SOTU: 'Getting Stronger'

President Obama addresses progress in Iraq and Afghanistan.
8:58 | 01/24/12

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Transcript for SOTU: 'Getting Stronger'
Mr. speaker. Mr. vice president. Members of congress. The distinguished guests. And fellow Americans. Last month I went to Andrews Air Force Base. And welcome home. Some of our last troops to serve in Iraq. Together we offered a final proud salute. To the colors under which more than a million of our fellow citizens -- And several thousand. Gave their lives. We gather tonight knowing that this generation. Of heroes has made the United States safer and and more respected around the world. For the first time. In nine years. There are no Americans fighting in Iraq. First time an end -- decades. Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country. Well. Most of -- qaeda's top lieutenants. Have been defeated. The -- -- momentum. Has been broken. And some troops in Afghanistan have begun to come home. These achievements are a testament. To the courage. Selflessness. And team work of America's armed forces. At a time when too many of our institutions and let us -- They exceed all expectations. They're not consumed with personal ambition. They don't obsess over there differences. They focus on the mission at hand. They work. Together. Imagine what we could accomplish if we followed -- example. -- -- America within our reach. A country that leads the world in educating -- state. America that attracts a new generation of high tech manufacturing and high paying jobs. A future where were in control of our own energy. And our security and prosperity are so tied unstable parts of the world. An economy built -- last. We're hard work pays off. And responsibility. Is warning. We can do this. I know we can because we've done it before. The end of World War II when another generation of heroes return home from combat. They built the strongest economy and middle class the world as ever not. -- -- -- A veteran of -- are. Got the chance to go to college on the GI bill. My grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly one. Was part of a workforce that turned out the best products on -- The two of them share the optimism of a nation that had trying to. -- a depression. And -- They understood they were part of something larger. There are contributing to a story of success that every America. Had a chance to -- The basic American promise that if you worked hard. You can do well enough to raise of them -- own a home. Send your kids to college. And put a little -- for retire. The defining issue of our time. Is how to keep that promise a -- No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important. We -- to settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well. While a growing number of Americans barely get by. Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot and everyone does their fair share and every one player by the -- What's at stake -- democratic values are. Republican values. American values. We have to reclaim them. Let's remember how we got here. Long before the recession. Jobs in manufacturing began leaving our shores. Technology made businesses more efficient. But also made some jobs obsolete. Folks in the top saw their incomes rise like never before. But most hardworking Americans struggle would cost that we're growing. Paychecks that weren't. And personal -- have kept piling up. In 2000. Eight the house of cards collapsed. We learn the mortgages have been sold to people who couldn't afford or understand. Banks have made huge -- and bonuses -- other people's money. Regulators have looked the other way. -- and have the authority to stop the bad behavior. It was wrong. It was irresponsible. And it plunged our economy into a crisis that put millions out of work. Saddled us with more -- and left -- -- and hardworking Americans holding the back. In the six months before I took office we lost nearly four million jobs. We lost another four million before -- policies were in full effect. Those are the facts. But sorties. And -- -- two months business -- have created more than three million jobs. Here they created the most jobs since 2000 -- American manufacturers are hiring again. Creating jobs for the first time since the late nineteen -- Together we've agreed to cut the deficit by more than two trillion dollars. And we put in place new rules to hold Wall Street accountable so crisis like this never happens again. The state of our union. Is getting strong. We've come too far to turn back now. As long as I'm president I will work with anyone in this -- to build on this momentum. But I intend to fight obstruction and what action and I will oppose. Any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place. No we will not. Go back. -- economy weakened by outsourcing. Bad debt and phony financial problems. Tonight I want to speak about how we move forward. And lay out a blueprint for an economy that's built to last. An economy built on American manufacturing. American and -- Skills for American workers. Already -- all of American values.

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

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