly app lyi will apologize to nobody for my deployment kill the terrorists. president obama refused to say the words "radical islamic terrorism" much less demonstrate any plan to destroy them. isis. lester, think about it, this speech he didn't say a word about the paris terror attacks, he didn't say a word about the philadelphia police officer who was shot 13 times by a terrorist pledging allegiance to isis. he didn't mention bernardino.
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tired of having a president who will not even acknowledge the evil we're facing much less do anything to stop it. we need a president who will defeat radical islamic terrorism. i think americans don't understand why president obama and hillary clinton put their heads in the sand like ostriches rather than acknowledging the threat of jihadists who want to murder us. >> let's talk about a national security issue that is going on now. ten u.s. sailors are in iranian custody. the u.s. acknowledged they had mechanical issues that sailed them into iranian territorial waters. if the iranians release the sailors at daylight, true to their word, will it be a diplomatic win for the u.s.? would it happen absence the relations that lead to the nuclear arms agreement? >> listen, our prayers tonight are with the sailors and their families. we hope for their early release. it was striking, of course, in the state of the union that president obama didn't
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captured two navy ships and had ten sailors, apparently, as hostages. and the fact that happened in, in the first place, is a direct consequence of the weakness of the obama-clinton foreign policy. it's a fact that the ayatollah do not fear president obama. they do not respect president obama. in my judgment, the national security threat facing america is the threat of nuclear iran. and the foreign policy achievement of president obama is sending $150 billion to the ayatollah zealot who chants "death to america." so, no, it's not a foreign policy victory if iran releases hostages after taking them. iran shouldn't be taking american hostages. they only did so because the american president is so weak and so unwilling to defend this country. >> and let me ask you a question about your own race. the republican race.
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birther issue. you joked it a little bit today trying to essentially own it. but why did he do that? >> well, you'll have to ask him that. you know, four weeks ago, just about every republican candidate in the field was attacking donald trump. today just about every republican candidate is attacking me. i think that suggests maybe something changed in the race. but i will note that mr. trump is relying on ultra left wing liberal law professors at and the same professors he's relying on are major supporters for hillary clinton. and, you know, some folks are asking, gosh, why is it hillary clinton's biggest supporters are echoing trump's attacks? and perhaps it's the case that, you know, we've seen the last couple of election democrats were thrilled with the republicans they ran against. right now donald trump is losing to hillary clinton in national polls. right now i'm beating hillary
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you were seeing clinton allies amplifying the trump attacks. it seems to me, we need a strong conservative who can win. we don't need another four or eight years of the same policies with tonight's state of the weakness to radical islamic terrorism. we need strength. >> senator ted cruz, good to thank you for your time this >> thank you. i appreciate it. >> joining us now from the capitol where he left the house chamber following the president's address is vice sanders. thank you for taking time for us. >> my pleasure. >> give me your assessment of what the president said tonight and what he teed up, and what can be done in the next year. >>well, i think the president talked about the need to utilize the changing world we are living in in a positive way that improves life for all americans. for example, he recognized the reality of climate change, and
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we deal with climate change. in the process, we can create many good-paying, decent jobs. he made the point that it is terribly significant that we deal with campaign finance reform. that we get big money and super pacs out of politics, and we revitalize democracy and get ordinary people involved in the political process in a way that does not exist r rht now. >> let me go to something that senator cruz noted a moment ago. the presesent didn't mention the situation right now with the american sailors being held in iran. are you surprised he didn't make reference to that tonight? >> well, i hope -- my understanding -- i could be wrong on this. this problem is going to be resolved within a few hours. i think what the president is talking about are issues that will impact this country for decades to come.
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inequality, how we revitalize american democracy, how we're make sure that our kids get a good, higher education at costs they can afford. those are issues we have to be dealing with for decades. >> let me ask you about your race, specifically with hillary clinton. the tone has noticeably changed as the polls have drawn closer. i think you're both within the margins of error both in iowa and new hampshire. how would you characterize this changing tone right now on the democratic race? >> i think what is happening, you know, we started this campaign at 2% in the polls, and now some polls actually have us ahead. i think we have a good chance to win in iowa and to win in new hampshire. obviously, as we have gained momentum, i think it's fair to say that the clinton campaign has become very nervous. secretary clinton and i have different points of view on a number of issues. i think we should be expanding social security. i think we should pass legislation as soon as possible
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leave. i think our views on foreign policy and making certain that american troops don't get bombed down in a never-ending quagmire in the middle east. on wall street, i believe we have to break up the huge financial institutions that have done so much harm. >> senator, what is your strategy when you move out of the northern states. when you get into the south, will your message resonate the way it has in these early voting states? >> oh, yes. the message that -- the average person is working longer hours for lower wages, and almost all income and wealth is going to the top 1%. we have a corrupt campaign. that message is resonating in iowa and new hampshire. it's going to resonate in every state in the country. >> as you were watching the speech, did you think could i imagine myself walking in and
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united states? >> to be honest with you, that thought did go through my head. >> and you could imagine it. >> yes. >> senator bernie sanders of vermont. good to talk to you. thank you. >> thank you very much. and a program note. savannah guthrie is going to be interviewing former secretary of state hillary clinton on "today" tomorrow. we'll continue our post state of the union coverage in just a
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if we want a better politics, it's not enough to just change the congressman or change a
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president. we have to change the system to reflect our better selves. >> little of what president obama said in his state of the union. we've been talking about that address tonight, but we also want to talk about the other remarks we've heard here more recently. nikki haley in her response. i'll ask andrea and chuck. give me your sense of what she did tonight. >> i think she killed it. a very effective republican response. she called out republicans for being partly responsible for the broken system, the lack of trust in government, but, also very critical main points that republican talking points against barack obama, and, also, took a real shot at donald trump when saying that the loudest voice in the room being loud and noisy doesn't mean it's the way you have to deal with politics. >> how broken are our politics president obama and nikki haley talked about we're not listening
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we need to turn it down. that, to me, that is a reflection on us. i'll tell you this, nikki haley people think she's on the likely national ticket a running mate. if it's possible to move up the short list tonight, she did. >> we'll go to the campaign trail in a second. the conversation i had a moment ago with senator ted cruz. as you characterize it best, gloves are off now. >> an important development no more mr. nice guy with trump. the bro mance is over. cruz had the strategy of trying to hug trump. obviously he's not doing that anymore. trump has caused him may himhem over the last four or five days. it's gotten under cruz's skin. this is what trump does effectively. i think it means a different phase. it's game on in iowa. >> let's get out to iowa. cedar falls, iowa. katie tur.
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the coming days. >> he's been presenting himself as the anti-obama. everything obama has been pitching over the years, trump is saying he's going to dial back. certainly, when it comes to immigration. also, gun control, climate change. he rejects all of the notions. and his supporters agree with him. they don't find anything that they like about this president. we went to the room tonight of the supporters here for the rally and asked them if there was anything that the president has done in the last seven years that they agree with. or anything they like. none of them said there was anything. in fact, the only thing that he could do tonight is make them like him would be to resign. the divisive nature in politics is certainly something that is on full display at trump events. the idea that there a lot of areas where people agree is certainly not something we're hearing, at least with the people coming to see donald trump. they're the ones saying this country is going in the wrong direction.
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little bit of what donald trump said about the iran boat thing just a little bit earlier ago. >> it's just an indication of where the we're going. hopefully they get released fast. it seems to be an indication of where we're going. that iran deal is the dumbest deal i've ever seen. >> reporter: that's not surprising that he came out and criticized what was going on. he said he's been saying criticizing the iran deal over and over again. this is just another opportunity for him to do that. back to you. >> all right, katie, thank you very much. hallie jackson is in manchester, the other battle ground we're watching. what is the story from there tonight? >> reporter: hey, lester. we're taking a look now at the republican candidates' reaction to president obama's state of the union speech. i think what you heard from ted cruz in his conversation with you is reflective of what we'll hear from much of the field is hitting president obama specifically on foreign policy,
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consider his ineffect yule and weak leadership. the iranian situation with the detained sailors will certainly be coming up. almost anonymously the field pointed to that how the president is not leading the u.s. globally. as chuck pointed out earlier in the program, we thought we would hear president obama talk more about gun control. you saw prebutt tales earlier on that. ted cruz holding that rally in new hampshire. a second amendment event with supporters. people who do not want to see any gun rights taken away. as we talk about ted cruz, too, as we touch on his new tone he's taking on the trail with donald trump, lester, interesting to note in a radio interview late tonight he said donald trump embodies new york values. portraying him as somebody who is democratic leaning with ties to hillary clinton supporters. that's a message aimed at evangelical voters in iowa, for sure. >> hallie jackson in manchester,
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let's go back to des moines. kristin welker is following the hillary clinton campaign. she, i know, will be talking to savannah guthrie tomorrow. where does that campaign sit now as they watch bernie sanders seem to coalesce? >> reporter: well, look, the race is, i think, much tighter than a lot of people were anticipating. the clinton campaign would say they were expecting the race to get tighter as we get closer to the iowa caucuses, but undoubtedly this is too close for comfort. secretary clinton praising the president's state e the union address saying she's proud to call him her friend. interestingly, she's releasing an ad on a topic we didn't hear the president talk about tonight. that's on the issue of gun control. her ad entitled "i stand with him." she's trying to align herself with president obama on this very divisive issue and paint bernie sanders as soft on this issue. that's how close this race has
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ramping up around gun. the other issues of health care as well. bernie sanders beating secretary clinton in new hampshire now, and effectively running neck-in-neck in iowa. >> kristin, thanks. politics in the race for president framing what we heard from the president tonight in
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we'll have more analysis of this as we continue our analysis of tonight's state of the union address, we want to revisit the story that has cast somewhat of a shadow on the event. ten u.s. navy sailors who were taken into custody by iranian
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in, one of them suffered mechanical issues, and they drifted into territorial waters controlled by iran. a flurry of diplomatic activities today. this happened about noon eastern time. iran had reportedly promised to release the sailors once dawn had broken or daylight. it is now daylight in iran. we want to go to our correspondent in tehran. what are you hearing from there? i'm not sure if he has us right now. you can see, the sun has come up there. >> reporter: i can hear you -- >> he's talking to the control room. things happen that way. let me -- >> it's tehran. >> it's tehran. they are the only -- >> he'll probably be hearing me in ten minutes when it gets across the satellite. explain what is happening. the administration clearly
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tonight's event. >> exactly. and john kerry quickly calling his counter part and explaining it was an accidental excursion into their waters. getting word that they would be released promptly with daylight. you can see dawn now in tehran. >> it isn't promptly. >> it does become a big political issue. we know that the iranian government, there's a big divide. there the hardliners versus rouhani versus others that negotiated the iran deal. the idea that cultivating the more moderate iranians they could move into the western world. >> what are you hearing from tehran now? >> reporter: well, lester, we're getting snippets of information from the official news agency. they are putting out statements
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they have taken two u.s. vessels that strayed into iranian waters. the vessels were carrying 50 caliber guns and equipped with gps. the reports said they were snooping around and intentionally came into iranian waters. the foreign news agency reporting they expect the sailors to be released this morning. >> we'll continue to i don't know if you've ever taken the time to learn a little tiny bit of somebody else's native tongue? that opens up the doors to trust. my name is kanyon. i'm a technician here in portland oregon. every morning, i give each one of my customers a call to give them a closer eta. and when i called this customer, i discovered that he was deaf. then i thought of amanda. i've known american sign language since i was about 8 years old. it's like music for your eyes. and i thought that was an amazing gift to have, to be able to communicate with the deaf.
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explain how today's appointment will go. he was nodding his head and giggling a little bit.
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it may feel like this campaign has been going on f f years, but with this president's state of the union address tonight earlier than usual. here we go. >> he heads out and will be campaigning. now you're going to see, even though he hasn't endorsed a
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republicans as of tonight. >> we had a good national conversation tonight. both speeches and broken politic was a good thing to start off the year with. a program note join us sunday night for our democratic candidate debate. the final democratic debate for the first vote was 2016. our cast that sunday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern, 6:00 p.m. pacific on nbc. that's going to do it for our coverage of the state of the union address. for chuck todd, andrea mitchell, and our entire nbc news team, i'm lester holt. >> live, local, breaking news. this is wyff news 4 at 11:00 in high definition. michael: president obama delivers his final state of the union address. he reflected on past partisan bickering, but also looked to a future full of hope.
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