Here is President Barack Obama’s weekly address video and transcript from Saturday, May 5, 2012, on radio and YouTube video. In his remarks this week, he discussed signing an agreement with Afghanistan detailing the U.S.’s future relationship with the country, and called on Congress “to take the money we are no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the other half to rebuild America.”
The full speech text and video are below, followed by the Republican Weekly Address video.
Article Continues Below Ad
Weekly Address: A New Chapter in Afghanistan
Remarks of President Barack Obama
The White House
May 5, 2012
This week, I traveled to Afghanistan—to thank our troops serving far from home, and to sign an historic agreement that will help us complete our mission and end the war.
As Commander-in-Chief, nothing is more humbling or inspiring than the chance to spend some time with our troops. At Bagram Air Base, I visited with some of our outstanding men and women in uniform. I thanked them for their extraordinary service. And I let them know that America honors their sacrifice.
Because of their bravery and dedication, the tide of war has turned in Afghanistan. We have broken the Taliban’s momentum. We’ve built strong Afghan Security Forces. We have devastated al Qaeda’s leadership. And one year ago, our troops launched the operation that killed Osama bin Laden. The goal that I set – to defeat al Qaeda, and deny it a chance to rebuild – is within reach.
Because of the progress we have made, I was able to sign an historic agreement between the United States and Afghanistan that defines a new kind of relationship between our countries – a future in which Afghans are responsible for the security of their nation, and we build an equal partnership between two sovereign states; a future in which the war ends, and a new chapter begins.
The enormous sacrifices of our men and women in uniform are not over. But many of our troops are already coming home. Last year, we removed 10,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Another 23,000 will leave by the end of the summer. As our coalition agreed, by the end of 2014, the Afghans will be fully responsible for the security of their country
And this is as it should be. Because after more than a decade of war, it is time to focus on nation building here at home.
As a new greatest generation returns from overseas, we must ask ourselves, what kind of country will they come back to? Will it be a country where a shrinking number of Americans do really well while a growing number barely get by? Or will it be a country where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules – a country with opportunity worthy of the troops who protect us?
America has answered this question before. My grandfather, a veteran of Patton’s Army, got the chance to go to college on the GI Bill. My grandmother, who worked on a bomber assembly line, was part of a workforce that turned out the best products on Earth. They contributed to a story of success that every American had the chance to share in, the basic American promise that if you work hard, you could do well enough to raise a family, own a home, send your kids to college, and put a little away for retirement.
Keeping that promise alive is the defining issue of our time. But it means making responsible choices.
I don’t think we should prioritize things like more tax cuts for millionaires while cutting the kinds of investments that built a strong middle class.
That’s why I’ve called on Congress to take the money we’re no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the other half to rebuild America.
Because we’ve got more jobs to create. More students to educate. More clean energy to generate. More entrepreneurs with the next great idea, just looking for their shot at success. We’ve got to invest in things like education and medical research. We’ve got to build newer, faster transportation and communication networks. And we’ve got to secure the care and benefits our veterans have earned, so that we serve them as well as they have served us.
Every time I have the privilege of meeting with our troops, I’m struck by their courage, their commitment, their selflessness, and their teamwork. They have something to teach us. Recovering from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression is a work in progress – but if we follow their example, then I have no doubt we will preserve the promise of this country, protect the freedoms we cherish, and leave for our children an America that’s built to last.
God bless you, and have a great weekend.
Click here to watch the May 5, 2012 Weekly Republican Address delivered by Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, via GOP.gov, “calling for pro-growth tax reform to broaden the tax base, lower rates for everyone and provide Americans the opportunity to succeed. Senator Corker says “families and state governments are making tough decisions every day in order to make ends meet. And businesses are crying out for clarity on tax rates and regulation. This uncertainty is what’s weighing down the recovery and preventing the investment needed to create jobs…” Full transcript here.
Photo credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
- President Obama Washington-Lee High School Speech Video May 4, 2012 Arlington, Virginia
- President Obama Afghanistan Speech Video May 1, 2012: Osama bin Laden Death One-Year Anniversary Address to the Nation
- President Obama: Speech at Building and Construction Trades Department 2012 Legislative Conference Video
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript April 28, 2012 (Radio, YouTube Video)
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript April 21, 2012 (Radio, YouTube Video)
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript April 14, 2012 (Radio, YouTube Video)
- President Obama Florida Atlantic Univ. Speech Video April 10, 2012 in Boca Raton, FL
- President Obama AP Luncheon Speech Video April 3, 2012: ASNE Convention Keynote Address
- President Obama: Speech on Congressional Vote to Repeal Oil Subsidies (Video) Mar. 29, 2012
- President Obama, South Korean President Lee: Joint News Conference Video Mar. 25, 2012
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript March 24, 2012 (Radio, YouTube Video)
- President Obama Ohio State Univ. Speech Video: Mar. 22, 2012 Columbus, Ohio
President Obama Cushing, OK Speech Video: Mar. 22, 2012 Keystone XL Pipeline Announcement
- President Obama New Mexico Speech Video: Mar. 21, 2012 Oil Fields near Maljamar
- President Obama Boulder City, Nevada Speech Video: Mar. 21, 2012 Copper Mountain Solar 1 Facility
- President Obama Largo, Maryland Speech Video Mar. 15, 2012: Prince George’s Community College
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript March 17, 2012 (Radio, YouTube Video)
- President Obama, UK Prime Minister Cameron: Joint News Conference Video Mar. 14, 2012
President Obama Prince George County, Virginia Speech Video: Mar. 9, 2012 Rolls Royce Plant
- President Obama Mt. Holly, North Carolina Speech Video March 7, 2012: Daimler Trucks North America
- President Obama Press Conference Video: Tuesday, March 6, 2012 New Housing Plan Announced
- President Obama: Speech at White House Conference on Conservation (Video) March 2, 2012
- President Obama Nashua, New Hampshire Speech Video March 1, 2012: Nashua Community College
- President Obama UAW Speech Video: Feb. 28, 2012 United Auto Workers Community Action Program Conference
- President Obama Seattle, Washington Speech Video Feb. 17, 2012 at Boeing Everett Plant
- President Obama State of the Union Address 2012 Video: Jan. 24 Speech to Joint Session of Congress