Remarks at a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Fundraiser in Dallas, Texas
Obviously, I want to thank Naomi and Larry, who have just been such dear friends, for their incredible hospitality and the support over all these years. Congratulations to mom and dad. [Laughter] I need you to talk to Michelle so she'll put up with me for another third term. [Laughter] But what a wonderful story that is. To Peter and Lisa, thank you so much. They, too, have been there from the very beginning, and we are so grateful for their friendship.
I guess you guys call him Ambassador Kirk around here—[laughter]—and Theresa—[inaudible]. The Kirks, as many of you know, are two of our dearest friends. We're so grateful to them.
I also want to acknowledge Cecile, who has a tough job all the time and does it with grace and good cheer, most of the time. [Laughter] And Tom Lopach, the executive director of the DSCC, thank you so much for the good work you guys are doing.
I just gave a long speech, not as long as Ron Kirk's, but it was long. [Laughter] His introduction turned out to be a little longer because he remembered what it's like being mayor. [Laughter] It feels kind of good. So I'm just going to make some short remarks, building off of what Naomi already said.
This room knows what's at stake. You understand why this is important. I could not be prouder of the work we've done over the last 7½ years. And we've still got a lot more work to do. And we're going to run through the tape. And by the time we are finished, we will be able to say unequivocally that the economy is better than it was when I took office, by a long shot: that more people are working; that millions have health insurance that didn't have it before; that we are finally starting to tackle climate change in a serious way and we're doing so in a way that also creates jobs and economic development all across the country; that we've made progress in revamping our education system. High school graduation rates are all up. College enrollment is up. And we're putting more money into basic research and science. And we've doubled the production of clean energy. We're making huge strides in terms of things like, in the medical field, around precision medicine.
There's work that we're doing overseas that obviously gets a lot of attention: our fight against ISIL and making sure that we're keeping America safe. But we're also helping to mobilize global health and making sure that girls have the chance to learn in every corner of the globe. Lifting up our values and speaking out on behalf of human rights. We've got a long list of stuff we got done.
What we're also aware of, though, is too many people still have a tough time getting a job, finding decent housing, making sure their children are able to give the kind of education that our kids are getting. We know that the ability of women to determine their own health care needs is under assault all across the country, in State legislature after State legislature, because of a concerted national effort that's been organized. We're aware of the fact that economic inequality has continued, even as we have dramatically improved and stabilized the economy. And it's going to require us doing more of what we've done over the last 7½ years, not rolling back the progress that's been made. And in order to do all this, we've got to have not just have a Democratic President who can continue the legacy that we built together over the last 7½ years, but we've got to have a Senate that is a partner in this process. And I can list a whole bunch of reasons for why that's so important. It turns out that because of the untimely death of Justice Scalia—and obviously, we grieve for his family—but the behavior of the Senate since then, I think, gives you a pretty good reason of why how we think about the Senate is so important.
People ask me oftentimes, what have you learned about being President? And it's a long list of things I've learned. But some have asked me not to do it. [Laughter] People have asked me, when did you first decide you wanted to run for President? I said, I know somebody must have dropped me on my head when I was a baby. [Laughter]
But a lot of the things that even today, in the midst of this wild political season, the American people continually underestimate is the importance of the power of Congress. Our Founders designed a system of coequal branches. And if we have a Congress that is thoughtful and science based and cares about equal opportunity and equal rights and civil rights and is engaged in broadening prosperity for all people, then we make progress. And when Congress thinks differently, we can still make progress, but it's an awful lot harder.
So I'm going to be working as hard as I can to make sure I've got a Democratic successor. But I'm going to be working just as hard to make sure that we've got a Democratic Senate. And all of you being here today indicates that you think it's pretty important too. And I'm grateful for that.
So we've got great candidates, and you've already probably heard about the terrific opportunities we have to pick up seats in various parts of the country. We've got the right message. It's the right time. There's going to be great organization on the ground, but you're going to have to be supportive. And we have to be just as strategic and hard-working on that front as we are in terms of making sure that we've got a Democrat in the White House as well.
And looking around in this group, though, it makes me feel pretty confident that we're going to get it done. So thank you. Appreciate it.
NOTE: The President spoke at 11:26 a.m. at the residence of Naomi Aberly and Laurence H. Lebowitz. In his remarks, he referred to Peter A. Kraus, founding partner, Walker, Kraus & Paul, in his capacity as cohost of the event, and his wife Lisa; former U.S. Trade Representative Ronald Kirk and his wife Matrice Ellis-Kirk; and Cecile Richards, president, Planned Parenthood Foundation of America. He also referred to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist organization. Audio was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.
Barack Obama, Remarks at a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Fundraiser in Dallas, Texas Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/315794