tv State of the Union Address and GOP Response CNN January 20, 2015 9:00pm-11:01pm PST
the president obama's state of the union in wu he hich he dlar the funk over. stick around. we will be right back. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer here in washington. we're standing by to hear the president of the united states. he's up on capitol hill, getting ready to address the nation. indeed the world. the state of the union address, the president will say the state of the union right now is strong. jake tapper, we're watching members of congress and the senate, they're getting ready to hear the president of the united states. this is the first time the president will be introducing the house and the senate with the republicans in majorities in both chambers. >> he has a lot of good news to
share. unemployment was at 10% during the first year of his presidency, now it's 5.6%. the dow jones averaged 10,000 points higher at this point early in his first term. and yet at the same time that he has this good economic news to talk about, there is also a chamber full of republicans, the american people haven't sent him a republican house and senate to deal with. >> the president will be walking out here, we'll hear those famous words when the president is introduced by the sergeant of arms. and that will be an exciting moment. it will take him a while to walk down there. and we're going to try and hear what he is saying to various members on both sides, literally both sides of the aisle over there. there you see eliot engel by the way.
we heard the report earlier, athena jones in the gallery, he was there since 8:30 this morning so he could get the prime location. >> people like to be in the aisle, they like to be able to say hi to the members of the cabinet, to the president of the united states, get a little tv time. we know that president in his remarks this evening according to the prepared remarks that the embargo has been broken, say that america for all we've endured, for all the great hard work required to come back for all the tasks that lie ahead, know this. the shadow of crisis has passed and the state of the union is strong. >> so it's almost like the president will be taking a sort of victory happen right now. he'll remind people where the economy was six years ago and where it is right now. >> it is a time that the president has been blamed for a bad economy and entitled to take credit for a good economy i suppose. there is the new veterans administration secretary, robert mcdonald. >> we're waiting for the president of the united states
to be introduced. gloria borger, he's got a mission tonight not only to reach out to republicans but make sure he doesn't have any problems with his fellow democrats. >> reporter: yeah, he does. and you know, he's got some issues for example, you pointed out before, wolf, with senator menendez on cuba and i think, you know, in reading through this speech as we get it, it seems to me that the president has had a great couple of months. there is a wave of optimism that is sweeping over this country. but people now expect things to get better for them. and if the president is telling the public things are better for you, and they're going to get even better, you have to deliver by the next election. and so that kind of raises the stakes a bit. wolf? >> yeah, john king, the stakes for the president tonight are significant. he's got two years left in his presidency.
he wants to use every moment he possibly can to make sure that he leaves the white house with a positive legacy. >> if i have the calendar right wolf, i believe it's exactly two years from today where you have the transfer of power when the new president will take office and make no mistake about it, 2016 hangs over every word of the president's speech tonight. it's an interesting challenge. over the pictures on the floor, many democrats ask the president, how much mojo does he have left? if the poll numbers are real or at what point we say this is hillary clinton's party, not every will disagree with that but will say it's hillary clinton's party not barack obama's party? and republicans have a big decision to make. do they want to keep doing what's worked for them? they have a greater house majority, senate majority. they increase their numbers at the state legislative level. do they want to keep doing what has worked the last two, three, four five years in much of the america or think about what about a white house run in 2016, what about african-american voters, latina voters, asian
voters. it's interesting to watch this middle class debate, looking at history, not so much polls at the moment. as the president speaks tonight, i would love to know what hillary clinton thinks about these proposals and how republicans see them. if you look at polling, what is her one strength over the man who beat her, president obama, she did better among the white working class voters. that is a factor as we talked about earlier. can the president keep his standing high enough to get a decent deal to a point where republicans have to give him something to create an acceptable deal on all this middle class economic agenda? >> we just saw the president's official photographer walk down. they cleared the aisle for the president of the united states. he's about to get introduced and will get a rousing reception. >> we should note this is the first time the president according to a senior white house official, this is the first time obama -- president obama --
he's obviously very warmly received. he's followed by kevin mccarthy, the new majority leader in the house of representatives and nancy pelosi, majority leader following mitch mcconnell. it's interesting, the senate majority leader is not there, harry reid is not there. >> no, he's in bad health. this is the first time president obama has unequivocally stated that the state of the union is strong. 2012, for example, said the state of the union is getting stronger, in 2013, said it was stronger. and 2014, says it is you citizens who make the state of the union strong but today, his message will be unequivocal. the state of the union is strong. >> let's hear what he says to the speaker. [ applause ]
americans. we are 15 years into this new century. 15 years that dawned with terror touching our shores, that unfolded with new generation fighting two long and costly wars, saw a vicious recession spread across our nation and the world. it has been and still is a hard time for many. but tonight, we turn the page. tonight, after a breakthrough year for america, our economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999. [ applause ]
>> our unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis. more of our kids are graduating than ever before, more of our people are insured than ever before. [ applause ] and we are as free from the grip of foreign oil as we've been in almost 30 years. [ applause ] tonight, for the first time since 9/11, our combat mission in afghanistan is over.
[ applause ] six years ago, nearly 180,000 american troops served in iraq and afghanistan. today, fewer than 15,000 remain and we salute the courage and sacrifice of every man and woman in this 9/11 generation who has served to keep us safe. we are humbled and grateful for your service. [ applause ]
america, for all that we have endured, for all the grit and hard work required to come back, for all the tasks that lie ahead, know this. the shadow of crisis has passed. and the state of the union is strong. [ applause ] at this moment, with the growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, booming energy production, we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on earth. it's now up to us to choose who we want to be over the next 15 years and for decades to come. when we accept an economy where only a few of us do
spectacularly well or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes or chances for everyone who makes the effort? [ applause ] will we approach the world fearful and reactive? dragged into conflicts that strain our military and set back our standing or will we lead wisely using all elements of our power to defeat new threats and protect our planet? will we allow ourselves to be sorted into factions and turned against one another? or will we recapture the sense of common purpose that has always propelled america forward? in two weeks, i will send this congress a budget filled with ideas that are practical, not partisan. and in the months ahead, i'll crisscross the country making a case for those ideas.
so tonight, i want to focus less on a checklist of proposals and focus more on the values at stake in the choices before us. it begins with our economy. seven years ago, rebekah and ben erler of minneapolis were newlyweds. she waited tables. he worked construction. their first child, jack, was on the way. they were young and in love in america. and it doesn't get much better than that. if only we had known rebekah wrote to me last spring what was about to happen to the housing and construction market. as the crisis worsened, ben's business dried up. he took what jobs he could find,
even if they kept him on the road for long stretches of time. rebekah took out student loans and enrolled in community college and retrained for a new career. they sacrificed for each other. and slowly, it paid off. they bought their first home. they had a second son, henry. rebekah got a better job and then a raise. ben's back in construction and home for dinner every night. it is amazing, rebekah wrote, what you can bounce back from when you have to. we are a strong tight knit family who has made it through some very, very hard times. we are a strong tight knit family who has made it through some very, very hard times. america, rebekah and ben's story is our story.
they represent the millions who have worked hard and scrimped and sacrificed and retooled. you are the reason that i ran for this office. you are the people i was thinking of six years ago today in the darkest months of the crisis, when i stood on the steps of this capitol and promised we would rebuild our economy on a new foundation. and it has been your resilience, your effort that has made it possible for our country to emerge stronger. we believed we could reverse the tide of outsourcing and draw new jobs to our shores and over the past five years, our businesses have created more than 11 million new jobs. [ applause ]
we believed we could reduce our presence in foreign oil and protect our planet. america is number one in oil and gas. america is number one in wind power. every three weeks, we bring online as much as solar power as we did in all of 2008. and thanks to lower gas prices and higher fuel standards, the typical family this year should save about $750 at the pump. [ applause ] we believed we could prepare our kids for a more competitive world. and today, our younger students have earned the highest math and reading scores on record. our high school graduation rate has hit an all-time high. more americans finish college than ever before. [ applause ]
we believed the sensible relations could prevent another crisis, shield families from ruin and encourage fair competition. today, we have new tools to stop taxpayer funded bailouts and a new consumer watchdog to protect us from predatory lending, abuse of credit card practices. in the past year alone, 10 million americans finally gained the security of health care coverage. [ applause ] and every step, we were told our goals were misguided. or too ambitious. that we would crush jobs and explode deficits. instead, we've seen the fastest economic growth in over a decade, our deficits cut by
two-thirds, a stock market that has doubled and health care inflation at its lowest rate in 50 years. [ applause ] that's good news, people. [ applause ] so the verdict is clear. middle class economics works. expanding opportunity works. and these policies will continue to work as long as politics don't get in the way. we can't slow down businesses or put our economy at risk with government shutdowns or fiscal showdowns. we can't put the security of families at risk by taking away
their health insurance or unraveling the new rules on wall street or refighting past battles on immigration when we've got to fix a broken system. and if a bill comes to my desk that tries to do any of these things, i will veto it. they will have earned my veto. [ applause ] today, thanks to a growing economy, the recovery is touching more and more lives. wages are finally starting to rise again. we know that more small business owners plan to raise their employee's pay than at any time since 2007, but here's the thing. those of us here tonight, we need to set our sights higher than just making sure government doesn't screw things up. the government doesn't halt the
progress we're making. we need to do more than just do no harm. tonight, together, let's do more to restore the link between hard work and growing opportunity for every american. [ applause ] because families like rebekah's still need our help. she and ben are working as hard as ever, but they've had to forego vacations and the new car so that they can pay off student loans and save for retirement. friday night pizza, that's a big splurge. basic child care for jack and henry cost more than their mortgage and almost as much as a year at the university of minnesota.
like millions of hard working americans, rebekah isn't asking for a handout. but she is asking that we look for more ways to help families get ahead. and in fact, at every moment of economic change throughout our history, this country has taken bold action to adapt to new circumstances. and to make sure everyone gets a fair shot. we set up worker protections, social security, medicare, medicaid to protect ourselves from the harshest adversity. we gave our citizens schools and colleges, infrastructure, and the internet. tools they needed to go as far as their efforts and their dreams will take them. that's what middle class economics is. the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot. everyone does their fair share. everyone plays by the same set of rules. [ applause ]
we don't just want everyone to share in american success, we want everyone to contribute to our success. [ applause ] so what does middle class economics require in our time? first, middle class economics means helping working families feel more secure in a world of constant change. that means helping folks afford child care, college, health care, a home, retirement. and my budget will address each of these issues, lowering the taxes of working families and putting thousands of dollars back into their pockets each year. [ applause ] here's one example. during world war ii, when men
like my grandfather went out to war, having women like my grandmother in the workforce was a national security priority. so this country provided universal child care. in today's economy, when having both parents in the workforce is an economic necessity for many families, we need affordable high quality child care more than ever. [ applause ] it's not a nice to have, it's a must have. so it's time we stopped treating child care like a side issue or a women's issue, and treat it like the national economic priority it is for all of us. [ applause ]
and that's why my plan will make quality child care more available and more affordable for every middle class and low income family with young children in america by creating more slots and a new tax cut of up to $3,000 per child per year. here's another example. today, we are the only advanced country on earth that doesn't guarantee paid sick leave or paid maternity leave to our workers. 43 million workers have no paid sick leave. 43 million. think about that. and that forces too many parents to make the gut wrenching choice between a paycheck and a sick kid at home. so i'll be taking new action to help states adopt paid leave
laws of their own and since paid sick leave where it was on the ballot last november, let's put it to a vote right here in washington. send me a bill that gives every worker in america the opportunity to earn seven days of paid sick leave. it's the right thing to do. the right thing to do. [ applause ] of course, nothing helps families make ends meet like higher wages. that's why this congress still needs to pass a law that makes sure a woman is paid the same as a man for doing the same work. [ applause ] it's 2015. it's time. we still need to make sure employees get the overtime they've earned.
and everyone in this congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, i say this: if you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, try it. if not, vote to give millions of the hardest working people in america a raise. [ applause ] now these ideas won't make everybody rich. won't relieve every hardship. that's not the job of government. to give working families a fair shot, we still need more employers to see beyond next quarter's earnings and recognize that investing in the workforce is in their company's long-term interest. we still need laws that strengthen rather than weaken unions and give american workers
a voice. [ applause ] but, you know, things like child care and sick leave, and equal pay, things like lower mortgage premiums and a higher minimum wage, these ideas will make a meaningful difference in the lives of millions of families. that's a fact. and that's what all of us, republicans and democrats alike were sent here to do. second, to make sure folks keep earning higher wages down the road. we have to do more to help americans upgrade their skills. now, america thrived in the 20th century because we made high school free.
sent a generation of gis to college, trained the best workforce in the world. we were ahead of the curve. but other countries caught on and in a 21st century economy that rewards knowledge like never before, we need to up our game. we need to do more. by the end of this decade, two in three job openings will require some higher education. two in three. and we live in a country where bright striving americans are priced out of the education they need. it's not fair to them. and it's sure not smart for our future. and that's why i'm sending this congress a bold new plan to lower the cost of community college. to zero. [ applause ]
keep in mind, 40% of our college students choose community college. some are young and starting out. some are older and looking for a better job. some are veterans and single parents trying to transition back into the job market. whoever you are, this plan is your chance to graduate ready for the new economy without a load of debt. understand you've got to earn it. you've got to keep your grades up and graduate on time. tennessee, a state with republican leadership and chicago, the city with democratic leadership, are showing that free community college is possible. i want to spread that idea through all of america so that two years of college in america becomes as universal in america as high school is today. [ applause ] let's stay ahead of the curve.
and i want to work with this congress to make sure those already burdened with student loans can lower their monthly payment so student debt doesn't derail anyone's dreams. thanks to vice president biden's great work to update our jobs training system, we're connecting community colleges with local employers for things like coating, nursing, and robotics. tonight, i'm also asking more companies to follow the lead of companies like cbs and u.p.s. and offer more educational benefits and paid apprenticeships. opportunities that give workers the chance to earn higher paying jobs even if they don't have a higher education. and as the new generation of veterans comes home, we owe them every opportunity to live the american dream they helped defend. already, we've made strides
towards ensuring that every veteran has access to the highest quality care. we're slashing backlog with too many veterans waiting years to get the benefits they need and we're making it easier for vets to translate their training and experience into civilian jobs. and joining forces, the national campaign launched by michelle and jill biden, thank you michelle. thank you, jill. [ applause ] helped nearly 700,000 veterans and military spouses get a new job. [ applause ] so every ceo in america, let me repeat, if you want somebody who's going to get the job done and done right, hire a veteran. [ applause ]
finally, as we better train our workers, we need the new economy to keep churning out high wage jobs for our workers to fill. since 2010, america has put more people back to work than europe, japan, and all advanced economies combined. [ applause ] our manufacturers added almost 800,000 new jobs. some of our bedrock sectors like our auto industry are booming. but there's also millions of americans working jobs that didn't even exist ten or 20 years ago. jobs to companies like google and ebay and tesla. so no one knows for certain which industries will generate the jobs of the future. but we do know we want them here in america. we know that. [ applause ]
and that's why the third part of middle class economics is about building the most competitive economy anywhere. a place where businesses want to locate and hire. 21st century businesses need 21st century infrastructure, modern ports and stronger bridges, faster trains, and the fastest internet. democrats and republicans used to agree on this. so let's set our sights higher than a single pipeline. let's pass bipartisan infrastructure plan that could create 30 times as many jobs per year and make our country stronger for decades to come. let's do it. let's get it done. [ applause ]
let's get it done. 21st century businesses including small businesses need to sell more american products overseas. today, our businesses export more than ever. and exporters tend to pay their workers higher wages. but as we speak, china wants to write the rules for the world's fastest growing region that would put our workers and our businesses at a disadvantage. why would we let that happen? we should write those rules. we should level the playing field. that's why i'm asking both parties to give me trade promotion authority to protect american workers with strong new trade deals from asia to europe that aren't just free, but that are also fair. it's the right thing to do. [ applause ]
look, i'm the first one to admit, i'm the first one to admit the past trade deals haven't always lived up to the hype and that's why we've gone after countries that break the rules at our expense. but 95% of the world's customers live outside our borders. we can't close ourselves off from those opportunities. more than half of manufacturing executives have said they're actively looking to bring jobs back from china, so let's give them one more reason to get it done. 21st century businesses will rely on american science and technology, research, and development. i want the country that eliminated polio and map the human genome to lead a new era of medicine, one that delivers the right treatment at the right time. [ applause ]
in some patients with cystic fibrosis, this reversed a disease once thought unstoppable. so tonight, i'm launching a new precision medicine initiative to bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes and to give all of us access to the personalized information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthier. we can do this. [ applause ] i intend to protect a free and open internet, expand its reach to every classroom and every community and help folks build the fastest networks so that the next generation of digital innovators and entrepreneurs have the platform to keep reshaping our world. i want americans to win the race for the kinds of discoveries that unleash new jobs.
converting sunlight into liquid fuel, creating revolutionary prosthetics so that the veteran who gave his arm for his country can play catch with his kids again. pushing out into the solar system. not just to visit, but to stay. and last month, we launched the new spacecraft part of a reenergized space program that will send american astronauts to mars. and in two months to prepare us for those missions, scott kelly will begin a year long stay in space. so good luck, captain. make sure to instagram it. i'm proud of you. [ applause ]
now the truth is, when it comes to issues like infrastructure and basic research, i know there's bipartisan support in this chamber. members of both parties have told me so. where we too often run on to the rocks is how to pay for these investments. as americans, we don't mind paying our fair share of taxes as long as everybody else does too. but for far too long, lobbyists have rigged the tax code with loopholes that let some corporations pay nothing while others pay full freight. they've riddled it with giveaways to the super rich who don't need it and deny it to families who do. this year, we have an opportunity to change that. let's close loopholes, so we stop rewarding companies that keep profits abroad and reward those that invest here in america. [ applause ]
let's use those savings to rebuild our infrastructure and make it more attractive for companies to bring jobs home. let's simplify the system and let a small business owner file based on her actual bank statement instead of the number of accountants she can afford. and let's close the loopholes that lead to inequality by allowing the top 1% to avoid paying taxes on their accumulated wealth. we can use that money to help more families pay for child care and send their kids to college. we need a tax code that truly helps working americans try to get a leg up in the new economy and we can achieve that together. we can achieve it together. [ applause ] helping hard working families
make ends meet. giving them the tools they need for good paying jobs in this new economy. maintaining the conditions of growth and competitiveness. this is where america needs to go. i believe it's where the american people want to go. it will make our economy stronger a year from now, 15 years from now and deep in to the century ahead. of course, if there's one thing this new century has taught us is that we cannot separate our work here at home from challenges beyond our shores. my first duty as commander in chief is to defend the united states of america. and in doing so, the question is not whether america leads in the world but how. when we make rash decisions reacting to the headlines instead of using our heads, when the first response to a
challenge is to send in our military, then we risk getting drawn into unnecessary conflicts. and neglect the broader strategy we need for a safer more prosperous world. that's what our enemies want us to do. i believe in a smarter kind of american leadership. we lead best when we combine military power with strong diplomacy, when we leverage our power with coalition building, when we don't let our fears blind us to the opportunities that this new century presents. that's exactly what we're doing right now and around the globe. it is making a difference. first, we stand united with people around the world who've been targeted by terrorists, from a school in pakistan to the streets of paris. we will continue to hunt down terrorists and dismantle their networks and reserve the right to act unilaterally as we've
done relentlessly since i've took office to take out terrorists that pose a threat to us and our allies. [ applause ] >> at the same time, we have learned some costly lessons over the last 13 years. instead of americans patrolling the valleys of afghanistan, we've trained their security forces who have now taken the lead. we've honored our true sacrifice by supporting that country's first democratic transition. instead of sending large ground forces overseas, we're partnering with nations from south asia to north africa to deny safe haven to terrorists who threaten america. in iraq and syria, american leadership including our military power is stopping isil's advance. instead of getting dragged into another ground war in the middle east, we are leading a broad
coalition including arab nations to degrade and ultimately destroy this terrorist group. we're also supporting moderate opposition in syria to help us in this effort and assisting people everywhere who stand up to the bankrupt ideology of violent extremism. this effort will take time. it will require focus. but we will succeed. and tonight, i call on this congress to show the world that we are united in this mission by passing a resolution to authorize the use of force against isil. we need that authority. second, we're demonstrating the power of american strength and diplomacy. we're upholding the principle that bigger nations can't bully
the small by supporting democracy and reassuring our nato allies. [ applause ] last year, as we were doing the hard work of imposing sanctions along with our allies, as we were reinforcing our presence, with the front line states, mr. putin's aggression it was suggested was a masterful display of strategy and strength. that's what i heard from some folks. today, it is america that stands strong with allies while russia is isolated with its economy in tatters. that's how america leads. not with bluster. but with persistent steady resolve. [ applause ]
now, on cuba, we are ending a policy that was long past its expiration date. [ applause ] when what you're doing doesn't work for 50 years, it's time to try something new. and our shift in cuba policy has the potential to end a legacy of mistrust in our hemisphere, it removes a phony excuse for restrictions in cuba, stands up for democratic values and extends the hand of friendship to the cuban people. this year, congress should begin the work of ending the embargo. now, as his holiness pope francis has said, diplomacy is
the work of small steps. these small steps have added up to new hope for the future in cuba. and after years in prison, we are overjoyed that alan gross is back where he belongs. welcome back home, alan. we're glad you're here. [ applause ] our diplomacy is at work with respect to iran. where for the first time in a decade, we've halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material. between now and this spring, we have a chance to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that prevents a nuclear armed iran, secures america and allies while
avoiding yet another middle east conflict. there are no guarantees that negotiations will succeed, and i keep all options on the table to prevent a nuclear iran. but new sanctions passed by this congress at this moment in time will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails. alienating america from its allies. making it harder to maintain sanctions and ensuring that iran starts up its nuclear program again. it doesn't make sense. and that's why i will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress. [ applause ] the american people expect us only to go to war as a last resort. and i intend to stay true to that wisdom. third. we're looking beyond the issues that consumed us in the past to
shape the coming century. no foreign nation, no hacker should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets or invade the privacy of american families, especially our kids. [ applause ] so we're making sure our government integrates intelligence to combat cyber threats just as we've done to combat terrorism. tonight i urge this congress to finally pass the legislation we need to better meet the evolving threat of cyber attacks and combat identity theft and protect our children's information. that should be a bipartisan effort. [ applause ] if we don't act, we leave our nation and our economy
vulnerable. if we do, we can continue to protect the technologies that have unleashed untold opportunities for people around the globe. in west africa, our troops, our scientists, our doctors, our nurses, our health care workers are rolling back ebola, saving countless lives and stopping the spread of disease. [ applause ] i could not be prouder of them. i thank this congress for your bipartisan support of their efforts. but the job is not yet done, and the world needs to use this lesson to build a more effective global effort to prevent the spread of future pandemics, invest in smart development and eradicate extreme poverty. in the asia pacific, we are modernizing alliances while making sure other nations play by the rules in how they trade, how they resolve maritime disputes.
how they participate in meeting common international challenges like nonproliferation and disaster relief. and no challenge, no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change. [ applause ] 2014 was the planet's warmest year on record. one year doesn't make a trend, but this does. 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century.
i've heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they're not scientists and we don't have enough information to act. well, i'm not a scientist either. but you know what? i know a lot of really good scientists at nasa and at noaa and our major universities and the best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate. and if we don't act forcefully, we'll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods. and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration and conflict and hunger around the globe. the pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risk to our national security. we should act like it. and that's why -- [ applause ] that's why over the past six years, we've done more than ever to combat climate change from the way we produce energy to the way we use it. that's why we've set aside more
public lands and wanters than any administration in history and why i will not let this history endanger of our children by turning back the clock on our efforts. i am determined to make sure that american leadership drives international action. [ applause ] in beijing, we made a historic announcement. the united states will double the pace which we cut carbon pollution than china e cut the first time before limiting their emissions. other nations are now stepping up and offering hope that this year, the world will finally reach an agreement to protect the one planet we've got. there's one last pillar of our leadership, and that's the example of our values. as americans we respect human dignity, even when we're
threatened. which is why i have prohibited torture and worked to make sure our use of new technology like drones is properly constrained. [ applause ] it's why we speak out against the deplorable anti-sell -- anti-semitism that's resurfaced in certain parts of the world. it's why we continue to object offensive stereotypes of muslims, the vast majority of whom share our commitment to peace. that's why we defend free speech and advocate for political prisoners or condemn the persecution of religious minorities, or gay, transsexual or transgender. we do these things not only because they're the right things to do, but ultimately they will make us safer. [ applause ]
as americans, we have a profound commitment to justice. so it makes no sense to spend $3 million per prisoner to keep open a prison that the world condemns and terrorists use to recruit. since i've been president, we've worked responsibly to cut the population of gitmo in half. now it's time to finish the job, and i will not relent in my determination to shut it down. it is not who we are. it's time to close gitmo. [ applause ] as americans, we cherish our civil liberties. and we need to uphold that commitment if we want maximum cooperation from other countries and industry in our fight against terrorist networks.
while some have moved on from debates over our surveillance programs, i have not. as promised, our intelligence agencies have worked hard with the recommendation of privacy advocates to increase transparency and build more safeguards against potential abuse. next month we'll issue a report on how we're keeping our promise to keep our country safe while strengthening privacy. looking to the future instead of the past. making sure we match our power with diplomacy and use force wisely. building coalitions to meet new challenges and opportunities. leading always with the example of our values. that's what makes us exceptional. that's what keeps us strong. that's why we have to keep striving to hold ourselves to the highest of standards. our own. you know, just over a decade
ago, i gave a speech in boston where i said there was no liberal america or conservative america, or black america nor white america, but a united states of america. i said this because i've seen it in my own life. in a nation that gave someone like me a chance. because i grew up in hawaii, the melting pot of races and customs, because i made illinois my home. the state of small towns, rich farmland, one of the world's great cities. a microcosm of the country where democrats and republicans and independents, good people of every ethnicity and every faith, share certain bedrock values. over the past six years, the pundits have pointed out more than once that my presidency
hasn't delivered on this vision. how ironic, they say, that our politics seems more divided than ever. it's held up as proof, not just of my own flaws, of which there are many, but also as proof that division itself is misguided, naive. that there are too many people in this town who actually benefit from partisanship and gridlock for us to ever do anything about it. i know how tempting such cynicism may be, but i still think the cynics are wrong. i still believe that we are one people. i still believe that, together, we can do great things, even when the odds are long. [ applause ] i believe this, because over and over in my six years in office,
i have seen america at its best. i've seen the hope of faces of young graduates from new york to california, our newest officers at west point, annapolis, colorado springs, new london. i've mourned with grieving families in tucson and newtown, and boston, west texas, and west virginia. i've watched americans beat back adversity from the gulf coast to the great plains, from midwest assembly lines to mid-atlantic seaboard. i've seen something like gay marriage go from a wedge issue used to drive us apart to a story of freedom. a civil right now legal in states that 7 in 10 americans call home. [ applause ]
so i know the good and optimistic and big hearted generosity of the american people who, every day, live the idea that we are our brother's keeper and our sister's keeper. and i know they expect those of us who serve here to set a better example. so the question for those of us here tonight is how we, all of us, can better reflect america's hopes. i've served in congress with many of you. i know many of you well. there are a lot of good people here on both sides of the aisle. many of you have told me that this isn't what you signed up for. arguing past each other on cable shows, the constant fund-raising, always looking over your shoulder and how the base will react to every decision.
imagine if we broke out of these tired old patterns. imagine if we did something different. understand a better politics isn't one where politics abandon their agenda or republicans embrace mine. a better politics is one where we appeal to each over's basic decency instead of our base fears. a better politics is one what we debate without demonizing each other. where we talk issues and values and principles and facts, rather than gotcha moments or fake controversies that have nothing to do with people's daily lives. [ applause ] a politics -- a better politics is one where we spend less time
drowning money into ads that pull us into the gutter, instead lifting young people up with a sense of purpose and possibility. asking them to join in the great mission of building america. if we're going to
have arguments, let's have arguments. but let's make the debates worthy of this body and worthy of this country. we still may not agree on a woman's right to choose, but surely we can agree that it's a good thick that teen pregnancies and abortions are nearing all-time lows and that every woman should have access to the health care that she needs. [ applause ] yes, passions still fly on immigration. surely we can all see something of ourselves in the striving young student and agree that no
one benefits when a hard-working mom is snatched from her child. and that it's possible to shape a law that upholds our tradition as a nation of laws and nation of immigrants. i've talked to republicans and democrats about that. it's something that we can share. we may go at it in campaign season, but surely we can agree that the right to vote is sacred. that is being denied to too many. and on this 50th anniversary of the great march in selma, in montgomery, md the passage of the voting rights act, we can come together, democrats and republicans, to make voting easier for every single american. we may have different takes on the events of ferguson and new york. but surely we can understand a father who fears his son can't walk home without being harassed.
surely we can understand a wife that won't rest until the police officer she married walks through the front door at the end of his shift. surely we can agree that for the first time in 40 years, the crime rate and incarceration rate have come down together. and use that as a starting point for democrats and republicans, community leaders and law enforcement, to reform america's criminal justice system so that it protects and serves all of us. [ applause ] that's a better politics. that's how we start rebuilding trust. that's how we move this country forward. that's what the american people want.
that's what they deserve. i have no more campaigns to run. [ applause ] i know, because i won both of them. [ applause ] [ laughter ] my
only agenda for the next two years is the same as the one i've had since the day i swore an oath on the steps of this capital, to do what i believe is best for america. if you share the broad vision i outlined tonight, i ask you to join me in the work at hand. if you disagree with parts of it, i hope you'll at least work
with me with where you do agree. i commit to every republican here tonight that i will not only seek out your ideas, i will seek to work with you to make this country stronger. [ applause ] because i want this chamber, i want this city to reflect the truth that for all our blind spots and shortcomings, we are a people with the strength and generosity and spirit to bridge divides, to unite in common effort, to help our neighbors, whether down the street or on the other side of the world. i want our actions to tell every child in every neighborhood, your life matters. and we are committed to improving your life chances, as committed as we are -- i want the generations to know that we are a people who see our
differences as a great gift, that we are a people who value the dignity and worth of every citizen. man and woman, young and old, black and white, latino, asian, immigrants, native americans, gays, straights. americans with mental illness or physical disability. everybody matters. i want them to grow up in a country that shows the world what we still know to be true. that we are still more than a collection of red states and blue states. that we are the united states of america. [ applause ] i want them to grow up in a country where a young mom can
sit down and write a letter to a president with a story that sums up these past six years. it's amazing what you can bounce back from when you have to. we are a strong, tight knit family who's made it through some very, very hard times. my fellow americans, we too are a strong, tight-knit family. we too have made it through some hard times. 15 years into this new century, we have picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off and begun again the work of remaking america. we have laid a new foundation, a brighter future is ours to write. let's begin this new chapter together and let's start the work right now. thank you. god bless you. god bless this country we love. thank you. [ applause ]
>> the president of the united states, clearly emboldened, seemingly a lot more confident, delivering a very strong speech, outlining so many of the core principles of the democratic face. the president warmly received by the democrats and not so much by the republicans in the house and the senate majorities. and it is clear, jake tapper, that the the president is spending some time walking through the aisles to say hello to the members of the cabinet and the joint chiefs of staff, and if he had delivered this speech in the weeks leading up to the midterm elections, maybe it wouldn't have been such a disaster for the democrats. >> wow, would have, should have, could have, and it was much more optimistic message than we heard from a lot of the democratic candidates on the stump. one much more focused on the economy, and much more optimistic. remember that one of the reasons
that president obama was elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012 is because of the optimism that he is able to project, and in fact he reminded the american people of the first time that most of them saw him giving that there are no red states or blue states speech in the 2004 democratic national convention, and he ended the state of the union speech this evening reminding people of who that guy was back in 2004, the one who wanted to unify the country. he said that he acknowledged that he has not been able to change the tone to improve the tone, but he said that he still longs to do that and he still wants to do that. >> and he reminded the congress where the country was economically where the country was and the disaster that he inherited and how much it has improved over the last six years, and he went point by point on the stock market, and the job creation and economic
growth and he did not shy away from obamacare and the affordable care act, and making the point that it has turned out to be a bonanza for 10 million americans. >> and he pointed out that there were some parts of the legacy that if members of the congress, and if the republican house and senate brought him bills to try to un-do them, he would veto the legislation specifically doing away with obamacare, and taking away their health insurance, and unraveling the new rules on wall street, the rules that passed in the first couple of years of his term or battling immigration, he issued veto threats. >> and the iran sanction, and if the congress were to move on with new sanctions against iran he said that he would veto that legislation and i don't remember a state of the union address where i remember a president issuing so many veto threats to the republican majority, to the opposite party in the united states congress. >> yes, except of course the
iran sanctions bill is not just from the republicans, but his fellow democrats who are pushing that as well. in terms of the other firsts, it is the first time that the words, and this is a sign of the times, kind of thing, that the first time that the words instagram, lesbian, bisexual or transgender have ever been uttered in the state of the union address and the first time that the president has ever called for lifting the embargo against cuba in the state of the union address, and those are firsts as well. >> since losing in the midterm election, the president is emboldened to go forward whether in immigration or cuba or climate change, as far as the agreement with china is concerned. a lot of the democrats are thrilled, and you know, the republicans are not very happy right now, and they say his latest edition to go ahead and raise the taxes on rich people on financial institutions to pay for new tax breaks and more income for the middle-class and
it is a non-starter, and not going anywhere. >> there were a lot of moments where everybody was able to stand and applause. he said if you need something done, hire a veteran. a lot of the messages about the fighting men and women in the country were applauded. he pointed out that for the first time since 9/11, the combat mission in afghanistan is over. he noted that six years ago there were nearly 180,000 american troops serving in iraq and afghanistan, and today, fewer than 15,000 remain. >> yes, but he also seemed to suggest that the u.s. is really winning many this war on terrorism, and here, he was on more questionable ground the be sure, because it looks right now that isis and iraq and syria is still powerful, and al qaeda and the arabian peninsula is still very powerful, and these other al qaeda groups going forward in somalia or in elsewhere in africa and north africa seem to
be representing a significant threat to people in the middle east, and africa and europe and potentially in the united states as well. >> of course, most of the speech, the body of the speech is a very progressive, very liberal economic message about trying to help the middle-class. he did have some moments where he talked about infrastructure, and generally speaking about the first third was about new tax cuts and the $3,000 per child per year, and paid sick leave, paid maternity leave and raising the minimum wage, lowering the cost of community college to zero and a wish list for a progressive president to get any of those items through congress, and especially this congress is going to be difficult. >> and fair to say that had he put forward all of the new initiatives before the midterm elections that he was afraid to do so because he was afraid that it could hurt democrats that
were up for re-election seats. as a result, he did not do any of those things before the midterm, but now after the midterm now he feels emboldened and liberated to move on with the progressive and liberal initiatives. >> you can see the president is making his way out, and schmoozing with people, and complimenting their ties, and thanking them for their work. >> anderson, this is an important night for the president of the united states. the key question now, is it really going to make much of a difference given that the republicans have majorities in the house and senate? >> well, important night for the president and the supporters in that the nation has turned the corner on hard times, and we will play some of the most powerful lines from the address, but i want to go to the panelists for obviously, we will be bringing you to the republican response in a few moments, but i want some quick takes on what you heard? i heard you say that obama is back. >> obama is back, and that is the guy in 2008 and 2012 and he is back.
first time you ever heard him talk about unions, and transgendered and bisexual, and the message of we are going the be helping you out, and he moved with the economy is strong, and we want to be more fair and that is the obama that will be winning elections, and the republicans are on the back foot, and this is the president in full engagement mode. that is barack obama back. >> and for you? >> i don't join van in that enthusiasm. the criticism to the democrats leading up to the midterm is they didn't have a cohesive economic message and i heard one tonight. it is not one that i agreed with, but it is a more cohesive message. wolf alluded to the comments on terror, and i'm positive those will have struck republicans as incredibly off key. this is an administration that
has underestimated isis and said that al qaeda is decimated and has had a questionable foreign policy, and the world is a dangerous place right now, and he seemed to take a little bit of a victory lap on terror, and that is going to be striking some republicans as a little hard. >> and jay carney? >> well, i was struck by the end, and the sense that he was back not so much on the economic message which i knew he would make and he is right on, but a that he returned to some of the themes that americans first heard from him, and in 2004, and again in 2008, and 2012, and, you know, i got a text from a friend who is not a partisan democrat at all, but he did vote for president obama twice. he said that is why i voted for him, what i heard in the last ten minutes. he was partisan in the sense the solutions he posed were progressive, but the problem is now being diagnosed in the same way by the republicans and the democrats, and the economy is
growing, but not everybody is sharing in the growth and we need to do something about it. he is saying this is my plan, and he is not going to want to hear are what the republicans are going to want to offer. >> and what did you hear? >> the colorado speech when he was running for president after the nomination and that concerns me. because one of the hall marks of the president is that he has poor relationships with congress. he had poor relationships with the democrats in congress and he had poor relationships with republicans in congress. i thought that this speech was an opportunity for him to step up to say, all right, we have some differences, but common goal, and how do we improve the middle-class, and nobody is saying that's not a good idea. how he gets there calling for more spending and programs is not going to excite the republicans, but he did it in the first 3/4 of the speech in a partisan way and trying to evoke the images of 2008, and the problem is that it is not 2008 and we have two years left, and you have a big majority in both the house and senate with the republicans.
i think it's a bad way to start if you want to accomplish something. >> john king? >> the first act this the latest round of divided government. and significantly left of center speech delivered by a president to congress who is much more right of center after the election a couple of months ago, and they are operating on the different parallel universes, but it is only the first act. the president was planting the flags, and the republican responses as we heard from chairman rogers, no way, mr. president, you're ignoring the results of the election. but it is the first act. >> before i go to you, gloria, i want to play one of the moments that is going to be getting a lot of play from the speech. >> america for all that we have endured, for all of the grit and hard work required to come back, for all of the tasks that lie ahead, know this, the shadow of crisis has passed, and the state of the union is strong. [ applause ] >> and the moment we are waiting for the republican response, but gloria borger?
>> this is a moment when the president has been waiting to say those words, and looking at him, he looked kind of liberated. i think he was saying to washington, i'm over you. i am telling you what i said when i first started to run for office, there is no red america or blue america and i'm over this, and i want to go back to where i was, but i also think that he told the congress that there is good news here, and i'm not used to hearing that from him. i think that what he has done is to deliver a big promissory note to the american people which is, it is going to continue to get better, and he put that on the table. if it doesn't, the democrats could have hell to pay. >> and there were some lighter and ad-lib moments. here is one of the lighter moments. >> i have no more campaigns to run. my only agenda -- [ applause ] >> i know, because i won both of them. [ applause ]
>> and michael, the applause when he said that he had no more campaigns to run. >> when i read the script before he began the remarks, i said, i wonder if that is an applause line for some of them to cheer. he was loose tonight, and that was self-evident. he struck me as an individual whose party had taken control of the house and the senate and not someone whose party had been hammered two months ago. so i wondered in advance how he would sell the proposal to combat income inequality without sounding like he's for the distribution of wealth, and the answer is to offer very few specifics, because there were more specifics in the media in the last 48 hours than in the speech on that matter. >> and this is part of the rollout, and maybe it is because jay carney is not in the white house. >> way too specific back then when jay was there. >> yes. >> they've been rolling this out to try and give all of their
proposals certain amount of context so you wouldn't just say, okay, tax increases on the wealthy. well, to pay for what? to pay for free community college. and we got a lot of that out of the way. >> it is hard to oppose it the way he presented it. >> and the big stuff does not pass in washington. you make the proposals in january and the big stuff does not pass in august and september up against the government shutdown in october. but if they do it the way they say it will be done through the regular order and budget and has not been done since bill clinton was president, then mind you, the the negotiating in late july and august and september, and what the president was doing is to laying down the markers and pleasing the base. the republicans are going to say, he niece denial, anderson. what they say is, look back not just at last move, but the last six years. they say this is a much redder america. post world war ii high in the house. 54 republican senate seats. so the republicans say yeah, there is a red america.
>> i know the view is this is a partisan speech. i promise almost all of those initiatives, tests 70% of the american people would support them. >> here is the thing that the president what he did is to frame the debate over the economy is not how to pull it out of recession, because we are out of recession, and not how the grow the economy, because we are and not cutting the deficit, because we are cutting it faster than in history, but how to make the benefits felt by average americans, and he took a turn, and not the most eloquent phrase, but it is middle-class economics. it's like in is my turf. >> we are just seconds away from the republican response. >> it's going to be a very difficult challenge. always a difficult challenge for the republican response, or if there is a republican president, for the democratic response. the president spoke for nearly an hour, jake. the republican response is a lot shorter, and it's a different
venue, if you will, so always a little more difficult. joni ernst, the senator from iowa, will be delivering the response. >> she is a former pig farmer and known for turning a blue state red. she's somebody the republicans feel is a rising star in the party, and they want to show off who she is. >> and here she is right now, joni ernst. good evening. i'm joni ernst. as a mother, a soldier, and a newly elected senator from the great state of iowa, i am proud to speak with you tonight. a few moments ago, we heard the president lay out his vision for the year to come. even if we we may not always agree, it is important to hear different points of view in this great country. we appreciate the president sharing his. tonight though, rather than respond to a speech, i'd like to talk about your priorities. i'd like to have a conversation
about the new republican congress that you just elected, and how we plan to make washington focus on your concerns again. we heard the message that you sent in november loud and clear, and now we are getting to work to change the direction that washington has been taking our country. the new republican congress also understands how difficult these past six years have been. for many of us the sting of the economy and the frustration of washington's dysfunction weren't things that we had to read about. we felt them every day. we felt them in red oak, the little town in southwestern iowa where i grew up and still proud to call home today. as a young girl, i plowed the fields of our family farm. i worked construction with my dad. to save for college, i worked
the morning biscuit line at hardee's, and we were raised to live simply, not to waste. it is a lesson that my mother taught me every rainy morning. you see, growing up, i had only one good pair of shoes, so on rainy school days my mom would slip plastic bread bags over them to keep them dry, but i was never embarrassed, because the school bus would be filled with rows and rows of young iowans with bread bags slipped over their feet. our parents may not have had much, but they worked hard for what they did have. these days though, many families feel like they are working harder and harder with less and less to show for it. not just in red oak, but across the country. we see our neighbors agonize over stagnant wages and lost jobs. we see the hurt caused by canceled health care plans and
higher monthly insurance bills. we see too many moms and dads put their own dreams on hold while growing more fearful about the future that they will be able to leave to their children. americans have been hurting, but when we demanded solutions, so often responded with the same stale mindset that led to failed policies like obamacare. it is a mindset that gave us political talking points, not serious solutions. that's why the new republican majority that you elected started by reforming congress to make it function again, and now, we are working hard to pass the kind of serious job creation ideas that you deserve. one that you have probably heard about is the keystone jobs bill. president obama has been delaying this bipartisan
infrastructure project for years, even though many members of his party, unions and a strong majority of the americans support. the president's own state department has said that keystone's construction could support thousands of jobs and pump billions into our economy, and do it with minimal environmental impact. we worked with democrats to pass this bill through the house. we are going to do the same now in the senate. president obama will soon have a decision to make. will he sign the bill or block good american jobs? there is a lot we can achieve if we work together. let's tear down trade barriers in places like europe and the pacific. let's sell more of what we make and grow in america over there so we can boost manufacturing,
wages and jobs right here at home. let's simplify america's outdated and loophole ridden tax code. republicans think that tax filings should be easier for you and not just the well connected. so let's iron out loopholes to lower rates and create jobs, to the pay for more government spending. the president has expressed support for these ideas, and we are calling on him now to cooperate to pass them. you will see a lot of serious work in the new congress. some of it will occur where i stand tonight in the armed services committee room. this is where i'll join committee colleagues, republicans and democrats, to discuss ways to support our exceptional military and its mission. this is where we'll debate
strategies to confront terrorism and the threats posed by al qaeda, isil and those radicalized by them. we know threats like these can't just be wished away. we have been reminded of terrorism's reach both at home and abroad. most recently in france and nigeria, but also in places like canada and australia. our hearts go out to all of the innocent victims of terrorism and their loved ones. we can only imagine the depth of their grief. for two decades, i have proudly worn our nation's uniform. today, as a lieutenant colonel in the iowa army national guard and while deployed overseas with some of america's finest men and women, i have seen how dangerous these kinds of threats can be. the forces of violence and oppression don't care about the
innocent. we need a comprehensive plan to defeat them. we must also honor america's veterans, these men and women have sacrificed so much in defense of our freedom, and our way of life. they deserve nothing less than the benefits they were promised, and a quality of care that we can all be proud of. these are important issues. the new congress plans to address. we will also keep fighting to repeal and replace a health care law that has hurt so many hardworking families. we'll work to correct executive overreach. we will propose to pass ideas that aim to cut wasteful spending and balance the budget, with meaningful reforms, not higher taxes like the president proposed.
we will advance solutions to prevent the cyber attacks that we have seen recently, and we will work to confront iran's nuclear ambitions, and we will defend life, because protecting our most vulnerable is an important measure of any society. congress is back to work on your behalf ready to make washington focus on your concerns again. we know america faces big challenges, but history has shown there's nothing our nation and our people can't accomplish. just look at my parents and grandparents. they had very little to call their own except the sweat on their brow and the dirt on their hands, but they worked. they sacrificed, and they dreamed big dreams for their children and grandchildren. and because they did, an ordinary iowan like me has had some truly extraordinary
opportunities. because they showed me that you don't need to come from wealth or privilege to make a difference, you just need the freedom to dream big and a whole lot of hard work. the new republican congress that you elected is working to make washington understand that, too. and with a little cooperation from the president, we can get washington working again. thank you for allowing me to speak with you tonight. may god bless this great country of ours, the brave american serving in uniform on our behalf, and you, the hardworking men and women who make the united states of america the greatest nation the world has ever known. >> all right. so there she is, the republican senator from iowa joni ernst
with a ten minute republican response, and she made it clear on many of the issues that the republicans and the democrats do not see eye to eye. >> on obamacare, and the keystone, what she called the keystone jobs bill, and abortion, and there were some areas that she talked about the agreement, and potential agreement, and one of them being possibly tax reform, and another one being trade which is interesting, because we have not spoken that much about, and this is an area where president obama faces real opposition in the house and the senate from democrats, and potentially support from the republicans. she did talk about trade as an area where where they could work together and in addition president obama making all of the tax proposals that are possibly some room for a compromise on the tax reform. >> and anderson cooper, she made it abundantly clear that the republicans would not support any tax increases on the wealthy or big business, and there could be some loopholes that could be eradicated, but they are not going with what the president has in mind.
>> and there is a lot more to talk about. we want to also look at president obama's speech on race tonight. the comments he made. i want to play those for you and then talk about them with the panel. >> we may have different takes on the events of ferguson and new york, but surely we can understand a father who fears his son can't walk home without being harassed, and surely we can understand the wife who won't rest until the police officer she married walks through the door at the end of his shift, and surely we can agree that it is a good thing that for the first time in 40 years the crime rate and the incarceration rate have come down together, and use it as a starting point for democrats and republicans, community leaders and law enforcement to reform america's criminal justice system so that it protects and serves all of us. [ applause ] again, the topic the
president has spoken about before and always trying to strike a middle ground. [ inaudible ] >> i am sorry, i am told that we have a problem with the mic. jay carney, this president has been speaking about race before and tell us what you felt tonight? >> i thought it was very balanced. it's very important for him to acknowledge that we may not always agree on the causes or the problems, but one thing we can agree on is that there are thousands and thousands of police officers out there working hard to keep us safe and it is absolutely a matter of concern when mothers and fathers have to worry about their children being harassed on the streets. >> and like i said my father was a cop in the military, and my
uncle just retired from the memphis city police force, safety. african-americans want better policing, and african-americans don't want more policing, but better policing. so he hit it right, it is time for the criminal justice reform. and notice that, republicans stood up. we may not agree on the causes of the problem, but there's common ground solutions and he kid a great job. >> is there a role for the president to play here, mike rogers? >> well, the important role is to reduce tensions everywhere there is a problem. he has a unique role to play here, and i hope that he takes a stronger stance to reduce the tensions. i am not eager that he finds the middle ground. we're all going to be able to get in a lane there. we also need to start talking about education reform. if the one major hurdle for these neighborhoods is access to quality education, we can change that and come together on that that.
some of the other issues serve to raise tensions with no real solution underneath them. >> and does lowering the tensions actually help the overall problem and solve the problem? >> well, the great thing is that people like cory booker, rand paul who are coming together and putting forward good solution, and on the education stuff, and listen, i would love to the hear if the republicans can support the president to make more education available through the community college stuff, and that is important. used to be that high school was not available to everybody, and america is strong, because we opened inup the high school. >> and one thing is that graduation rates are too low in urban centers, and if we do not focus on that, we can talk about the problems all day long, but if we don't get the kids access to quality education, and the environment encouraging them to get education, we won't fix the problem. >> it seems that everybody from the president to republican 2016
contenders, everybody just discovered poverty, to everyone is talking about it. to your points, had the president tonight talked about poverty and given maybe some shoutouts to the republicans who are interested in solving poverty like paul ryan and mitt romney and instead of assailing them for their attempts and even the if they don't agree on the solutions that would have been a nice overture to the republicans to say, this is an important issue, and i believe you want to work on it. let's tinld -- find some common ground. >> and we are waiting for justice department to release the probe of ferguson and the president did not talk about that tonight. >> and dana bash is standing by in statuary hall getting reaction tonight. >> we have a member of the democratic leadership, senator chuck schumer of new york. >> good evening. >> first time in many years not being in the majority, but the minority, and did you feel that the president had a sense of freedom, and i mean, political freedom.
>> yes, and he felt strong and good. his feelings conveyed what he feels about america, and we are back on the rebound, and we are uplift. he appealed to the better angels of our nature. very little partisanship in the speech. rather than this is what i believe to lift it up, and you may believe in some other things, but let's come together and try to get it done. it is with one of the most optimistic speeches that he gave and one of the strongest speeches and not partisan. saying, let's work together for the good things. the republicans were sort of stuck. joni ernst talked about the pipeline as a jobs bill that creates 35 jobs. and today, she voted against an amendment that said, let's make this deal to create jobs, so he is talking in the uplifting way, and they are stuck with the special interests so they can't do what they want to do. so their best bet if they want to get something done is to work with him.
>> so it is up to you, and you have to roll your vooef -- sleeves up and work with republicans to get done what you described he talked about. and give me an example of when you are going to be sitting down with the republican leaders and what you are going to be doing together? >> when george bush was president, bills making college tuition deductible, and get a credit. the republicans are for tax breaks and we can improve on that and republicans are interested in doing that. we talked about some of the ideas that he has for child tax credits and those were proposed by ryan. >> i talked to paul ryan and what the republicans are concerned about is that he wants to pay for it by raising the taxes on the wealthy, is there a middle ground there? >> well, who knows if we can find the middle ground, but the republicans say he wants to raise taxes, but what they don't say is he wants to close loopholes on the very wealthy.
they won't raise the top rate, they won't raise any of the rates. so i don't think they'll go for his capital gains. but in closing certain loopholes they may. another place where we could get together, cyber security. sounded pretty good. criminal justice reform. >> a lot of these things have been stalled. you're saying under your leadership, democratic leadership, it's been stalled. so now you're the minority. >> republicans blocked it because big business didn't want it. now big business after sony wants it. there are a good number of republicans that want trade but want to come down tougher on china. >> there are a lot of democrats not happy with what the president said on free trade. how do you convince them? >> if we really crack down on china, that's in the spirit of
t tpa, and showing american workers, we're not just going to coddle china, which this administration has done too much of, we can get something done. >> one last question on iran. the president made it clear he doesn't want new sanctions on iran. are you going to listen to him or go your own way? >> the president agrees we need tougher sanctions, the question is timing. that's something we'll have to discuss. >> you want to do it sooner, correct? >> that's something democrats and republicans are exploring. >> thank you very much. thank you, senator. nice to see you. back to you. >> we don't hear the word "molly coddle" enough in politics. we're standing by for the first results from our dial test. we'll see how people responded online and in real time. you'll see the president's high points and low points. we're also standing by for the results of our telephone poll. i want to go back to the panel.
senator elect ernst, it is a thankless job given the response we have seen, rising stars in both parties stumbled when doing it. how did she do tonight? >> you couldn't see it, but she was wearing camouflaged high heels. she was -- i thought she was great. she was a star. there was a little bio. we got a little of her back ground. people like to hear that. i thought she sounded like a happy warrior. she talked about your new republican majority, getting back to work for you. i thought it was a positive, fresh faced spin on this new congress. i thought it sold. >> because you can blow yourself up. >> can you say bob yby jindal. >> she survived. therefore, she's going to be stronger. but i didn't agree with a word she said.
>> she was very strong on the theme of, you know, putting -- blaming the past, because she's new, and she's saying we're the new song, gridlock on the past and now we have an opportunity to fix what was broken. she knows that republicans are unpopular, congress is unpopular, everybody is unpopular. so she's trying to establish something new. >> let's listen to her talk about the gridlock. >> just over a decade ago, i gave a speech in boston where i said there wasn't a liberal or conservative america, black america nor a white america, but a united states of america. i said this because i had seen it in my own life. if a nation that gave someone like me a chance. because i grew up in hawaii, a melting pot of races and customs. i made illinois my home, a state
of small towns and rich farmland and one of the world's greatest city, and a microcosm of independents and democrats and republicans and independents. good people of every ethnicity, of every faith, share certain bedrock values. over the past six years, the pundits have pointed out more than once that my presidency has not delivered on this vision. how ironic they say that our politics seem more divided than ever. it's held up as proof, not just of my flaws, of which there are many, but also as proof that the vision is misguided, naive. that there are too many people in this town that benefit from partisanship and grid lock for us to ever do anything about it.
i know how tempting such cynicism may be. i think the cynics are wrong. i still believe that we are one people. i still believe that, together, we can do great things, even when the odds are long. [ applause ] >> president obama talking about gridlock. >> i just wanted to say, here is somebody who was a state senator, not that long ago,en iraq veteran, a colonel in the national guard. she knocked it out of the park. she took the rhetoric of the president and brought it back to the reality of real people in places like iowa. i thought that was very effective and i expect to see a lot more. >> what she showed to me, there are these two different universes that we looked at tonight. she said, we won, we heard you,
and the president said, it doesn't matter, this is what i'm going to do. she's talking about smaller government, she's talking about deficit deduction. nobody mentioned entitlement reform tonight, very interesting. but they're just living in two different worlds. it wasn't any kind of a rebuttal, it was just a separate speech. >> the rhetoric is great. this was an i'm for everyone speech, especially if you're on the left of center. she said, listen, i've lived through the policies of the last six years growing up in my life and here's how it impacted me. >> she is a leaving, breathing example of the changes in our politics. a newly elected republican senate from what iowa, the democrats were supposed to hold that seat in the state that launched barack obama's national political career. america has changed during the obama years. the negative you can say is it
proved to gloria's point the parallel universe. the president makes his say, joni ernst says no way. this town needs a circuit breaker. to get to the big stuff, that's months down the line, if they can build some trust. but she said, we want to create jobs and help working families. the president said that. so they're talking about the same things. what the republicans are saying -- maybe the way they could say it, mr. president, you have the right why would -- right ideas but the wrong policies and try to work it out. >> will this year be any difference? >> can they walk and chew gum at the same time? do you cut taxes or raise taxes on the wealthy?
can they disagree on that and can they get together on things like trade, on infrastructure, roads and bridges? >> michael, can they? >> no, they can't. when you get into the substance beyond the lofty language offered by the president tonight, that's when we'll find out that the conflict still exists. i thought joni ernst did well. she was polished. made a fine presentation. i think that the bar is very low. this is the equivalent of the sports illustrated curse, if you're an athlete. i would love to see someone sit there with a legal pad and say, you know, i made a few notes and pulled out five items i would like to respond to. she began by saying, i'm not going to respond to what he just said. i think it would be very effective, someone like mike rogers could pull that off and just once i would like to see it happen. >> first of all, the president
supports these trade agreements. republicans in congress support these trade agreements. if they're past, he'll sign them. that will cost the president politically in his own party, but he's willing to do it. infrastructure is another area. corporate tax reform is another area. the question is, these are things, all areas that are playing on republican turf. so in return for him pleading a little bit on this, let's going to need from republicans something back. maybe investments and infrastructure. >> i think progressive democrats feed to be very, very clear on this. when he went on the trade part in that speech, he didn't get applause from the democrats or republicans. that is the one area the base cannot go with him on. >> there is one thing that will get republicans and democrats together. i didn't think the president was
very strong on this, but that's the authority for action in syria. he will get a lot of support. he will have to up his game on explaining to the american people why, which is not his strong suit on these issues. but it is an issue republicans and democrats will stand with him. and i think it will show an act of good faith to the american people. this is a huge issue of which the president didn't deal with much. >> and there's a stronger appetite now than there has been in the past for a more aggressive stance. we just saw the assassination of american journalists, we saw what happened in france. it's visible right now. >> when you talk about a more aggressive american stance, what are you talking about? >> talk to democrats for whom there is room to convince the american people that we need to put boots on the ground in syria and in iraq. we have boots on the ground, we're just not calling them
that. >> putting american troops back into iraq? >> yes. >> it was interesting to see president barack obama, to his credit, ask for the authorization from the united states congress. you would think after the way he got into national politics he wants to talk about boots on the ground? not going to happen. >> the numbers have come way down in terms of americans in iraq and afghanistan, and it's a pos tuff. ultimately the reason the president's numbers are up is because of the economy. while i thought senator ernst was excellent, the republican plan is the same thing they've been talking about for years. the keystone pipeline. it's not enough. and if they want to -- the problem is, what is it? is it the ryan budget? i know democrats would love to have that debate again.
because they'll kill republicans. >> i think you're kind of leading into this. she had ten minutes, so she used as an example one area which they believe, the republicans in the house and senate believe would create jobs in the economy. i think they're right on this. i think it was an area that shows, listen, this is about working people. when the unions are supporting the building of this pipeline, the people who actually build the pipeline are for the pipeline. i think that's pretty interesting. these with good, high paying jobs. i think it just tried to highlight the two different directions republicans will take. >> we're waiting the poll numbers. we'll have a lot more with our panel ahead. >> stand by, guys. we're continuing to assess what we just heard not only from the president but also from republican senator joni ernst. this was a president, by all accounts, who was supremely confident tonight, almost cocky
in dealing with this republican majority in the house and senate. >> he's not known for having a small ego. very few presidents, if any, are. i think there was a question how was president obama going to come to the state of the union. there's a real contrast here. you have all this good economic news and you have this congress that's entirely in mun contrrep control, elected just in november. and there was a fun moment that people on social media are reacting to, which the president let his confidence show. let's run that clip. >> no more campaigns to run. my only agenda -- [ applause ] i know, because i won both of them. [ applause ] >> there you have the president responding to some, you know, sarcastic amaze from republicans.
he's not going to -- it was obviously an ad lib. >> he obviously wanted to respond and he made his point. he has been elected president of the united states and ree l-eled president of the united states to the dismay of a lot of the republicans sitting out there. there were other moments that were sort of unusual. >> well, other moments -- there was one other thing that i want told get at. mitt romney responded to the president on facebook. a lot of people wondering about whether or not mitt romney is going to run for president. mitt romney saying the fact that the president was speaking before a congress just elected that represents american call for, in mr. romney's assessment, smaller government and lower taxes, yet gave the speech he gave shows that the president, in his view, is more interested in politics than leadership, more intent on winning elections
than winning progress. so this was a pointed remark and a lot of people seeing romney weighing in, suggests that -- >> the fact mitt romney responding immediately to what the president had to say in the state of the union address suggests to me he's very serious about running for the republican nomination again. >> he gave his response before the official republican response from senator joni ernst. he gave his own response almost like a romney campaign in waiting response. >> he's obvious hi making it clear, he, jeb bush, so many other republicans thinking of running for president of the united states, and they'll all be giving their response. this is a president who is going to spend the next two years going after republicans, knowing that on most of these issues he's not going to win. >> that's right. and in fact, the president made it very clear that if they brought him some items of legislation, health care and other things, head veto those
points of legislation, he would veto attempts to undo obamacare and more. >> the president issuing several veto threats our special coverage continues. i have no more campaigns to run. my only agenda -- [ applause ] [ laughter ] i know because i won both of them. [ applause ] >> interesting moment there. u.s. president barack obama says it's not about politics anymore. >> we will have team coverage on the president's state of the union address. also coming up, terror in tel aviv. a palestinian man is in custody at this hour after nine bus passengers are stabbed in israel. plus, a cnn exclusive. video that reportedly shows a pair paris supermarket shooter and his wife as they scoped out potential jewish targets for an attack.