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Nov 032012
 

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — In this week’s address, President Obama speaks about the devastation he witnessed while touring New Jersey with Gov. Chris Christie in the wake of superstore sandy.

“This weekend, millions of our fellow Americans are still picking up the pieces from one of the worst storms in our history,” President Obama says.
 
“I toured New Jersey on Wednesday with Governor Christie, and witnessed some of the terrible devastation firsthand.  It’s heartbreaking.  Families have lost loved ones.  Entire communities have been wiped away.  Even some of the first responders who repeatedly put themselves in harm’s way to bravely save the lives of others have suffered losses of their own. Today, I ask everyone to keep them in your prayers.”

In the days following the superstorm, the president has repeated his promise to help the states affected to recover. In his address, he emphasized this message again, saying that “as President, I promise them this: your country will be there for you for as long as it takes to recover and rebuild.”
 
Having been in “constant contact” with state and city leaders and officials in the storm ravaged areas, the president commends them for “doing and excellent job in extraordinarily difficult circumstances.”  

“And we owe the first responders and National Guardsmen who have been working around the clock our deepest gratitude,” he adds.

With so many left powerless, and in many cases homeless, or flooded, the president says the road of recovery will be long and hard. “There’s a lot of work ahead,” he says.

Even before the storm, President Obama says that FEMA pre-staged emergency response teams and deployed resources like food, water and generators up and down the East Coast from North Carolina to Maine.  But there’s still so much work to do, he says.

The president encourages those directly impacted by the storm to call 1-800-621-FEMA, or apply at DisasterAssistance.gov for temporary assistance.  For those who don’t live in an affected area, but would like to help, he says, “supporting the Red Cross is the best way.”

“This week, we have been humbled by nature’s destructive power.  But we’ve been inspired as well.  For when the storm was darkest, the heroism of our fellow citizens shone brightest,” President Obama says.

“That’s who we are.  We’re Americans.  When times are tough, we’re tougher.  We put others first.  We go that extra mile.  We open our hearts and our homes to one another, as one American family.  We recover, we rebuild, we come back stronger – and together we will do that once more.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Oct 272012
 

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — With less than two weeks left until Election Day, the economy is what weighs heavily on the minds of many voters. President Obama uses his address this week to highlight the passage of Wall Street reforms and the work of a new independent consumer watchdog “whose sole job,” he says, “is to look out for you.”

Noting the country’s recovery from a financial crisis that cost the economy 9 million jobs, President Obama says businesses have since added 5 million new jobs, and the unemployment rate “has fallen to the lowest level since I took office.” But the president adds that the passage of new the Wall Street reforms will prevent Americans from going through another tough crisis again and “end taxpayer-funded bailouts for good.”

The reforms, he says, allowed for the creation of the first-ever independent consumer watchdog that he says will protect Americans from the mistakes made by the companies who determine credit scores and provide consumers with all the information needed to make important financial decisions like purchasing a home or paying for college.

“And that means going after anyone who tries to take advantage of you, or rip you off,” he says.

“Until this week, if you had a complaint, you took it to the company.  Sometimes they listened.  Sometimes they didn’t.  But that was pretty much it.  They were your only real hope,” the president says.
 
But, he adds,”Not anymore.  If you have a complaint about your credit score that hasn’t been properly addressed, you can go to consumerfinance.gov/complaint and let the consumer watchdog know. Not only will they bring your complaint directly to the company in question, they’ll give you a tracking number, so you can check back and see exactly what’s being done on your behalf.”
 
The president adds that fixing your credit score isn’t the only thing the consumer protection group can help with. They can help with opening bank accounts, applying for student loans or credit cards, and even tell you if you’re getting a fair deal on your mortgage.
 
“Their only mission is to fight for you.  And when needed, they’ll take action,” he says.

Stating his belief in the free market and the private sector as the “true engine of job creation” and not government, President Obama compounds that idea with another that says “America only prospers when we meet certain obligations to one another, and when we all play by the same set of rules.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Oct 132012
 

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama discusses his decision to rescue the American auto industry from collapse and save more than one million American jobs in his weekly address.  

“Just a few years ago, the auto industry wasn’t just struggling – it was flatlining. GM and Chrysler were on the verge of collapse.  Suppliers and distributors were at risk of going under.  More than a million jobs across the country were on the line – and not just auto jobs, but the jobs of teachers, small business owners, and everyone in communities that depend on this great American industry.

“We refused to let Detroit go bankrupt. We bet on American workers and American ingenuity, and three years later, that bet is paying off in a big way,” he continues.

According to the president, “Today, auto sales are the highest they’ve been in more than four years.  GM is back.  Ford and Chrysler are growing again. Together, our auto industry has created nearly a quarter of a million new jobs right here in America.”  

Obama concludes by saying, “That’s what America is all about. When we get knocked down, we get back up. We come back stronger. “

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Oct 062012
 

White House Photo, Chuck Kennedy(WASHINGTON) — On the heels of Friday’s positive jobs report, President Obama says the economy is “moving forward again” but that Republicans in Congress are standing in the way of further growth and need to “finally start doing something to actually help the middle class get ahead.”
 
“After losing about 800,000 jobs a month when I took office, our businesses have now added 5.2 million new jobs over the past two and a half years. And on Friday, we learned that the unemployment rate is now at its lowest level since I took office.  More Americans are entering the workforce.  More Americans are getting jobs,” the president says in his weekly address.
 
“Too many of our friends and neighbors are still looking for work or struggling to pay the bills — many of them since long before this crisis hit,” he says. “We owe it to them to keep moving forward.  We’ve come too far to turn back now.  And we’ve made too much progress to return to the policies that got us into this mess in the first place.”
 
The president touts his administration’s efforts to “make sure that the kind of crisis we’ve been fighting back from never happens again,” including Wall Street reform and new consumer protections. “But for some reason, some Republicans in Congress are still waging an all-out battle to delay, defund and dismantle these commonsense new rules,” he says.
 
“Why?  Do they think undoing rules that protect families from the worst practices of credit card companies and mortgage lenders will make the middle class stronger?  Do they think getting rid of rules to prevent another crisis on Wall Street will make Main Street any safer?” he continues. “Republicans in Congress need to stop trying to refight the battles of the past few years, and finally start doing something to actually help the middle class get ahead.”
 
To keep the economy growing, the president urges lawmakers to extend tax cuts for the middle class, pass his housing refinance plan, and act to create a veterans jobs corps.
 
“If we’re going to keep this economy moving forward, there’s no time for political games.  Even in a political season.  Everyone needs to do their part,” he concludes.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sep 292012
 

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — Four years after the economic crisis threatened to destroy the American economy, the president is urging Republican lawmakers to help homeowners who were unfairly disadvantaged by the housing crisis at the heart of the recession.

“We know the biggest cause of that crisis was reckless behavior in the housing market,” the president explains in his weekly address. “Millions of Americans who did the right and responsible thing — who shopped for a home, secured a mortgage they could afford, and made their payments on time — were badly hurt by the irresponsible actions of others.”

As his first term nears a close, the president boasts that “we’re moving in the right direction.”

“Home sales and construction are up.  Prices are beginning to rise.  And more than a million families who began this year owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, are now back above water,” he says.

In an election year appeal to middle class voters, the president touts his administration’s efforts to revive the housing industry and help responsible homeowners.

“Now there are some who think that the only option for homeowners is to just stand by and hope that the market has hit bottom. I don’t agree with that,” he says in a not-so-subtle jab at GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
 
“But we can do even more if Congress is willing to do their part,” Obama says, urging lawmakers to act on his plan to help homeowners refinance at lower rates.
 
“It’s a plan that has the support of independent, nonpartisan economists and leaders across the housing industry.  But Republicans in Congress worked to keep it from even getting to a vote.  And here we are — seven months later — still waiting on Congress to act,” he says.
 
“This makes no sense.  Last week, mortgage rates were at historic lows.  But instead of helping more and more hardworking families take advantage of those rates, Congress was away on break.  Instead of worrying about you, they’d already gone home to worry about their campaigns,” he continues.
 
The president admits “it’s going to take a while for our housing market to fully recover,” but says it’s going to take longer “if Congress keeps standing in the way.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio