Obama Makes Appeal for Agenda in July Fourth Message

Posted July 4, 2009 at 5:06am

In his weekly address to the nation Saturday, President Barack Obama used the Fourth of July holiday to highlight the “unyielding spirit— of Americans in an effort to push for passage of his legislative agenda.

“That unyielding spirit is what defines us as Americans,— Obama said. “It is what has always led us, as a people, not to wilt or cower at a difficult moment, but to face down any trial and rise to any challenge, understanding that each of us has a hand in writing America’s destiny.—

The president went on to define his agenda in nearly apocalyptic terms.

“Now is the time to reform an unsustainable health care system that is imposing crushing costs on families, businesses, large and small, and state and federal budgets,— he said. “And now is the time to meet our energy challenge — one of the greatest challenges we have ever confronted as a people or as a planet.—

Obama cast his opponents as “naysayers— who seem to be missing out on the American ideal.

“They forget that we, as a people, did not get here by standing pat in a time of change,— he said. “We did not get here by doing what was easy. That is not how a cluster of 13 colonies became the United States of America.—

In something of a revival of the 2008 presidential campaign war of words, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) offered the weekly Republican address, employing the spirit of July Fourth to tweak Obama for not making strong enough statements in support of the uprising in Iran after the recent election there.

McCain said the U.S. shares a “kinship— with others throughout the world who struggle for freedom.

“There are those among us who warn that a strong and unequivocal declaration of moral support for Iranians would be used by the cruel regime in power there to convince their subject people that the United States is behind the civil unrest they have attempted to hide from the world,— McCain said. “But the regime will make that claim no matter what we say or do.—

The Iranians, McCain asserted, “do not ask us to arm them or come to their assistance with anything other than public declarations of solidarity, and public denunciations of the tyrants who oppress them.—