Obama's Speech

'I Never Suggested Change Would Be Easy'

President Obama called for a new jobs bill in his State of the Union address, touted his tax cuts, promised to make college more affordable, and criticized the broad influence of lobbyists in Washington. The president urged Congress to overcome the bitter partisan infighting that has paralyzed the Capitol to pass bills the public deserves. Obama addressed the health-care impasse head-on, pledging to think about the next generation, not the next election. He also addressed national security, echoing sentiments from his campaign when he said, “All of us are committed to its defense. So let's put aside the schoolyard taunts about who is tough. Let's reject the false choice between protecting our people and upholding our values.” While the U.S. will work with the Iraqi government toward securing the country, combat troops will be out of there by August, he said. Obama acknowledged that some felt disappointed in him, after he raised expectations during the presidential race. “I campaigned on the promise of change—change we can believe in, the slogan went. And right now, I know there are many Americans who aren't sure if they still believe we can change—or at least, that I can deliver it. But remember this—I never suggested that change would be easy, or that I can do it alone.”