Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes ' he said his voice rising as applause and cheers mounted. 'Shake it off. Stop complainin'. Stop grumblin'. Stop cryin'. We are going to press on. We have work to do.
It took a lot of blood sweat and tears to get to where we are today but we have just begun. Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today.
We need to steer clear of this poverty of ambition where people want to drive fancy cars and wear nice clothes and live in nice apartments but don't want to work hard to accomplish these things. Everyone should try to realize their full potential.
No party has a monopoly on wisdom. No democracy works without compromise. But when Governor Romney and his allies in Congress tell us we can somehow lower our deficit by spending trillions more on new tax breaks for the wealthy - well you do the math. I refuse to go along with that. And as long as I'm President I never will.
Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and the war on terrorism have reduced the pace of military transformation and have revealed our lack of preparation for defensive and stability operations. This Administration has overextended our military.
There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes all of us defending the United States of America.
Four years ago I promised to end the war in Iraq. We did. I promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11. We have. We've blunted the Taliban's momentum in Afghanistan and in 2014 our longest war will be over. A new tower rises above the New York skyline al Qaeda is on the path to defeat and Osama bin Laden is dead.
In December I agreed to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans because it was the only way I could prevent a tax hike on middle-class Americans. But we cannot afford $1 trillion worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire in our society. We can't afford it. And I refuse to renew them again.
It's not surprising then they get bitter they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
Tonight we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation - not because of the height of our skyscrapers or the power of our military or the size of our economy. Our pride is based on a very simple premise summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago.
Here at this site Solyndra expects to make enough solar panels each year to generate 500 megawatts of electricity. And over the lifetime of this expanded facility that could be like replacing as many as eight coal-fired power plants.
And we can see the positive impacts right here at Solyndra. Less than a year ago we were standing on what was an empty lot.But through the Recovery Act this company received a loan to expand its operations. This new factory is the result of those loans.
Part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now and facts and science and argument does not seem to be winning the day all the time is because we're hardwired not to always think clearly when we're scared. And the country's scared.
There is probably a perverse pride in my administration... that we were going to do the right thing even if short-term it was unpopular. And I think anybody who's occupied this office has to remember that success is determined by an intersection in policy and politics and that you can't be neglecting of marketing and P.R. and public opinion.
When we think of the major threats to our national security the first to come to mind are nuclear proliferation rogue states and global terrorism. But another kind of threat lurks beyond our shores one from nature not humans - an avian flu pandemic.
I know that campaigns can seem small and even silly. Trivial things become big distractions. Serious issues become sound bites. And the truth gets buried under an avalanche of money and advertising. If you're sick of hearing me approve this message believe me - so am I.
We need somebody who's got the heart the empathy to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom the empathy to understand what it's like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old - and that's the criterion by which I'll be selecting my judges.
I think there are a whole host of things that are civil rights and then there are other things - such as traditional marriage - that I think express a community's concern and regard for a particular institution.
What I believe is that marriage is between a man and a woman but what I also believe is that we have an obligation to make sure that gays and lesbians have the rights of citizenship that afford them visitations to hospitals that allow them to be to transfer property between partners to make certain that they're not discriminated on the job.
I opposed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. It should be repealed and I will vote for its repeal on the Senate floor. I will also oppose any proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban gays and lesbians from marrying.
I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage. But when you start playing around with constitutions just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person it just seems to me that's not what America's about. Usually our constitutions expand liberties they don't contract them.
Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.
We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK. That's not leadership. That's not going to happen.
Where the stakes are the highest in the war on terror we cannot possibly succeed without extraordinary international cooperation. Effective international police actions require the highest degree of intelligence sharing planning and collaborative enforcement.
So long as I'm Commander-in-Chief we will sustain the strongest military the world has ever known. When you take off the uniform we will serve you as well as you've served us - because no one who fights for this country should have to fight for a job or a roof over their head or the care that they need when they come home.
I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president - with the possible exceptions of Johnson FDR and Lincoln - just in terms of what we've gotten done in modern history. But you know but when it comes to the economy we've got a lot more work to do. And we're gonna keep on at it.
We've persevered because of a belief we share with the Iraqi people - a belief that out of the ashes of war a new beginning could be born in this cradle of civilization. Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the United States and Iraq we have met our responsibility. Now it's time to turn the page.
I want to reform the tax code so that it's simple fair and asks the wealthiest households to pay higher taxes on incomes over $250 000 - the same rate we had when Bill Clinton was president the same rate we had when our economy created nearly 23 million new jobs the biggest surplus in history and a lot of millionaires to boot.
But if you - if what - the reports are true what they're saying is is that as a consequence of us getting 30 million additional people health care at the margins that's going to increase our costs we knew that.
And so our goal on health care is if we can get instead of health care costs going up 6 percent a year it's going up at the level of inflation maybe just slightly above inflation we've made huge progress. And by the way that is the single most important thing we could do in terms of reducing our deficit. That's why we did it.
One of the great strengths of the United States is... we have a very large Christian population - we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.
The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. The point is is that when we succeed we succeed because of our individual initiative but also because we do things together.
What I worry about would be that you essentially have two chambers the House and the Senate but you have simply majoritarian absolute power on either side. And that's just not what the founders intended.
We worship an awesome God in the Blue States and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States.
And I will do everything that I can as long as I am President of the United States to remind the American people that we are one nation under God and we may call that God different names but we remain one nation.
To avoid being mistaken for a sellout I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.
For more than four decades the Libyan people have been ruled by a tyrant - Moammar Gaddafi. He has denied his people freedom exploited their wealth murdered opponents at home and abroad and terrorized innocent people around the world - including Americans who were killed by Libyan agents.
We the People recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights that our destinies are bound together that a freedom which only asks what's in it for me a freedom without a commitment to others a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism is unworthy of our founding ideals and those who died in their defense.
On every front there are clear answers out there that can make this country stronger but we're going to break through the fear and the frustration people are feeling. Our job is to make sure that even as we make progress that we are also giving people a sense of hope and vision for the future.
But let me perfectly clear because I know you'll hear the same old claims that rolling back these tax breaks means a massive tax increase on the American people: if your family earns less than $250 000 a year you will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime.
I can make a firm pledge under my plan no family making less than $250 000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax not your payroll tax not your capital gains taxes not any of your taxes.
It was the labor movement that helped secure so much of what we take for granted today. The 40-hour work week the minimum wage family leave health insurance Social Security Medicare retirement plans. The cornerstones of the middle-class security all bear the union label.
What I think is fair to say is that coming out of the Republican camp there have been efforts to suggest that perhaps I'm not who I say I am when it comes to my faith - something which I find deeply offensive and that has been going on for a pretty long time.
My parents shared not only an improbable love they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name Barack or blessed believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success.
My family frankly they weren't folks who went to church every week. My mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew but she didn't raise me in the church so I came to my Christian faith later in life and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead.
The Bush Administration's failure to be consistently involved in helping Israel achieve peace with the Palestinians has been both wrong for our friendship with Israel as well as badly damaging to our standing in the Arab world.
The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt.
With patient and firm determination I am going to press on for jobs. I'm going to press on for equality. I'm going to press on for the sake of our children. I'm going to press on for the sake of all those families who are struggling right now. I don't have time to feel sorry for myself. I don't have time to complain. I am going to press on.
We can't get to the $4 trillion in savings that we need by just cutting the 12 percent of the budget that pays for things like medical research and education funding and food inspectors and the weather service. And we can't just do it by making seniors pay more for Medicare.
You can choose a future where more Americans have the chance to gain the skills they need to compete no matter how old they are or how much money they have. Education was the gateway to opportunity for me. It was the gateway for Michelle. And now more than ever it is the gateway to a middle-class life.
Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine. It may make you feel like you're flying high at first but it won't take long before you feel the impact.
Of course there is no question that Libya - and the world - will be better off with Gaddafi out of power. I along with many other world leaders have embraced that goal and will actively pursue it through non-military means. But broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake.
I don't care whether you're driving a hybrid or an SUV. If you're headed for a cliff you have to change direction. That's what the American people called for in November and that's what we intend to deliver.
Let me be absolutely clear. Israel is a strong friend of Israel's. It will be a strong friend of Israel's under a McCain administration. It will be a strong friend of Israel's under an Obama administration. So that policy is not going to change.
If you were successful somebody along the line gave you some help... Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business - you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.
It's time to fundamentally change the way that we do business in Washington. To help build a new foundation for the 21st century we need to reform our government so that it is more efficient more transparent and more creative. That will demand new thinking and a new sense of responsibility for every dollar that is spent.
We can choose a future where we export more products and outsource fewer jobs. After a decade that was defined by what we bought and borrowed we're getting back to basics and doing what America has always done best: We're making things again.
In fact the best thing we could do on taxes for all Americans is to simplify the individual tax code. This will be a tough job but members of both parties have expressed an interest in doing this and I am prepared to join them.
I know my country has not perfected itself. At times we've struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We've made our share of mistakes and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.
We have an obligation and a responsibility to be investing in our students and our schools. We must make sure that people who have the grades the desire and the will but not the money can still get the best education possible.