In his last State of the Union address before the 2012 election, President Obama called upon Congress to work together to rebuild the coveted American Dream.
Our 44th President promised, in a memorable phrase, “no bail-outs, no hand-outs, no cop-outs” to financial institutions that helped derail the U.S. economy.
Obama spoke about “fair” tax reform with a thinly-veiled reference to phrases Republican presidential candidates have used against him repeatedly in debates.
“You can call this ‘class warfare’ all you want,” he said, calling it pure fairness. Without a doubt, the 2012 State of the Union address was a campaign speech:
He said Americans must get past personal ambition and partisan obsession to "focus on the mission at hand" and keep the dream alive by restoring the economy.
"No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important," he said.
"We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number barely get by. Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same rules."
"Do we want to keep tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans? Or do we want invest in everything else? If we're serious about paying down our debt, we can't do both."
Rebuttals came quickly and predictably from political opponents.