Obama: 'We Are Greater Together Than Alone'

The president talks about the current economic crisis and ideas for recovery.
3:26 | 12/10/11

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Transcript for Obama: 'We Are Greater Together Than Alone'
Today America faces a make or break moment for middle class. After the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes. Some still want to return to the same policies that got us into this past. At the same policies that stacked the deck against working Americans for way too long. -- part of a philosophy that says we're better off when everyone -- left to fend for themselves. And played by the old rules. But I have a different vision. I believe that we are greater together and we are on -- I believe that this country succeeds what everyone gets a fair shot everyone does their fair share and everyone engages in -- -- To ensure fair play last year we passed the toughest financial reform in generations. Seat for too long the rules were the same on Wall Street as -- -- on main street. Risky bets were made -- other people's money. Some folks made a lot of -- taking advantage of consumers. It was wall. And this irresponsible behavior on the part of song contributed to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. So this financial reform -- focus -- the financial sector on what's really important. Getting capital onto the -- wanna grow their businesses. And financing to millions of families -- wanna buy a house send their kids to college. A key part of that was putting in place the first ever consumer watchdog. Someone whose job is to protect American families from being taken advantage of our mortgage lenders payday lenders and debt collectors. Tens of millions of Americans use these services. Protecting them from unscrupulous practices is an important job. And that's why nominated Richard -- to serve as -- head of this consumer watchdog agency. As the former attorney general of Ohio Richard helped recover billions of dollars on behalf retirees and stood up to dishonest lending practices. He has the support of most attorney generals across the country both Democrats and Republicans. Members of congress from both parties say he's more than qualified for the job. And yet on Thursday Republicans blocked his nomination. They refused to even ought to come up for vote. That doesn't make any sense. To Republicans in congress think our financial crisis was caused by too much oversight of mortgage -- -- debt collectors. Of course not. And every day America has to wait for a new consumer protection watchdog. Is another day that dishonest businesses can target and take advantage of students seniors and service members. So -- refused to take no for an answer. Financial institutions have plenty of high powered lawyers and lobbyists looking out for. Its time consumers have someone on their side. And moderate Republicans in congress should stop the games and extend the payroll tax cut for working Americans. Because if they don't nearly -- 160 million Americans will see their taxes go up at the end of this month. Congress cannot in the year by taking money out of the pockets of working Americans. -- -- the time for playing politics. Now's the time to do what's right for the American people. No one should go home for the holidays until we get this done. Santelli remembered the -- Don't be a break. Tell them to do the right thing for you and for our -- --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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