Obama Gives Presidential Farewell Address


President Obama gave his farewell address to the nation Tuesday evening in Chicago, touting the accomplishments of his 8-year administration, and firing up his supporters to keep fighting for change.

In a direct reference to immigrants and refugees, he said, “For 240 years, our nation’s call to citizenship has given work and purpose to each new generation. It’s what led patriots to choose republic over tyranny, pioneers to trek west, slaves to brave that makeshift railroad to freedom. It’s what pulled immigrants and refugees across oceans, and the Rio Grande.”

Obama then listed his achievements:

“If I had told you 8 years ago that America would reverse a great recession, reboot our auto industry, and unleash the longest stretch of job creation in our history…, if I had told you that we would open up a new chapter with the Cuban people, shut down Iran’s nuclear weapon program without firing a shot, take out the mastermind of 9/11…, if I had told you that we would win marriage equality, and secure the right to health insurance for another 20 million of our fellow citizens…, if I had told you all that, you might have said our sights [were] set a little too high…, but that’s what we did.”

Obama said, “The good news is that today the economy is growing again. Wages, incomes, home values and retirement accounts are all rising again; and poverty is falling again.”

He continued, “The wealthy are paying a fair share of taxes, even as the stock market shatters records. The unemployment rate is near a 10-year low, and the uninsured rate has never, ever been lower, and healthcare costs are rising at the slowest rate in 50 years.”

Additional comments:

“We should be making it easier, not harder to vote.”

“We should reduce the influence of money in our politics.”

And the former community organizer told the pumped-up crowd, “If something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and do some organizing.”

Full Transcript of Speech

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