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10 key quotes from Obama’s final State of the Union speech

January 12, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. President Barack Obama delivered a fiery final State of the Union address to Congress Tuesday night. Here are some key quotes that have people talking:

1. Don’t be afraid

“America’s been through big changes before — wars and depression, the influx of immigrants, workers fighting for a fair deal, movements to expand civil rights. Each time, there have been those who told us to fear the future; who claimed we could slam the brakes on change, promising to restore past glory if we just got some group or idea that was threatening America under control. And each time, we overcame those fears.”

2. IS fight not WWIII

“As we focus on destroying ISIL, over-the-top claims that this is World War III just play into their hands. Masses of fighters on the back of pickup trucks and twisted souls plotting in apartments or garages pose an enormous danger to civilians and must be stopped. But they do not threaten our national existence.”

3. Ignore ‘hot air’ on economy

“Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction. … I told you earlier all the talk of America’s economic decline is political hot air.”

4. GOP: Watch those soundbites

“The world will look to us to help solve these problems, and our answer needs to be more than tough talk or calls to carpet bomb civilians. That may work as a TV soundbite, but it doesn’t pass muster on the world’s stage.”

5. Swipe at Trump

“When politicians insult Muslims, when a mosque is vandalized, or a kid bullied, that doesn’t make us safer. That’s not telling it like it is. It’s just wrong. It diminishes us in the eyes of the world. It makes it harder to achieve our goals. And it betrays who we are as a country.”

6. ‘Moonshot’ bid to cure cancer

“Last year, Vice President Biden said that with a new moonshot, America can cure cancer. … And because he’s gone to the mat for all of us, on so many issues over the past 40 years, I’m putting Joe in charge of Mission Control. For the loved ones we’ve all lost, for the family we can still save, let’s make America the country that cures cancer once and for all.”

7. Gitmo must go

“That is why I will keep working to shut down the prison at Guantanamo: it’s expensive, it’s unnecessary, and it only serves as a recruitment brochure for our enemies.”

8. Lift that embargo

“Fifty years of isolating Cuba had failed to promote democracy, it set us back in Latin America. That’s why we restored diplomatic relations, opened the door to travel and commerce, positioned ourselves to improve the lives of the Cuban people. So if you want to consolidate our leadership and credibility in the hemisphere, recognize that the Cold War is over. Lift the embargo.”

9. Climate change is real

“Sixty years ago, when the Russians beat us into space, we didn’t deny Sputnik was up there. We didn’t argue about the science, or shrink our research and development budget. … Look, if anybody still wants to dispute the science around climate change, have at it. You’ll be pretty lonely.”

10. Regrets

“It’s one of the few regrets of my presidency  – that the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better. I have no doubt a president with the gifts of Lincoln or Roosevelt might have better bridged the divide, and I guarantee I’ll keep trying to be better so long as I hold this office.”

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