The Obama Legacy - In His Own Words
You can tell a lot about a man by the words he uses. In the last 8 years, our country has been through a lot. There was a recession and wars and terrorism and a sluggish recovery and now race and police confrontations. The most powerful influence of a leader is his words. President Obama was elected on "hope and change". We see the results after 8 long years.
- July 2016
Words of Barack Obama
"We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense. And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken -- you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you..."
- Obama inauguration speech - Jan. 21, 2009
On Gitmo Closure
During a signing ceremony at the White House, Obama reaffirmed his inauguration pledge that the United States does not have "to continue with a false choice between our safety and our ideals."
The president said he was issuing the order to close the facility in order to "restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great even in the midst of war, even in dealing with terrorism."
On the Debt
“The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion dollars for the first 42 presidents — number 43 added $4 trillion dollars by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion dollars of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $30,000 for every man, woman and child.
That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.”
On the ACA Healthcare Act
• President’s weekly address, June 6, 2009: "If you like the plan you have, you can keep it. If you like the doctor you have, you can keep your doctor, too. The only change you’ll see are falling costs as our reforms take hold."
Remarks by the President to GM Lordstown Assembly Plant Employees in Ohio, 9/15/2009
"I know that's small consolation when so many people you know are still out of work. It's going to take some time to achieve a complete recovery. But I want you all to know, I will not rest until anybody who's looking for a job can find one -- and I'm not talking about just any job, but good jobs that give every American decent wages and decent benefits and a fair shot at the American Dream."
On Role Models for Obama's Daughters
“To J and B, thank you so much for your friendship,” the president said. 9/19/2012
“Beyoncé could not be a better role model for my girls because she carries herself with such class and poise and has so much talent,” he said.
Interviewed - 2/2/2014
President Obama, in an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, tried to put behind him the scandals that have hung over his second term, suggesting his administration did not mislead the public on the Benghazi attack and going so far as to say the IRS targeting scandal had “not even a smidgen of corruption.”
Speech to the UN - 9/25/2012
"Chris Stevens loved his work. He took pride in the country he served, and he saw dignity in the people that he met. And two weeks ago, he traveled to Benghazi to review plans to establish a new cultural center and modernize a hospital. That’s when America’s compound came under attack. Along with three of his colleagues, Chris was killed in the city that he helped to save. He was 52 years old. "
"I tell you this story because Chris Stevens embodied the best of America. Like his fellow Foreign Service officers, he built bridges across oceans and cultures, and was deeply invested in the international cooperation that the United Nations represents. He acted with humility, but he also stood up for a set of principles -- a belief that individuals should be free to determine their own destiny, and live with liberty, dignity, justice, and opportunity."
"The attacks on the civilians in Benghazi were attacks on America."
On VA Scandal
“I will not stand for it. There must be consequences.”
– President Barack Obama vowed following revelations of the VA scandal in May.
“When a veteran is denied health care, we are all dishonored.” When 400,000 veterans are stuck on a waiting list for claims, we need a new sense of urgency in this country.”
– Presidential candidate and then-Sen. Barack Obama, 2007.
Obama on Climate Change
On Coal Power Plants
In 2008, candidate Obama remarked, “If somebody wants to build a coal-fired power plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them. … Under my plan … electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”
On Small Business
On Gun Control
Remarks - 1/5/2016
President Barack Obama grew emotional Tuesday as he made a passionate call for a national "sense of urgency" to limit gun violence.
He was introduced by Mark Barden, whose son Daniel was killed in the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Obama circled back to that shooting in the final moments of his speech.
"Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad," Obama said, pausing to wipe away tears.
He added: "And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day," referring to his hometown where he began his political career.
On Race Relations...
Obama comments - 7/19/2013
"You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. And when you think about why, in the African American community at least, there's a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it's important to recognize that the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn't go away."
On Immigration Reform
“I am president, I am not king. I can't do these things just by myself. We have a system of government that requires the Congress to work with the Executive Branch to make it happen. I'm committed to making it happen, but I've got to have some partners to do it. … The main thing we have to do to stop deportations is to change the laws. … [T]he most important thing that we can do is to change the law because the way the system works – again, I just want to repeat, I'm president, I'm not king. If Congress has laws on the books that says that people who are here who are not documented have to be deported, then I can exercise some flexibility in terms of where we deploy our resources, to focus on people who are really causing problems as a opposed to families who are just trying to work and support themselves. But there's a limit to the discretion that I can show because I am obliged to execute the law. That's what the Executive Branch means. I can't just make the laws up by myself. So the most important thing that we can do is focus on changing the underlying laws.” (10/25/10)
On ISIL (ISIS)
The New Yorker, Jan. 27: In the 2012 campaign, Obama spoke not only of killing Osama bin Laden; he also said that Al Qaeda had been “decimated.” I pointed out that the flag of Al Qaeda is now flying in Falluja, in Iraq, and among various rebel factions in Syria; Al Qaeda has asserted a presence in parts of Africa, too.
“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Obama said, resorting to an uncharacteristically flip analogy. “I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.
On Shovel Ready Jobs
Even before President Obama entered the White House, he and his allies successfully used the allure of “shovel ready” infrastructure projects to help sell his $787 billion stimulus legislation to a resistant Congress and a wary public.
“I think we can get a lot of work done fast,” Mr. Obama, then the president-elect, said in December 2008, after meeting with governors. “All of them have projects that are shovel ready, that are going to require us to get the money out the door.”
A Summary Chart
Some Related Links
- President Barack Obama Biography Years In White House - Washington Post
In five parts — The First Black President, Commander in Chief, Obama’s America, Obama and the World, and The First Family — we dig into his historic tenure.
By his words you will know him...