Obama delivers final State of the Union address

In an hour-long speech, U.S. President Barak Obama used his final State of the Union address to underscore the accomplishments he’s made during the first seven years of his presidency. Now entering his last year as president, Obama seemed intent on using the SOTU to burnish his record on jobs, deficit, health care, environment and foreign affairs.

Here are some of the highlights.

  • “It’s one of the few regrets of my presidency — that the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better.”
  • “Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction.”
  • “Food Stamp recipients didn’t cause the financial crisis; recklessness on Wall Street did.”
  • “Immigrants aren’t the reason wages haven’t gone up enough; those decisions are made in the boardrooms that too often put quarterly earnings over long-term returns.”
  • “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.”
  • “Gas under two bucks a gallon ain’t bad, either.”
  • “Now we’ve got to accelerate the transition away from dirty energy. Rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future — especially in communities that rely on fossil fuels.”
  • “The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth. Period. It’s not even close.”
  • “In today’s world, we’re threatened less by evil empires and more by failing states. The Middle East is going through a transformation that will play out for a generation, rooted in conflicts that date back millennia. Economic headwinds blow from a Chinese economy in transition. Even as their economy contracts, Russia is pouring resources to prop up Ukraine and Syria — states they see slipping away from their orbit. And the international system we built after World War II is now struggling to keep pace with this new reality.”
  • “We also can’t try to take over and rebuild every country that falls into crisis. That’s not leadership; that’s a recipe for quagmire, spilling American blood and treasure that ultimately weakens us. It’s the lesson of Vietnam, of Iraq — and we should have learned it by now.”
  • “That’s the America I know. That’s the country we love. Clear-eyed. Big-hearted. Optimistic that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. That’s what makes me so hopeful about our future. Because of you. I believe in you. That’s why I stand here confident that the State of our Union is strong.”