tv Cavuto Coast to Coast FOX Business January 10, 2017 8:55pm-10:01pm EST
we appreciate as we await the president's farewell address. that's it for us. neil cavuto continues our special coverage of president obama's farewell speech tonight from chicago. [♪] neil: he was different coming into office, he will be different leaving office. welcome, everybody. president obama formally says good-bye to the american people in a venue that is different than his predecessors. most of them said their parting zplents oval office other east room of the white house. there have been some exceptions to that. but no one has done with barack obama plans to do tonight. chicago, mccormick place,
thousands crammed in to say good-bye to their hero. they greeted him in 2008 to hear him say i want to be president of the united states. now it is barack obama's chance to say good-bye and to put a final signature on his 8 years in office. we are told he's going to focus more on the future than dwell on the past. but he won't pass up an opportunity to say how far he we have come as a country. jeff flock in mccormick place on what we can expect from this estimated 30-minute address. >> erupting in applause as the bidens enter. this place is packed. if you said 20,000, everything from the journalists that
covere >> reporter: the cabinet secretaries, elected officials. this place is just packed to the rafters with people who would suggest that these past eight years have been an unqualified success. a reduction in unemployment, fewer troops on foreign soil engaged in conflict, a higher graduation rate among high schoolers. they see this as a great success, and they are expected to hear from the president not so much a look back at the successes, but a look forward and the message, i think the message, the key one will be if you don't like the way it is now, you can change it. you need to get involved. that's what he did when he came to chicago and began his political career, and that's what he will exhort the rest of america to do. this is quite a night here in chicago, neil. not a conventional fare welshing welshing -- farewell, but this hasn't been a conventional
presidency. neil: all right, jeff. the only more recent president who said good-bye at a venue kind of like this was george h.w. bush who said his good-byes at west point. his son famously in the east room in the waning days of the financial meltdown, and that was a low-key affair even though the address was spun toç the natio. jimmy carter, bill clinton, ronald reagan all speaking from either the oval office or the east room of the white house. kennedy is with us right now, we've got lou dobbs with us as well. lou, a lot of expectations here that barack obama -- who's personally very popular even though his legacy and his policies were the ones that helped elect donald trump -- he's in a bit of a weird position here tonight, isn't he? >> no, i think you're right, neil. there is something so dissonant about the evening as we are in, now, the trump era, and suddenly we're hearing from president
obama saying farewell. you know, neil, i think what the problem is, i don't think any of us can accept the idea that barack obama -- still a young man -- is saying adios, sayonara. i think it is, without question, perhaps just a pause, i'll see you in a little while doing something entirely new, something ambitious and something that none of us, as far as i know, are informed of or can ourselves contemplate. i have a feeling he has a plan. neil: well, he's a young man now at 55 leaving the presidency, he's 15 years younger than the guy who's about to take over the presidency. kennedy, he is obviously settling in washington, barack obama, his daughter still has a couple of years to go in high school, but he's very close to the white house. he's in washington, loved in washington. what do you think? kennedy: yeah. at first he was promising to retreat and perhaps write a little bit. neil: he'll still be writing.
kennedy: some of the finest work he did before his presidency was as a writer and particularly his first memoir. it's really profound. i mean, there's some great passages in there. but that's not going to be. and then he said most recently that he is, indeed, going to be a talent scout for the democratic party, but also he's going to hold in the president's feet to the fire. and, you know, he takes a certain amount of personal responsibility doing that. and, you know, by the way, would you want to raise your kids in chicago right now? neil: not in that direct neighborhood right now given some of the problems. but, you know, we're about a minute away from hearing from the president of the united states in his swan song. you know, lou, what's interesting, when we talk about barack obama and his legacy, of course, it will always be in place he's the first african-american president. he will argue from the meltdown, we're a lot better than we were, but the irony will be that the country still elected someone that was the polar opposite,
complete reputation of every policy of barack obama. it is weird. lou: it is weird, it is urgent that much of what he's done be rolled back and expunged. his legacy which is at best, it is a bit i guess the word would be sketchy because his foreign policy has beenç disastrous, hs domestic policy is checkered and problematic. it is going to be difficult, as much as this president probably could not understand it, it's going to be very difficult for him to be the referee or the arbiter of what a succeeding president will be doing. neil: all right. we are seconds away from hearing from the president of the united states in his final address to the american people in the place that started it all and gave him his push onto the public spectrum here. barack obama. >> ladies and gentlemen, the 44th president of the united states, barack obama. [cheers and applause]
♪ ♪ [cheers and applause] neil: all right. barack obama addressing many in this crowd, by the way, we're told are some of the same ones who were with him about eight years ago, some ten years ago when he first announced he was interested in running for the presidency of the united states. of course, his wife and daughters are there, the vice president, joe biden, his wife there. they chose this venue because he wanted to get outside of washington and make a statement about the small town guy who made it big even though chicago's hardly a small town. in the case of barack obama, it launched a career that changed american history. many critics will say they don't like the kind of changes, but he was a consequential figure and will go down as such. we'll watch barack obama. [cheers and applause] >> it's good to be home! [cheers and applause] thank you, everybody. [cheers and applause]
you can tell, you can tell that i'm, you, you -- you can tell that finish. [cheers and applause] you can tell that i'm a lame duck because nobody's following instructions. [laughter] everybody have a seat. [cheers and applause] [cheers and applause]- michelle and i have been so touched by all the well wishes that we've received over the past few weeks. but tonight, tonight it's my turn to say thanks. [cheers and applause] whether we have seen eye to eye or rarely agreed at all, my
conversations with you, the american people, in living rooms and in schools, at farms, on factory floors, at diners and on distant military outposts, those conversations are what have kept me honest and kept me inspired and kept me going. and every day i have learned from you. you made me a better president, and you made me a better man. [cheers and applause] so i first came to chicago when i was in my early 20s, and i was still trying to figure out who i was, still searching for a purpose in my life, and it was the neighborhood not far from here where i began working with church groups in the shadows of closed steel mills.
it was on these streets where i witnessed the power of faith and the quiet dignity of working people in the face of struggle. and loss. >> four more years! four more years! >> i can't do that. be. [laughter] [applause] >> now, this is where i learned the that change only happens when ordinary people get involved and they get engaged and they come together to demand it. after eight years as your president, i still believe that. and it's not just my belief -- [cheers and applause] it's the beating heart of our american idea, our bold experiment in self-government.
it's the conviction that we are all created equal, endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights; among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. it's the insistence that these rights, while self-evident, have never been self-executing. that we, the people, through the instrument of our democracy can form a more perfectç union. what a radical idea. a great gift that our founders gave to us. the freedom to chase our individual dreams through our sweat and toil and imagination and the imperative to strive together as well to achieve a common good, a greater good.
for 240 years, our nation's call to citizenship has given work and purpose to each new generation. it's what led patriots to choose republic over tyranny, pioneers to trek west, slaves to brave that makeshift railroad to freedom. it's what told immigrants and refugees across oceans and the rio grande -- [cheers and applause] it's what pushed women to reach for the ballot9 -- [cheers and applause] it's what powered workers to organize. it's why g.i.s gave their lives at omaha beach and iwo jima, iraq and afghanistan. and why men and women from selma to stonewall were prepared to give theirs as well. [cheers and applause]
so that's what we mean when we say america's exceptional. not that our nation's been flawless from the start, but that we have shown the capacity to change and make life better for those who follow. yes, our progress has been uneven. the work of democracy has always been hard. it's always been contentious. sometimes it's been bloody. for every two steps forward, it often feels we take one step back. but the long sweep of america has been defined by forward motion, a constant widening of our founding creed to embrace all and not just some.
[cheers and applause] if i had told you eight years ago that america would reverse the great recession, reboot our auto industry and unleash the longest stretch of job creation in our history -- [cheers and [cheers and applause] if i had told you that we would open up a new chapter with the cuban peoplç iran's nuclear weapons program without firing a shot -- [cheers and applause] take out the mastermind of 9/11 -- [cheers and applause] if i had told you that we would win marriage equality and secure -- [cheers and applause] health insurance for another 20 million of our fellow citizens finish.
[cheers and applause] if i had told you all that, you might have said our sights were set a little too high. but that's what we did. [cheers and applause] that's what you did. you were the change. the answer to people's hopes. and because of you, by almost every measure america's a better, stronger place than it was when we started. [cheers and applause] in ten days, the world will witness a hallmark of our democracy. no, no, no, no, no.
the peaceful transfer of power from one freely elected president to the next. [cheers and applause] i committed to president-elect trump that my administration would insure the smoothest possible transition just as president bush did for me. [applause] because it's up to all of us to make sure our government can help us meet the many challenges we till face. we still face. we have what we need to do so. we have everything we need to meet those challenges. after all, we remain the wealthiest, most powerful and most respected nation on earth. [applause] our youth, our drive, our
diversity, our boundless capacity for risk and reinvention mean that is the future should be ours. but that potential will only be realized the if our democracy -- realized if our democracy works. only if our politics better reflects the decency of our people. [applause] only if all of us, regardless of party affiliation or particular interests, help restore the sense of common purpose that we so badly need right now. and that's what i want to focus onç tonight. the state of our democracy. understand democracy does not require uniformity. our founders argued, their
quarreled -- they quarreled, eventually they compromised. they expected us to do the same. but they knew -- [cheers and applause] that democracy does require a basic sense of solidarity. the idea that for all our outward differences, we're all in this together, that we rise or fall as one. [applause] this have been moments -- there have been moments throughout our history that threatened that solidarity. and the beginning of this century has been one of those times. a shrinking world, growing inequality, demographic change and the specter of terrorism. these forces haven't just tested our security and our prosperity,
but are testing our democracy as well. and how we meet these challenges to our democracy will determine our ability to educate our kids and create good jobs and protect our homeland. in other words, it will determine our future. to begin with, our democracy won't work without a sense that everyone has economic opportunity. [applause] and the good news is that today the economy is growing again. wages, incomes, home values and retirement accounts are all rising again. poverty is falling again. [applause] the wealthy are pairing a fairer share of -- paying a fairer share of taxes even as the stock market shatters records. the unemployment rate is near a ten-year low. the uninsured rate has never,
ever been lower. [cheers and applause] health care costs are rising at the slowest rate in 50 years, and i've said and i mean it, if anyone can put together a plan that is demonstrably better than the improvements we've made to our health care system that covers as many people at less cost, i will publicly support it. [cheers and applause] because that, after all, is why we serve.ç not to store points or take credit, but to make people's lives better. [applause] but for all the real progress that we've made, we know it's
not enough. our economy doesn't work as well or grow as fast when a few prosper at the expense of a growing middle class and ladders for folks who want to get into the middle class. [applause] that's the economic argument. but stark inequality is also corrosive to our democratic idea while the top 1% has amassed a bigger share of wealth and income, too many of our families in inner cities and in rural counties have been left behind. the laid-off factory worker, the waitress convinced that the game is fixed against them, that their government only serves the interests of the powerful, that's a recipe for more cynicism and polarization in our politics.
there are no quick fixes to this long-term trend. i agree, our trade should be fair and not just free. but the next wave of economic dislocations won't come from overseas. it will come from the relentless pace of automation that makes a lot of good middle class jobs obsolete. and to so we're going to have to forge a new social compact to guarantee all our kids the education they need. [applause] to give workers the power to unionize for better wages, to update the social safety net to reflect the way we live now and make more reforms to the tax code so corporations and individuals who reap the most from this new economy don't avoid their obligations to the country that's made their very success possible. [cheers and applause]
we can argue about how to best achieve these goals, but we can't be complacent about the goals themselves. for if we don't create opportunity for all people, the disaffection and division that has stalled our progress will only sharpen in years to come. there's a second threat to our democracy, and this one is as old as our nation itself. after my election there was talk of a post-racial america. and such a vision, however well intended, was never realistic. race remains -- [applause] a potent and often divisive force in ourç society. now, i've lived long enough to know that race relations are better than they were 10 or 20
or 30 years ago no matter what some folks say. [applause] you can see it not just in statistics, you see it in the attitudes of young americans across the political spectrum. but we're not where we need to be. [applause] and all of us have more work to do. [applause] if every economic issue is framed as a struggle between a hard working white middle class and an undeserving minority, then workers of all shades are going to be left fighting for scraps while the wealthy withdraw further into their private enclaves. [cheers and applause] if we're unwill to invest in the children of immigrants just
because they don't look like us, we will diminish the prospects of our own children because those brown kids will represent a larger and larger share of america's work force. [cheers and applause] and we have shown that our economy doesn't have to be a zero sum gain. last year incomes rose for all races, all age groups, for men and for women. so if we're going to be serious about race going forward, we need to uphold laws against discrimination in hiring and in housing and in education and in the criminal justice system. [cheers and applause] that is what our constitution and our highest ideal withs require. [applause]
but laws alone won't be enough. hearts must change. they won't change overnight. social attitudes often times take generations to change. but if our democracy is to work the way it should in this increasingly diverse nation, then each one of us need to try to heed the advice of a great character in american fiction, atticus finch, who said -- [cheers and applause] you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it. for blacks and other minority groups, that means tying our very own real strugs for justice to the challenges a lot of people in this country face. jáñ the refugee or the the immigrant or the poor or the transgender american, but also
the middle-aged white guy who, from the outside, may seem like he's got advantages but has seen his world upended by economic and cultural and technological change. we have to pay attention and listen. [applause] for white americans, it means acknowledging that the effects of slavery and jim crow didn't suddenly vanish in the '60s. [cheers and applause] that when minority groups voice discontent, they're not just engaging in reverse racism or practicing political correctness. when they wage peaceful protests, they're not demanding special treatment, the equal treatment that our founders promised. [cheers and applause]
we're native-born americans. [applause] for native born americans, it means reminding ourselves that the stereotypes about immigrants today were said almost word for word about the irish and italians and poles who it was said were going to destroy the fundamental character of america. and as it turned out, america wasn't weakened by the presence of these newcomers. these newcomers embraced this nation's creed, and this nation was strengthened. [applause] so regardless of the station that we occupy, we all have to try harder.
we all have to start with the premise that each of our fellow citizens love this country just as much as we do, that they value hard work and family just like we do, that their children are just as curious and hopeful and worthy of love as our own. [cheers and applause] and that's not easy to do. for too many of us, it's become safer to retreat into our own bubbles whether in our neighborhoods or on college campuses or places of worship or especially our social media feeds. surrounded by people who look like us and share the same political outlook and never challenge ourç assumptions.
and the rise of naked partisanship and increasing economic and regional stratification, the splintering of our media into a channel for every taste, all this makes this great sorting seem natural. even inevitable. and increasingly, we become so secure in our bubbles that we start accepting only information -- whether it's true or not -- that fits our opinions. instead of basing our opinions on the evidence that is out there. [applause] and this trend represents a third threat to our democracy. look, politics is a battle of ideas. that's how our democracy was designed. in the course of a healthy
debate, we prioritize different goals and the different means of reaching them. but without some common baseline effects, without a willingness to admit new information and concede that your opponent might be making a fair point and that science and reason matter -- [cheers and applause] then we're going to keep talking past each other, and we'll make common ground and compromise impossible. [applause] and isn't that part of what so often makes politics dispiriting? how can elected officials rage about deficits when we propose to spend money on preschool for kids but not when we're cutting taxes for corporations? [applause] how do we excuse ethical lapses in our own party, but pounce when the other party does the
same thing? [applause] it's not just dishonest, this selective sorting of the facts, it's self-defeating. because, as my mom used to tell me, reality has a way of catching up with you. [laughter] [applause] take the challenge of climate change. in just eight years, we've halved our dependence on foreign oil, we've doubled our renewable energy, we've led the world to an agreement that has the promise to save this planet. [cheers and applause] but without bolder action, ouroo debate the existence of climate change. they'll be busy dealing with its effects. [applause] more environmental disasters, more economic disruptions, waves
of climate refugees seeking sanctuary. we0can and should argue about the best approach to solve the problem. but to simply deny the problem not only betrays future generations, it betrays the essential spirit of this country, the essential spirit of innovation and practical problem solving that guided our founders. [applause] it is that spirit, it is that spirit born of enlightenment that made us an economic powerhouse. the spirit that took flight at kitty hawk and cape canaveral. the spirit that cures disease and put a computer in every
pocket. it's that spirit. a faith in reason and enterprise and the primacy of right over might that allowed us to resist the lure of fascism and tyranny during the great depression. that allowed us to build a post-world war ii order with oh democracies -- other democracies. an order based not just on military power or national affiliations, but built on principles, the rule of law, human rights, freedom of religion and speech and assembly and an independent press. [cheers and applause] that order is now being challenged. first, by violent fanatics who claim to speak for islam.
more recently, by autocrats in foreign capitals who see free markets and open democracies and civil society itself as a threat to their power. the peril each poses to our democracy is more far reaching than a car bomb or a missile. they represent the fear of change, the fear of people who look or speak or pray differently. a contempt for the rule of law that holds leaders accountable. an intolerance of dissent and free thought. a belief that the sword or the gun or the bomb or the propaganda machine is the ultimate arbiter of what's true and what's right. because of the extraordinary courage of our men and women in
uniform, because of our intelligence officers and law enforcement and diplomats who support our troops -- [cheers and applause] no foreign terrorist organization has successfully planned adç executed an attack on our homeland these past eight years. [cheers and applause] and although boston and orlando and san bernardino and fort hood remind us of how dangerous radicalization can be, our law enforcement agencies are more effective and vigilant than ever. we have taken out tens of thousands of terrorists, including bin laden. [cheers and applause] the global coalition we're leading against isil has taken out their leaders and taken away about half their territory. isil will be destroyed, and no one who threatens america will
ever be safe. [cheers and applause] and all who serve or have served, it has been the honor of my lifetime to be your commander in chief. and we all owe you a deep debt of gratitude. [cheers and applause] but protecting our way of life, that's not just the job of our military. democracy can buckle when it gives in to fear. so just as we, as citizens, must remain vigilant against external aggression, we must guard
against a weakening of the values that make us who we are. [applause] and that's why for the past eight years i've worked to put the fight against terrorism on a firmer legal footing. that's why we've ended torture, worked to close gitmo, reformed our laws governing surveillance to protect privacy and civil liberties. [applause] that's why i reject discrimination against muslim-americans. [cheers and applause] who are just as patriotic as we are. [cheers and applause] that's why, that's why we cannot withdraw, that's why we cannot withdraw from big global fights
to expand democracy and human rights and women's rightses and lgbt rights. [cheers and applause] no matter how imperfect our efforts, no matter how expedient ignoring such values may seem, america. [applause] for the fight against extremism and intolerance and secretaryism against authoritarian m and national -- if the scope of freedom and respect for the rule of law shrinks around the world, the likelihood of war within and between nations increases. and our own freedoms will eventually be threatened.
so let's be vigilant but not afraid. [cheers and applause] isil will try to kill innocent people. [applause] but they cannot defeat america unless we betray our constitution and our principles in the fight. [applause] rivals like russia or china cannot match our influence around the world unless we give up what we stand for and turn ourselves into just another big country that bullies smaller neighbors. [applause] which brings me to my final point. our democracy, our democracy is threatened whenever we take it for granted. [applause] all of us, regardless of party, should be throwing ourselves
into the task of rebuilding our democratic institutions. [applause] when voting rates in america are some of the lowest among advanced democracies, we should be making it easier, not harder, to vote. [cheers and applause] when trust in our institutions is low, we should reduce the corrosive influence of money in our politics and insist on the principles of transparency and ethics in public service. [applause] when congress is dysfunctional, we should draw our congressional districts to encourage politicians to cater to common sense and not rigid extremes. [applause]
but remember, one of this happens on -- none of this happens on its own. all of this depends on our participation. on each of us accepting the responsibility of citizenship. regardless of which way the pendulum of power happens to be swinging.ç our constitution is a remarkable , beautiful gift. but it's really just a piece of parchment. it has no power on its own. we, the people, give it power. [applause] we, the people, give it meaning with our participation and with the choices that we make. [applause] and the alliances that we forge.
whether or not we stand up for our freedoms, whether or not we respect and enforce the rule of law, that's up to us. america's no fragile thing, but the gains of our long journey to freedom are not assured. in his own farewell address, george washington wrote that self-government is the underpinning of our safety, prosperity and liberty. but from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth. and so we have to preserve this truth with jealous anxiety that we should reject the first talk abouting of every attempt -- dawning of every attempt to
alienate our country from one portion to the rest or to enfeeble the sacred ties that make us one. [applause] america, we weaken those ties when we allow our political dialogue to become so corrosive that people of good character aren't even willing to enter into public service. so coarse with rancor that americans with whom we disagree are seen not just as misguided, but asthma lev lent -- as malevolent. we weaken those ties when we define some of us as more american than others, when we write off the whole system -- [applause] as inevitably corrupt. [applause] and when we sit back and blame the leaders we elect without examining our own role in electing them. [cheers and applause]
it falls to each of us to be those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy, to embrace the joyous task we've been given, to continually try to improve this great nation of ours. because more all our -- because for all our outwardç differences we, in fact, share the same proud title. the most important in a democracy, citizen. [applause] citizen. so you see, that's what our democracy demands. it needs you.
not just when there's an election, not just when your own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime [applause] if you're tired of arguing with strangers on the internet -- [laughter] try talking with one of them in real life. [laughter] [cheers and applause] if something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and do some organizing. [cheers and applause] if you're disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures and run for office yourself. [cheers and applause]
show up! dive in. stay at it. sometimes you'll win, sometimes you'll lose. presuming a reservoir of goodness in other people, that can be a risk. and there will be times when the process will disappoint you. but for those of us fortunate enough to have been part of this one and to see it up close, let me tell you, it can energize and inspire. and more often than not, your faith in america and in americans will be confirmed. mine sure has been. [applause] over the course of these eight years, i've seen the hopeful faces of young graduates and our newest military officers, i have
mourned with grieving families is searching for answers and found grace in a charleston church. i've seen our scientists help a paralyzed man regain his sense of touch. [applause] i've seen wounded warriors who at pointses were given up for -- points were given up for dead walk again. i've seen our doctors and volunteers rebuild after earthquakes and stop pandemics in their tracks. [applause] i've seen the youngest of children remind us through their actions and thrátz their generosity of our obligations to care for refugees or work for peace. [applause] and above all, to look out for each other. [applause] so that's faith that i place all
those years ago not far from here in the power of ordinary americans to bring about change. that faith has been rewarded in ways i could not have possibly imagined. and i hope your faith has too. some of you here tonight or watching at home, you were there with us in 2004 and 2008 -- [cheers and applause] 2012. [cheers and applause] maybe you still can't believe we pulled this whole thing off. [laughter] [cheers and applause] let me tell you, you're not the only ones. [laughter] michelle -- [laughter] [cheers and applause]
michelle louisiana von robinson, girl of the south side -- [cheers and applause] for the past 25 years, you have not only been my wife and mother of my children, you have been my best friend. [cheers and applause] you took on a role you didn't ask for, and you made it your own with grate and with grit and -- with grace and with grit and with style and good humor. [cheers and applause]
[cheers and applause] you made the white house a place that belongs to everybody. [cheers and applause] and a new generation sets its sights higher because it has you as a role model. [cheers and applause] so you have made me proud, and you have made the country proud. [cheers and applause]ç malia and sasha --
[cheers and applause] under the strangest of circumstances, you have become two amazing young women. [cheers and applause] you are smart and you are beautiful, but more importantly, you are kind and you are thoughtful, and you are full of passion. [cheers and applause] and you wore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily. of all that i have done in my life, i am most proud to be your dad. [cheers and applause] to joe biden -- [cheers and applause]
the scrappy kid from scranton -- [cheers and applause] who became delaware's favorite son, you were the first decision i made as a nominee, and it was the best. [cheers and applause] not just because you have been a great vice president, but because in the bargain, i gained a brother. and we love you and jill like family, and your friendship has been one of the great joys of our lives. [cheers and applause] to my remarkable staff, for eight years and for some of you a whole lot more, i have drawn from your energy, and every day i've tried to reflect back what you displayed; heart and
character and idealism. i've watched you grow up, get married, have kids, start incredible new journeys of your own. each when times got -- even when times got tough and frustrating, you never let washington get the better of you. you guarded against cynicism. [applause] and the only thing that makes me prouder than all the good that we've done is the thought of all the amazing things that you are going to achieve from here. [applause] and to all of you out there, every organizer who moved to an unfamiliar town, every kind family who welcomed them in, every volunteer who knocked on doors, evye young person who cast a a ballot for the first
time, every american who lived and breathed the hard work of change, you are the best supporters and organizers anybody could ever hope for, and i will be forever grateful. [cheers and applause] because you did change the world. you did. [applause] and that's why i leave this place tonight even more optimistic about this country than when we started. because i know our work has not only helped so many americans, it has inspired so many americans. especially so many young people out there. [applause] to believe that you can make a difference. [cheers and applause] to hitch your wagon to something bigger than yourself. let me tell you, this general ration coming up -- generation coming up, unselfish, altruistic, creative, patriotic. i've seen you in every corner of the country.
you believe in a fair and just and inclusive america. [cheers and applause] you know the constant change has been america's hallmark, that it's not something to fear, but something to embrace. [applause] you are willing to carry the hard work of democracy forward. [cheers and applause] you'll soon outnumber all of us, and i believe as a result the future is in good hands. [applause] my fellow americans, it has been the honor of my life to serve you. i won't stop. in fact, i will be right there with you as a citizen -- [cheers and applause] for all my remaining days. but for now whether you are young or whether you're young at heart, i do have one final ask of you as your president, the
same thing i asked when you took a chance on me eight years ago. i'm asking you to believe not in my ability to bring about change, but in yours. i am asking you to hold fast to that faith written into our founding documents, that idea whispered by slaves and abolitionists, that spirit sung by immigrants and homesteaders and those who marched for justice, that creed reaffirmed by those who planted flags from foreign battlefields to the surface of the moon, a creed at the core of every american whose story is not yet written. yes, we can. [cheers and applause] yes, we did! yes, we can! [cheers and applause] thank you, god bless you. may god continue to bless the united states of america. [cheers and applause] thank you. [cheers and applause]
neil: all right. it is safe to say that bill clinton's record forç shortest swan song speech at eight minutes is still safe for another four years at a minimum. barack obama wrapping up an emotional speech in which he did touch on his achievements and also how optimistic he is, never mentioning donald trump by name, talking about autocrats who threaten our future, obviously, a direct reference to vladimir putin along with some remarkable revelations today that could make for an interesting next eight days, nine days ahead of the trump inauguration. reaction now from my buddy, kennedy. we've got ken blackwell here, democratic congressman and the former superintendent of chicago, gary mccarthy. so, kennedy, you heard this. it was a listny of what he had done and achieved. what message does he send? >> the message he sent, i thought the most touching of the night, of course, was when he
spoke to his family and became emotional when he talked to his wife and daughter. i thought that was very moving. i thought he blew the commie dog whistle when he said we rise or fall as one. that's not necessary. he talked about the collective there. he talked about bubbles in college and in the media. i still think ronald reagan has the winningest farewell speech of all time. my favorite line was all great change in america begins at the dinner table. neil: a lot begins at the dinner table. ken blackwell, trump transition team member, when you look at this, obviously, barack obama saying i'm hopeful for the future of america. that'll be a message we're told that the president-elect will echo in his inaugural address a week from friday. same theme? >> look, at the end of the day, that was high-flying rhetoric. but the reason that donald trump won this election is that, you know, the redistributionist
strategy and policies of barack obama left a lot of everyday americans behind. family of four incomes dropping, you know, low labor participation rate. you know, people get it. you know, the economy is not growing, and this whole, you know, pay peter by robbing paul is, in fact, not the way to go. we're going to create an opportunity society, and we understand -- and this is where i agree with kennedy. the most moving part of his speech was that he gave recognition to the whole notion that the incubator of liberty in our country is the family. and he didn't do a lot in his eight years to reestablish, you know, strong families in america -- neil: well, you know, there is a debate back and forth on that. henry, our democratic strategist, this passing of the
baton to donald trump, how do you think it'll go? >> he emphasized he was going to have a smooth transition. i think whatever our differences are, whether we are democratç r republican, that's one of the emphasis that i think is important to note. we might have different opinions whether he did a good job or not, but the bottom line is there's a transition that we're going to honor, and we've been doing this since the first farewell speech that we had in 1796 when george washington gave his farewell speech. neil: yeah, well, kennedy and i covered that. [laughter] gary mccarthy, former chicago police superintendent, do you think, you know, we live in a fractured society, and the role of the russians in the last election, the back and forth, the incriminations back and forth, a lot of angry people still, will that ever get better or is it going to be more of the same? >> well, i've got to tell you, i had the privilege of spending time with the president over the
last couple of years talking about criminal justice, and i'm disappointed that we didn't do better over the last eight years, particularly when it comes to race relations. and the thing that i know, i know criminal justice, i know policing, and i can't help but reflect that today -- not sure if you know who he is, detective steven mcdonald died. he was a police officer who got shot in the neck in 1986, i believe it was, 30 years ago in new york city when attacks on lis were on the rise and when crime was on the rise x. i can't help but think about what's happened over the last 30 years where we started proactive policing, we were heroes for reducing crime. i had the privilege of being with mayor giuliani at the world trade center, and we were heroes after 9/11. and today we're the scourge of society and we've moved backwards in the world that i'm a part of, and that's troubling to me and disappointing. neil: all right. of days away now from a new president coming in. in those next ten days, we're
going to have raucous cabinet hearings and the rest, and none of this is going to die down, is it? >> no, it's not. and, certainly, something that ended -- or began so strangely is going to end on a very similar note. of it's polarizing, it's interesting. these administrations couldn't be more different from one another, and as the transition becomes closer, we see that in its starkness. neil: all right. i want to thank everybody. it is a remarkable testimony to our democracy though, the polar opposites in style, substance, demeanor, heightened today by accusations that the russians were playing both sides and trying to get incriminating ed on donald trump as well. you never know what's right or who's right. what we do know is through all of that soap opera and through all of that theater and all of markets that go up and down and economies that spring from recession to improvement, the passage of power unlike any other country on earth, certainly a superpower, is
unique in america. and the differences between this outgoing president and the one who will succeed him as dramatic as ever. peaceful, hopeful america. that'll do it. 6 prim p.m. catch lou dobbs. >> everyone no matter how powerful no one is above the law, no american will be beneath its protection. lou: first of trump nominee confirmation hearing underway. sessions for attorney general, kelly for homeland security, democrats tried but failed to under cut them. we'll have a full report and president-elect's press secretary sean spicer joining me. and also president obama's farewell speech with special coverage of obama final lecture with randy evan, matt