The President's Weekly Address
Tuesday is election day, and here in Washington, the talk is all about who will win and who will lose, about parties and politics. But around kitchen tables, I'm pretty sure you're talking about other things: about your family finances, or maybe the state of the economy in your hometown; about your kids and what their futures will bring. And your hope is that once this election is over, the folks you choose to represent you will put the politics aside for a while and work together to solve problems. That's my hope too.
Whatever the outcome on Tuesday, we need to come together to help put people who are still looking for jobs back to work. And there are some practical steps we can take right away to promote growth and encourage businesses to hire and expand. These are steps we all should be able to agree on, not Democratic or Republican ideas, but proposals that have traditionally been supported by both parties.
We ought to provide continued tax relief for middle class families who have borne the brunt of the recession. We ought to allow businesses to defer taxes on the equipment they buy next year. And we ought to make the research and experimentation tax credit bigger and permanent to spur innovation and foster new products and technologies.
Beyond these near-term steps, we should work together to tackle the broader challenges facing our country so that we remain competitive and prosperous in a global economy. That means ensuring that our young people have the skills and education to fill the jobs of a new age. That means building new infrastructure, from high-speed trains to high-speed internet, so that our economy has room to grow. And that means fostering a climate of innovation and entrepreneurship that will allow American businesses and American workers to lead in growth industries like clean energy.
On these issues--issues that will determine our success or failure in this new century--I believe it's the fundamental responsibility of all who hold elective office to seek out common ground. It may not always be easy to find agreement; at times we'll have legitimate philosophical differences. And it may not always be the best politics. But it is the right thing to do for our country.
That's why I found the recent comments by the top two Republicans in Congress so troubling. The Republican leader of the House actually said that "this is not the time for compromise." And the Republican leader of the Senate said his main goal after this election is simply to win the next one.
I know that we're in the final days of a campaign, so it's not surprising that we're seeing this heated rhetoric. That's politics. But when the ballots are cast and the voting is done, we need to put this kind of partisanship aside, win, lose, or draw.
In the end, it comes down to a simple choice. We can spend the next 2 years arguing with one another, trapped in stale debates, mired in gridlock, unable to make progress in solving the serious problems facing our country. We can stand still while our competitors, like China and others around the world, try to pass us by, making the critical decisions that will allow them to gain an edge in new industries.
Or we can do what the American people are demanding that we do. We can move forward. We can promote new jobs and businesses by harnessing the talents and ingenuity of our people. We can take the necessary steps to help the next generation, instead of just worrying about the next election. We can live up to an allegiance far stronger than our membership in any political party. And that's the allegiance we hold to our country.
NOTE: The address was recorded at approximately 4:05 p.m. on October 29 in the Blue Room at the White House for broadcast on October 30. In the address, the President referred to House Minority Leader John A. Boehner; and Senate Minority Leader A. Mitchell McConnell. The transcript was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary on October 29, but was embargoed for release until 6 a.m. on October 30.
Barack Obama, The President's Weekly Address Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/289520