On Tuesday night, President Obama delivered his penultimate State of the Union address and his first in front of a Congress under total Republican control.
From the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol, the POTUS touted his administration’s achievements in restoring the economy and defied GOP members to join him in improving the lives of the middle class during his last two years in office, reiterating the optimism and “yes we can” philosophy from his presidential campaigns.
Touching briefly on immigration, Obama also addressed income inequality, education, climate change, and cyber terrorism, among other timely issues.
Here are some of the most memorable lines in Obama’s #SOTU:
“It’s not a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have” — about the need for affordable, high-quality child care for middle class and low income families where both parents are in the workforce
“It’s 2015, it’s time” — about the need for Congress to pass a law that makes sure a woman is paid the same as a man for doing the same work
“if you truly believe you can work full time and support a family on less than 15,000 a year, try it” — on the need for congress to raise the minimum wage
“I have no more campaigns to run. I know ’cause I won both of ’em” — on his agenda for his next two years in office to get things done and “do what is best for America”
“So to every CEO in America, let me repeat, if you want somebody who’s gonna get the job done, and done right, hire a veteran” – on offering more opportunities for veterans in the workforce
“Let’s set our sights higher than a single oil pipeline” — on the need to pass a modern, bipartisan infrastructure plan that will restore America’s place as a leading 21st century economy
“I want the country that wiped out polio and mapped the human genome” — on restoring America’s place as a global leader in medicine
“I’m not a scientist, either, but I know a lot of really good scientists” — on undeniable evidence pointing toward climate change and the measures needed to combat it, despite Republicans’ skepticism toward that evidence
“When what you’re doing doesn’t work for 50 years, it’s time to try something new” — on the new era between US and Cuba
“No foreign nation, no hacker should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families” — on the threat of cyber terrorism and the need for America to be prepared
“We do these things not only because they are the right thing to do, but because ultimately they will make us safer” — on American values, prohibiting torture, speaking out against offensive stereotypes, defending free speech, advocating for political prisoners, condemning the persecution of religious minorities, women, and the LGBT community
“I still believe the cynics are wrong” — Obama, on his belief that America can overcome racial division, and that Democrats and Republicans can overcome partisan gridlock for the sake of the American people