Like many Americans, President Barack Obama avoided the topic of politics over Thanksgiving.
In his weekly radio address, the president called for Americans to look beyond Washington “partisanship and gridlock” and work together to solve the nation’s problems in the spirit of the holiday.
“If we support each other, and look out for each other and remember that we’re all in this together, then I know that we too will overcome the challenges of our time,” he said.
Obama also made a roundabout reference to the country’s continuing economic doldrums and high unemployment, saying that “for many of you, this Thanksgiving is more difficult than most.”
But, he added, Americans have made it through “a Civil War, two world wars, a Great Depression” and other crises by cooperating.
“This sense of mutual responsibility — the idea that I am my brother’s keeper, that I am my sister’s keeper — has always been a part of what makes our country special,” Obama said.
In the weekly Republican response, freshman Rep. Sandy Adams (Fla.) also praised the spirit of community, which helped the pilgrims survive the winter and guided the country through the Civil War.
“Fellowship is an important element of our national character,” she said.
A veteran of the Air Force, Adams called on Americans to remember military families as well as the “millions of our fellow citizens who are out of work.”
She also called for the country to find common ground in order to promote “opportunity and entrepreneurship,” “empower small business” and “remove government barriers that make it harder to create jobs.”
“The challenges we face demand nothing less,” she said.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.