Previews of both speeches tonight: Pres. Obama and Gov. Bobby Jindal
(UPDATED: The White House just released more excerpts of the President's remarks. Added below as an update.)
Excerpts this afternoon from both national political speeches tonight -- Newly-minted President Barack Obama's Fate of the Union address to a joint session of Congress and Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal's coming-out speech for 2012 and GOP response. (He says he's running for re-elect in 2011, btw.)
We have excerpts from both here now. The White House is being unusually circumspect in releasing just just two long paragraphs of Obama's address. And they're ones that emphasize the optimism he's been criticized for underplaying until now. A clear signal that's the underlying message they want out of tonight's event. Sober. More bad to come. But we'll all emerge stronger.
It's probably a smart move, Obama's political strategist David Axelrod knowing, rightly, that the nation will be watching anyway so why give the Republicans advance notice of their best lines.
First, the President:
"But while our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken; though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this: We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before. The weight of this crisis will not determine the destiny of this nation.
"The answers to our problems don’t lie beyond our reach. They exist in our laboratories and universities; in our fields and our factories; in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs and the pride of the hardest-working people on Earth. Those qualities that have made America the greatest force of progress and prosperity in human history we still possess in ample measure. What is required now is for this country to pull together, confront boldly the challenges we face, and take responsibility for our future once more."
(UPDATE: We have lived through an era where too often, short-term gains were prized over long-term prosperity; where we failed to look beyond the next payment, the next quarter, or the next election. A surplus became an excuse to transfer wealth to the wealthy instead of an opportunity to invest in our future. Regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market. People bought homes they knew they couldn’t afford from banks and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway. And all the while, critical debates and difficult decisions were put off for some other time on some other day.
Well that day of reckoning has arrived, and the time to take charge of our future is here. Now is the time to act boldly and wisely – to not only revive this economy, but to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity. Now is the time to jumpstart job creation, re-start lending, and invest in areas like energy, health care, and education that will grow our economy, even as we make hard choices to bring our deficit down. That is what my economic agenda is designed to do, and that’s what I’d like to talk to you about tonight...
The recovery plan and the financial stability plan are the immediate steps we’re taking to revive our economy in the short-term. But the only way to fully restore America’s economic strength is to make the long-term investments that will lead to new jobs, new industries, and a renewed ability to compete with the rest of the world. The only way this century will be another American century is if we confront at last the price of our dependence on oil and the high cost of health care; the schools that aren’t preparing our children and the mountain of debt they stand to inherit. That is our responsibility.
In the next few days, I will submit a budget to Congress. So often, we have come to view these documents as simply numbers on a page or laundry lists of programs. I see this document differently. I see it as a vision for America –- as a blueprint for our future.
My budget does not attempt to solve every problem or address every issue. It reflects the stark reality of what we’ve inherited -– a trillion dollar deficit, a financial crisis, and a costly recession.
Given these realities, everyone in this chamber –- Democrats and Republicans -– will have to sacrifice some worthy priorities for which there are no dollars. And that includes me.But that does not mean we can afford to ignore our long-term challenges. I reject the view that says our problems will simply take care of themselves; that says government has no role in laying the foundation for our common prosperity."
Gov. Bobby Jindal:
“As I grew up, my mom and dad taught me the values that attracted them to this country -- and they instilled in me an immigrant’s wonder at the greatness of America. As a child, I remember going to the grocery store with my dad. Growing up in India, he had seen extreme poverty. And as we walked through the aisles, looking at the endless variety on the shelves, he would tell me: ‘Bobby, Americans can do anything.’ I still believe that to this day...
“Republicans are ready to work with the new President to provide those solutions. Here in my state of Louisiana, we don’t care what party you belong to if you have good ideas to make life better for our people. We need more of that attitude from both Democrats and Republicans in our nation’s capital.
"All of us want our economy to recover and our nation to prosper. So where we agree, Republicans must be the President’s strongest partners. And where we disagree, Republicans have a responsibility to be candid and offer better ideas for a path forward....
“The strength of America is not found in our government. It is found in the compassionate hearts and enterprising spirit of our citizens....
“To solve our current problems, Washington must lead. But the way to lead is not to raise taxes and put more money and power in hands of Washington politicians. The way to lead is by empowering you -- the American people. Because we believe that Americans can do anything....
“Democratic leaders say their legislation will grow the economy. What it will do is grow the government, increase our taxes down the line, and saddle future generations with debt.
Who among us would ask our children for a loan, so we could spend money we do not have, on things we do not need?
That is precisely what the Democrats in Congress just did. It’s irresponsible. And it’s no way to strengthen our economy, create jobs, or build a prosperous future for our children. ...
“In recent years, these distinctions in philosophy became less clear -- because our party got away from its principles. You elected Republicans to champion limited government, fiscal discipline, and personal responsibility. Instead, Republicans went along with earmarks and big government spending in Washington. Republicans lost your trust -- and rightly so....
“A few weeks ago, the President warned that our nation is facing a crisis that he said ‘we may not be able to reverse.’ Our troubles are real, to be sure. But don’t let anyone tell you that we cannot recover -- or that America’s best days are behind her.”
The Ticket will be live-blogging both remarks here this evening. And, of course, publishing the complete texts of both addresses as soon as they are available.