Obama Addresses the Troops at Camp Pendleton

President discusses military, mortgages and Russia.
30:32 | 08/07/13

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Transcript for Obama Addresses the Troops at Camp Pendleton
This is a special report from ABC news. I'm -- company -- -- ABC news digital special report we want to take you live to Camp Pendleton California. The president. Is thanking troops let's listen and. She says -- I guess. I'm Cadillac -- army general who once. More Marines I have around the better -- like. I'm here because for more than a decade view and all our men and women in uniform. Have -- The burden. In this time of war. Ever since that awful September morning when our nation was attacked. When thousands of innocent Americans were killed. We've been at war against al-Qaeda. And our fight in Afghanistan. Nearly twelve years has become America's longest war. I'm here because we recently marked another milestone in this war. As of this past June for the first time. Afghan forces have taken the lead for security across their entire country. Instead of leading the fight our troops now have a defamation which is to train and advise and assist. Afghan forces. And what that signals is that our war in Afghanistan has entered the final chapter. More of our troops are coming home will be down to 34000. This winter. By the end of next year in just seventeen months the transition will be complete. Afghans will take full responsibility for their securities and our war in Afghanistan will be hope. It. None of this progress would have been possible. Had it not been for you. We thank all who have served there. Especially our Camp Pendleton Marines. After our nation was attacked you were some of the very first conventional forces in Afghanistan. -- -- Hundreds of miles about helicopter toppling that regime and driving al-Qaeda from its case. Then when the fight shifted to Iraq you were there racing towards Baghdad -- -- -- dictate. And through years of combat. And to create the -- ramadi. Your courage added to the glories. Of the Marines long and illustrious as. When we refocus on Afghanistan. You -- the way again. -- -- -- -- Pushing the taught by an out of -- strongholds. Like march another and saying. And -- future generations study those fights. They will stand in all about unparalleled sacrifice. Of the third battalion. Fifth Marines are dark horse Marines. Today we all get close the memory of all of made the ultimate sacrifice. In these years of war. That includes 326. Fallen heroes from Camp Pendleton. We honor all. Every single one. And we stand with their families. Like the gold star families that I had an opportunity to meet -- before it came out. We are grateful to them. We're get grateful. For their sacrifice. They've given a piece of their heart to America. In America -- always honor their sacrifice. And -- be recently returned from Afghanistan. On behalf -- grateful nation welcome home. We send our prayers. To all those who at this very moment are still in harm's way including your regimental combat team seven which is coming all of this month. I know some you're getting ready to deploy in the months to come up. -- -- -- -- Our Afghan partners have stepped up bare bearing a bigger -- Of the firepower. We take it all up more casualties. There in the -- But results up and were still need. And here's what I want every single one of you know. Because of -- that 9/11 generation. We are accomplishing what we set out to do. Because of you Osama bin Laden is normal. Because the -- Al qaeda's top ranks have been -- The core. Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan pockets -- is on the way to defeat. That happened because -- -- Because -- -- more Afghans are reclaiming their communities their markets their schools. Their towns. And they have a chance to forge their own future. Because of -- more Afghans are trained. And stepping up and defending their -- cup. Because -- you. And to preserve the -- you fought and bled -- we are gonna make sure that Afghanistan is never again a source of attacks. Against -- cup. That happened because -- -- So the war in Afghanistan -- -- For the -- that means fewer deployments. That means more training time. Preparing for the future. Getting back to what Marines do better than anybody else on earth amphibious. Operations. It means more time here on the home front where -- fans. Your wives -- husbands or kiss. But of course the end of the war in Afghanistan doesn't mean and up threats to our nation. Let's -- before even as we decimated. The al-Qaeda leadership that attacked us on 9/11. Al-Qaeda affiliates. And like minded extremists. Still threaten our homeland. Still threaten our diplomatic facilities. Still threaten our business is abroad. And we've got to take these threats seriously and do all we can to confront. We've been reminded of this again and recent days. So I want to take. Special time out to salute all our brave diplomats and tireless intelligence and military personnel. Who've been working around the clock to safeguard our embassies in our consulates. And our fellow Americans serving overseas including all most vigilant Marines standing guard at our embassies around the world. They're doing an outstanding job. As for these extremists here -- what those who would cowardly attack on civilians don't get. The United States. Is never got a retreat from the world. We don't get -- us. We're keep standing up our entrance. Where he -- standing up and security of our citizens. -- -- standing up for human rights and dignity for people wherever they -- We're gonna keep working with our allies and our partners. -- people offering a future of hope and progress in stark contrast to terrorists we'll only know how to kill and destroy and made. -- like generations before us. United States of America is gonna remain the greatest force for freedom but the world has ever known. Are an integral part of the that's what you do. Serving in uniform -- ever singled -- But this is not just a job for our military. It takes diplomacy. It takes development it takes trade it takes intelligence to stay true to our values as a nation this the complicated time. The world is going through big changes especially in the Middle East and North Africa. And we have to have. A military strategy. To protect ourselves but we've also got a lead when our values and our ideals. And all elements of our problem. It does mean keeping our military -- absolute best in the world we've got to be vigilant about that. In the war in Afghanistan ends. It's true our military putting our Marine Corps will be -- Budgets will be tied it. And that's only natural. Part of ending -- war responsibly is moving off a perpetual war time -- It's time to use some of the money we've been spending on war -- nation building right here don't. What we can't do -- repeat. The mistakes of history. We've seen in the -- Where after -- war. We hollowed out our military. Left -- Military and prepared. We've got right now the best led best frame. Best equipped military in human history. Our Marine Corps is the finest expeditionary force in the world. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Now to do that. Now we're gonna need to get some help -- Washington. Congress. Couldn't agree on a plan to reduce the deficit in. What I consider a sensible way so instead what we've got is these big across the board cuts. Called to sequester. -- picked him. It includes defense. And -- start to -- via fax. Here -- your feelings. Are working folks are getting for a world. Families get by -- months. Fewer ships available for your training exercises. The commissary your families rely on closed today a week. We can do better in that. As our great nation should be treating its military and military families. And by the way cuts and other non defense areas of the budget affect our troops and our military families as well. You know our military part of what makes his -- is we've got extraordinary recruits. But we want the best qualified recruits we shouldn't be cutting investments in education we should be increasing our investments in education. -- wounded warriors. Our veterans depend on new technologies for the recovery and their health care. So we shouldn't be slashing investments in science and medical with search. We should continue to be the world leader in science and research. That's wanted to keep on working to get rid of this request. You get up the New York jobs every -- said. Let's make sure Washington. Gets up. And does its job. And and -- and what makes me frustrated sometimes the very folks who say they stand with our military problem. The same ones who are standing in the way of fixing this question. That's important look at. These are not words. Now keep in mind it is true that for our national security here we've always got up. -- and make sure we're dealing with our deficits -- our debt our economy is strong that means it. Military will be strong for our economy is weak that weakens our military. But our deficits right now are -- -- the fastest rate in decades. -- government had. And -- -- bomb movement in the right direction in that. Context congress needs to agree on a responsible plan that reduces our deficits. But also keeps our military strong. Also invests in education. Also invest in research. Also on -- and our infrastructure. That's what you -- that's where your families -- that's what I'm fighting -- and that is my commitment to you. Keeping our military is strong requires something else and that's taking care of -- extraordinary wounded warriors. Here Pendleton you're doing outstanding work. For those who can't. We want to get our troops back to where they wanna be back -- their units. For those -- traumatic brain injury. We're gonna keep making on trust and investments in new care new treatments. For those suffering. From posttraumatic stress. We're gonna keep saying it. As loud as we can it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help is a sign of strength and were here to help you -- problem. Stand -- again. We've got to make sure that we're doing everything we can't for our wounded warriors and I'm pleased to see that. The hospital -- making progress that's going to be an outstanding new facility will be helpful. Keeping our military strong also means ensuring. The safety of everyone who puts on the uniform. No military unit can succeed without discipline. Without trust them without cohesion. So I want you to hear directly from me the commander in chief. It undermines. What this military stands for and undermines. What. The Marine Corps stands for. -- -- Sexual assault takes place within -- -- And that's why we are going to work together. All of us to stop. These crimes of sexual assault. And uphold the honor and the integrity that defines the finest military on -- And that message is coming -- away from the top. -- our military strong means given our military families strong. Michelle and vice president. The Joseph Biden's wife doctor Joseph Biden. They've made this permission. And because of their efforts. Joining forces. More Americans are stepping up to support -- -- And that includes. More companies hiring are talented military spouses. After everything you've done for America every American. -- to -- -- some of his sport your family's. At best time of war adds some of you will be taking off the uniform and returning to civilian life. And just we gave you the tools to succeed on the battlefield. Ought to make sure we're giving -- the -- tools to succeed in the next stage of your lives as well. So we've improved transition assistance. To help you find the job that's worthy of your skills. We're helping you or your families pursue your education -- of the post 9/11 GI bill. And making sure that instead of ripping you law school to give you the education. You pay for. Are being held accountable. We're making sure more states and more industries are recognizing your military skills. -- licenses -- credentials you need for civilian job but. When I first came in office I was meaning medics who had been treating folks on the battlefield. And when they went back to school when they want to be a nurse there just are all over again. You know -- -- that nursing 101. And here they are dealing with some of the worst injuries possible. And they're not get -- credit for which means costing them time costing them money we're changing all that. If you've done the job on the battlefield with bullets -- imagine. You insurers that do the job back here in the United States of America. Then we initiative. Our challenge to the private sector. And so far America's businesses have hired or trained 290. Thousand veterans and military spouses and they've committed to hiring hundreds of thousands people. Some more -- are finding jobs the unemployment rate for veterans coming down. And you're gonna keep saying to every company in America. If you want somebody who knows how to get the job done. -- generations -- through this time war well you're gonna help us write the next great chapter in American history. Right here at -- A -- -- that truth. More than a marine who's here today. -- captain Matthew -- Matt is one of our. Marine special operators. -- team war in Afghanistan cleaning -- a -- out. And then in a terrible -- An -- or both of his like us. -- -- And certainly had a new mission. Getting back to his -- Back to his take. Once a marine always -- So mad endured excruciating -- Therapy that could last all day month after month. Rebuilding -- -- Recovery was slow. Taking its first shaky steps on short prosthetics. That a new guarantees than full -- taken back to normal -- Stepping forward to games. Than just one. Then none. -- to walk again. Learning the wrong. In his uniform. That his body armor. And then just eighteen months after he was injured and lost both legs. Matt. A double amputate. Returned -- Europe and redeployed to Afghanistan. But -- -- -- served -- team later. And today madness company ever present for their next deployment. To the Pacific. His wife Camille. Also a marine. Is working to become a test pilot because Matt says she likes to -- aggressively. And this inspiring -- couple is looking ahead to serving their country for many years to come. Meant to mail. Please wait. Their stories like -- to meals. Throughout our Marine -- They represent. What's best in our Marine -- -- -- -- That's. That's the effort of your lives. Always bait. Always faithful to each other. The few and the proud. Always faithful to your -- For 237. Years. Always faithful to your country for whom you Wear the eagle. Globe and -- After all -- You've given to our nation. You have to know. Your nation will always be faithful to you. As your commander in chief that's my commitment. To you. That's the commitment America must uphold to you and your family. For all the years to come. -- -- God bless you all god bless the Marine Corps. Thank god bless. The United States of America. That was President Obama. There touting the withdrawal from Afghanistan. It has been a busy few days out west the president's. Now Washington. Breakdown trip out west ABC. For the record fine Rick thanks for joining us now aside from thanking the troops the president also mentioned the S -- sequester. How much is the military part of a large White House plan against. Potential government shutdown. -- use -- around the -- -- is important and other government shutdown doesn't directly impact the military you get to keep essential operations including military operations not like we're not gonna -- Troops salaries in the short term but the larger point about the need to avoid some of these draconian budget cuts and it part of any negotiations around what to do about this question what to do about the next series of fiscal -- that we're going to be casing that is involved. Military pay and I think this was an early signal. The right to pick up on -- about the fight it's gonna happen in the fall as the president tries to reverse previous cuts and to make sure we don't go too deep in cutting into the next year. And -- you and -- eventually back and forth about this because it strikes -- very interest saying that the president oftentimes feeds off the energy from the crowds. Today obviously an audience that he's not used to speaking to on a regular basis and they were largely silent except for a couple of Snickers. When essentially he was talking about DC gridlock. That's right in I think it's it's in keeping with military decorum that you'd expect a respectable showing for the commander in chief is a famous story about. Lyndon Johnson -- his presidency to the only groups -- comfortable talking to military groups because that was the only place he can assure that he wouldn't be heckled or jeered. And I think this is a different tone it's a little bit reflecting also on the -- of the events of the last week be it terror scare abroad the events in -- all of that. Adding up to to an event today to talk to troops -- different tone not your typical campaign event but there was definitely some -- consultant to this. -- what -- about a couple of hours in the president's state of presidents talking with home buying website zillow. And actually wanna play when the sound bites that he sure -- earlier on talk about mortgage rates. Our home back in Chicago not the -- -- which is us that's a rental. -- American Chicago in my in my mortgage interest rate I why would -- benefit from refinancing right now I would I would save some money. Interest in a personal merits they're right they're kind of funny sort of from the president but -- all reality that how was that tied to actual policy proposals. It's important because what the president is trying to do is to make homeownership more affordable for people's to -- get people to take advantage of the lower interest rates we've seen. Over the last several years I thought that was a funny reflection thinking also that he lives in -- house I looked up on zillow. The White House is worth 319 million dollars -- I don't against the worry so much about the monthly payments on that house back in Chicago that's worth barely -- million variety it's very true of course we're all have a part -- she. Something like that I -- -- response times the president leaving Camp Pendleton marriage if you can't. Way. That the president has spoken a lot about homeownership in the past couple of days what is his record on that issue I was hoping -- The housing market is undoubtedly doing a lot better than when he started where he has fallen short -- is helping. Homeowners who are still under water from the financial crisis from the collapse. -- helping people get into the homes for the first time because one consequence. Of the meltdown that we saw few years back -- events that much stricter in -- kind of loans they issue it's it much harder to get. And new a new homeownership loan -- it was at the beginning of president's presidency or certainly during the Bush Administration. He has struggled with that -- been a lot of stalled efforts to try to inject money in their bottom line is he can't force banks to lend out money. It's -- one piece of what he's talking about now in terms of phasing out. The -- the the publicly backed entities Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae is to try to get private backers tried investors due to back mortgages hoping that. Kind of -- things a little bit keeps the market movement but it's an indelible disappointment that's one of the most frustrating challenges the White -- -- -- they just don't have a lot of tools at their disposal. When it comes to -- that lesson the president sat down with Jay Leno and really it was the closest in the to a grilling that we've seen in awhile and he spoke pretty candidly about the relationship with -- from where does that stand today. It's almost like we're back in the cold war one thing that the president says he told -- it's not like the old days. Well it feels like the old days right now the latest news out of the White House the president will not attend a bilateral -- one on one. Meeting that was scheduled to happen in Moscow. And next month he will be at Saint Petersburg Russia for a meeting of the -- twice about -- the country. But he is boycotting the one on one meeting the Kremlin saying they still welcome the president -- involvement. -- this is primarily. In reaction to the Snowden affair the fact that the Russians. -- let him linger in that Moscow airport for weeks and released into the country. In addition to the standoff over Syria which overshadow the last meeting that President -- and front as a prudent -- and -- Obama had a few weeks back -- in NORTHERN IRELAND where they talked at Beasley to a standstill over what side to support how to. How to engage in that's important serious self lot of big geopolitical issues suddenly up and this is up. In the world of diplomacy a pretty major step to say that we won't meet leader to leader. He also spoke -- Russia's rations of new anti gay laws specifically -- referencing. On the upcoming Winter Olympics when a -- a -- this -- If if Russia. Wants to. Uphold the Olympic spirit than it -- judgment should be made on. The tracker in the swimming pool or on the balance beam and it's people sexual orientation should never -- -- can do. So read the question is as we're getting closer the Olympic six months away now is this issue which is. Obviously hotly controversial isn't going to become bigger politics at home. The president's under a lot of pressure to make itself they're starting superstitions that haven't started -- to call the United States the boycott the Olympics -- Russia doesn't -- it didn't at least not in for some of their anti gay laws that are newly on the books the Russians said that they will economically Athens any differently I think it will be. Rise as it as an issue I find it hard to believe. That we're anywhere near the -- -- that that I think was tried a few decades back and that wasn't too popular back at home in the semi olympians that -- Look forward to the so much the -- of the Olympics being above politics. President -- I think today signaling that he's not gonna stay silent on that and I -- sure that'll be part of the talks that they have to make sure that at least American athletes are. Are taking care of you don't want an international incident somewhere in the credit -- these new policies in American athlete or visitor or staff member over there. Who would suddenly be detained by authorities track that would be an internationalist -- and that's I don't think something that either Clinton or Obama wants to see happen. Right I obviously isn't -- inside of Vladimir Putin's mind and Peyton reed -- try to go forward and we've played at a game I'm doing so. With the Olympics coming these questions about Siri is there a chance that Edwards -- seems essentially an important bargaining chip between the two countries. I think that the time for that as a bargaining chip has passed and I think the president. Basically -- -- with -- -- today the White House action today say that the stone -- led him to say we're not gonna have this meeting that's the ultimate is -- you can take -- and unless the Russians -- and a suddenly reversed course on this -- they've shown no signs of doing throughout the -- the time for them to move -- Snowden was -- his paperwork -- in -- when he was detained in the airport they had weeks to do this. You know the Americans wanted that to happen they chose not to do that. I can't foresee a scenario now where they reversed course I think to be a huge back lost backlash back home. If Putin were to suddenly -- -- Snowden and -- United States that would be seen as a sign of weakness self. It's not it doesn't seem to me like it's it's likely to be part of negotiations but I think the United States clearly registering. Its disapproval with this turn events -- -- ABC's political director Rick -- Washington Rick thank you for your time for your insight this afternoon. From mortgages to Syria the Russians of soul rap on president Obama's very busy 48 hours on the road go to abcnews.com. For complete write up for now I'm -- that's where New York with this ABC news digital special report. Report from me.

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

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