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Obama to strike populist chord, warn GOP in State of the Union

 

President Obama tonight in his State of the Union address will lay out of a vision for the country that focuses on economic fairness – and warn Republicans not to stand in the way.

Calling it “the defining issue of our time,” the president will argue for an economic structure “where hard work pays off, and responsibility is rewarded,” according to excerpts of his speech released by the White House.

“We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by,” Obama will say. “Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. What's at stake are not Democratic values or Republican values, but American values. We have to reclaim them."

He will add, “It's time to apply the same rules from top to bottom: No bailouts, no handouts, and no copouts. An America built to last insists on responsibility from everybody."

Republicans are sure to take issue with those lines, considering the president oversaw the bank and auto bailouts - and he has been accused by Republicans on Capitol Hill and those running for president of expanding government and promoting “European-style socialism.”

Obama will also issue a shot across the aisle, warning the GOP that he intends “to fight obstruction with action, and I will oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place.”

Here are the full excerpts released by the White House:

"Think about the America within our reach: A country that leads the world in educating its people. An America that attracts a new generation of high-tech manufacturing and high-paying jobs. A future where we're in control of our own energy, and our security and prosperity aren't so tied to unstable parts of the world. An economy built to last, where hard work pays off, and responsibility is rewarded. "

"….The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive. No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important. We can either 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, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. What's at stake are not Democratic values or Republican values, but American values. We have to reclaim them."

"As long as I'm President, I will work with anyone in this chamber to build on this momentum. But I intend to fight obstruction with 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 to an economy weakened by outsourcing, bad debt, and phony financial profits. 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 energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values."

"Let's never forget: Millions of Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day deserve a government and a financial system that does the same. It's time to apply the same rules from top to bottom: No bailouts, no handouts, and no copouts. An America built to last insists on responsibility from everybody."