“The shadow of crisis has passed, and the state of the union is strong,” Obama boasted in his address to the nation Tuesday night. He also praised the economy and job growth while calling for a greater focus on economic reform to help the middle class. “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, and everyone plays by the same set of rules,” Obama said. He also called for a number of reforms for middle-class families, including paid sick leave and childcare, which he said is “not a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have.” Obama made it clear he would not bow to Republicans in Congress, saying legislation that rehashed old battles about immigration and other political clashes “will have earned my veto.”
On foreign policy, Obama said the U.S. is “stopping ISIL’s advance,” a claim that has been refuted. While he touted military success in the Middle East, he called on Congress to authorize further military involvement to help beat back ISIS. Obama also defended his decision to open up relations with Cuba. “When what you’re doing for 50 years doesn’t work, it’s time to do something new,” he said. He also emphasized his commitment to close Guantanamo Bay. “I will not relent in my determination to shut it down,” he said.