Full Text Obama Presidency May 28, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Speech at Asian American and Pacific Islander AAPI Heritage Month Celebration

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

President Obama Speaks at AAPI Heritage Month Celebration

Source: WH, 5-29-13
President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebrationPresident Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration in the East Room of the White House, May 28, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Last night, President Obama delivered remarks before over 200 members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community at a White House celebration of AAPI Heritage Month. The audience included national, state, and local community leaders; elected officials; leaders of philanthropic, youth, and arts organizations; and members of the President’s Administration, including Sri Srinivasan, who was recently confirmed unanimously by the Senate to become the first South Asian American federal appeals court judge….READ MORE

Remarks by the President at AAPI Heritage Month Celebration

Source: WH, 5-28-13 

East Room

5:48 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  Thank you so much.  (Applause.)  Everybody, please have a seat.  Thank you so much.  Aloha!

AUDIENCE:  Aloha!

THE PRESIDENT:  Welcome to the White House, everybody.  And thank you, Joan, for the introduction.  And I want to thank everybody who’s here — the incredible warmth of the reception.  A sign of the warmth is the lipstick on my collar.  (Laughter.)  I have to say I think I know the culprit — where is Jessica Sanchez?  (Laughter.)  Jessica — it wasn’t Jessica.  It was her aunt.  Where is she?  (Laughter.)  Auntie, right there.  Look at this.  (Laughter.)  Look at this.  I just want everybody to witness.  (Laughter.)  So I do not want to be in trouble with Michelle.  (Laughter.)  That’s why I’m calling you out right in front of everybody.  (Laughter.)

We are here today to honor the incredibly rich heritage and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.  And there’s no better example of that diversity than the people who are in this room.  We’ve got members of Congress; we’ve got members of my administration; we’ve got lots of special guests and talented performers.

And every day, we’re reminded of the many ways in which Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders have all contributed and enriched our nation throughout our history.  Obviously for me, I don’t have to look any further than my own family.  I’ve got my brother-in-law here, Konrad, who is — (applause) — Konrad Ng, who’s heading up the Smithsonian Asian American Center — it probably has a longer name than that.  (Laughter.)  My sister, Maya; their beautiful daughters — my nieces, Suhaila and Savita.

I can think back on my college years when my roommates were Indian and Pakistanis, which is how I learned how to cook keema and dal.  (Laughter and applause.)  Very good.  And of course, I can dig back into my own memories of growing up in Hawaii and in Indonesia.  And so certainly it’s been a central part of my life, the entire Asia Pacific region.

But it’s more than food and family — because generations of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders helped build this country, and helped to defend this country, and to make America what it is today.  It’s a history that speaks to the promise of our nation  — one that welcomes the contributions of all people, no matter their color or their beliefs, because we draw from the rich traditions of everybody who calls America home.  “E pluribus unum” — out of many, one.

And the artists joining us today exemplify that creed.  So we’ve got performers like Karsh Kale, who fuses the best of East and West, mixing eclectic beats with the sounds of his heritage and creating music that’s distinctly his own — that’s a trait, obviously, that’s distinctly American.  We’ve got musicians like Paula Fuga and John Cruz, whose work represents the spirit of my native Hawaii and reminds us that we’re all part of the same ohana.  We have authors like Amy Tan, who uses her own family’s immigration story to trace the stories of others.  She makes out of the particular something very universal.

We value these voices because from the very beginning, ours has been a nation of immigrants; a nation challenged and shaped and pushed ever forward by diverse perspectives and fresh thinking.  And in order to keep our edge and stay ahead in the global race, we need to figure out a way to fix our broken immigration system — to welcome that infusion of newness, while still maintaining the enduring strength of our laws.  And the service and the leadership of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have proved that point time and again.

So we take opportunities like today to honor the legacy of those who paved the way, like my friend, the late Senator from Hawaii, Daniel Inouye, the first Japanese American to serve in Congress  — and to celebrate the pioneers of this generation, like Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, one of the first female veterans elected to Congress.  (Applause.)  And one of my favorite people right now, Sri Srinivasan, who has just been confirmed.  (Applause.)  Here’s Sri, right here.  (Applause.)

I was proud to nominate Sri, and he was just confirmed unanimously to become the first South Asian American federal appeals court judge.  (Applause.)  I was telling his kids, who are here today, if he starts getting a big head, walking around the house with a robe — (laughter) — asking them to call him “Your Honor” — (laughter) — then they should talk to me.  (Laughter.)

In every election, at every board meeting, in every town across America, we see more and more different faces of leadership, setting an example for every young kid who sees a leader who looks like him or her.  And that’s a good thing.  We’ve got to keep that up.  We’ve got to do everything we can to make sure everybody works hard, everybody plays by the rules, everybody has a chance to get ahead — to start their own business, to earn a degree, to write their own page in the American story — that the laws respect everybody, that civil rights apply to everybody.  That’s who we are at our best and that’s what we’re here to celebrate.  That’s the challenge that I believe we’re going to meet together.

So I want to thank all of you for being here tonight.  It is going to be a wonderful gathering.  And from Michelle and Malia and Sasha — and Bo — (laughter) — thank you all for the incredible contributions that you’re making each and every day.

God bless you.  God bless America.  (Applause.)

END
5:54 P.M. EDT

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Political Headlines May 28, 2013: Bob Dole Says GOP Should Close for Repairs on Fox News Sunday

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Bob Dole Thinks GOP Should Close for Repairs

Source: ABC News Radio, 5-28-13

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News

Bob Dole says he couldn’t make it as a Republican today – and a tilt toward more conservative voters in the key Iowa Republican caucuses may bear him out….

“I doubt it,” Dole said. “Reagan wouldn’t have made it. Certainly, Nixon couldn’t have made it, because he had ideas and — We might have made it, but I doubt it.”…READ MORE

Political Headlines May 28, 2013: President Barack Obama Jokes About Lipstick Stain on Shirt Collar at Asian American and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month Celebration

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Jokes About Lipstick Stain on Shirt Collar

Source: ABC News Radio, 5-28-13

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Obama had a bit of a lipstick problem at the White House Tuesday evening….

“I want to thank everybody who’s here for the incredible warmth of the reception. A sign of the warmth is the lipstick on my collar.  I have to say I think I know the culprit,” the president said to laughter at the Asian American and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month celebration at the White House.  “Where’s Jessica Sanchez? It wasn’t Jessica. It was her aunt. Where is she? Auntie, right there. Look at this. Look at this. I just want everybody to witness.” “I do not want to get in trouble with Michelle, so I’m calling you out right in front of everybody,” he joked….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency May 28, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Speech in Asbury Park, NJ After Touring the Jersey Shore with Gov Chris Christie

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

President Barack Obama congratulates New Jersey Governor Chris Christie while playing the “TouchDown Fever” arcade game along the Point Pleasant boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., May 28, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Remarks by the President in Asbury Park, NJ

Source: WH, 5-28-13 

Asbury Park Convention Hall
Asbury Park, New Jersey

1:26 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, New Jersey!  (Applause.)  It is good to be back in Jersey.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love you!

THE PRESIDENT:  I love you back!  (Applause.)

Let me, first of all, say thank you to Governor Christie for that introduction and the great work he’s done here.  (Applause.) Your Mayor, Ed Johnson, is here as well and has been working tirelessly on your behalf.  (Applause.)  We’ve got three great representatives in Congress from New Jersey — Rush Holt, Frank Pallone, Donald Payne, Jr.  (Applause.)

Now, last week, my advisors asked me — they said, Mr. President, do you want to spend next Tuesday in Washington, or would you rather spend it at the Jersey Shore?  (Applause.)  And I’ve got to say I’ve got to make some tough decisions as President, but this wasn’t one of them.  (Laughter.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT:  I appreciate that.  (Applause.)

Governor Christie and I just spent some time on the Point Pleasant boardwalk.  I got a chance to see the world’s tallest sandcastle being built.  We played some Touchdown Fever — I got to say, Christie got it in the tire the first try — (laughter)  — although I did pay for his throws.  (Laughter.)  I played a little Frog Bog, and Governor Christie’s kids taught me the right technique for hitting the hammer to get those frogs in the buckets the way I was supposed to.  (Laughter.)  And, of course, I met with folks who are still rebuilding after Sandy.

Now, we all understand there’s still a lot of work to be done.  There are homes to rebuild.  There are businesses to reopen.  There are landmarks and beaches and boardwalks that aren’t all the way back yet.  But thanks to the hard work of an awful lot of people, we’ve got wonderful shops and restaurants and arcades that are opening their doors.  And I saw what thousands of Americans saw over Memorial Day Weekend:  You are stronger than the storm.  (Applause.)  After all you’ve dealt with, after all you’ve been through, the Jersey Shore is back and it is open for business, and they want all Americans to know that they’re ready to welcome you here.  (Applause.)

And I’ve got to say, if they ever let me have any fun, I’d have some fun here.  (Laughter and applause.)  I was telling my staff on the ride over, I could see being a little younger — (laughter) — and having some fun on the Jersey Shore.  (Applause.)  I can’t do that anymore.  (Laughter.)  Maybe after I leave office.  (Laughter and applause.)

I think a friend of mine from here once put it pretty well:  “Down the shore, everything’s all right.”  (Applause.)  He’s the only guy a President still has to call “The Boss.”  (Laughter.)  Other than the First Lady.  (Laughter.)

But for generations, that’s what this place has been about. Life isn’t always easy.  We’re a people who have to work hard and do what it takes to provide for our families — but when you come here, everything’s all right.  And whether you spend a lifetime here, or a weekend, or a summer, the Shore holds a special place in your heart and a special place in America’s mythology, America’s memory.

When I was here seven months ago, Hurricane Sandy had just hammered communities all across the East Coast, and lives were lost, and homes and businesses were destroyed, and folks were hurting.  And I remember something Chris said back then.  He said, “We cannot permit that sorrow to replace the resilience that I know all New Jerseyans have.”

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Yes, we do!

THE PRESIDENT:  And it didn’t.  You didn’t let it.  You kept going.  Because these towns have a special character — not just in the summer but all year round.  From the moment the hurricane hit, first responders worked around the clock to save lives and property.  And neighbors opened their homes and their hearts to one another.  And you came together as citizens to rebuild.

And we’re not done yet, and I want to make sure everybody understands that, because for somebody who hasn’t seen their home rebuilt yet or is still trying to get their business up and running again, after all those losses, we don’t want them to think that somehow we’ve checked a box and we’ve moved on.  That’s part of the reason I came back, to let people know we’re going to keep on going until we finish.  (Applause.)

But if anybody wondered whether the Shore could ever be all right again, you got your answer this weekend.  (Applause.)  From Sea Bright to Bay Head, from Belmar to Seaside Heights, folks were hanging out on balconies and beaches.  Shows were sold out at the Stone Pony.  (Applause.)  Kids were eating ice cream and going on rides, going and eating some more ice cream.  (Laughter.)  Guys were trying to win those big stuffed animals to impress a special girl.  So like I said, the Jersey Shore is back in business.

The work is not over, though.  Seven months ago, I promised you that your country would have your back.  I told you we would not quit until the job was done, and I meant it.  I meant it.  (Applause.)

Craig Fugate, the head of FEMA, he couldn’t be here today, but I want to thank him and his team for their ongoing work.  FEMA was here before Sandy made landfall; they’re still here today.  They’re working with the Governor’s team and with the task force I set up to support families and communities who still need help.  Since the storm hit, we’ve provided billions of dollars to families and state and local governments across the region, and more is on the way.

And even as my team is helping communities recover from the last hurricane season, they’re already starting to prepare for the next hurricane season, which starts this Saturday — because if there’s one thing that we learned last year, it’s that when a storm hits, we’ve got to be ready.  Education, preparation — that’s what makes a difference.  That’s what saves lives.  And anyone who wants to make sure they’re ready — for a hurricane or any other disaster — I want them to visit something — a website called Ready.gov.  Make a plan.  It’s never too early.

We’ve also got to remember that rebuilding efforts like these aren’t measured in weeks or months, but they’re measured in years.  That’s why just this past Thursday, we announced billions of new relief aid for New York and New Jersey transit agencies.  And that’s why the Army Corps of Engineers is working to restore beaches and strengthen the Shore’s natural defenses.  That’s why last year I joined Governor Christie and your representatives, fighting to get a relief package through Congress.  We’re going to keep doing what it takes to rebuild all the way and make it better than it was before, make it stronger than it was before, make it more resilient than it was before.  (Applause.)

So, Jersey, you’ve still got a long road ahead, but when you look out on this beach — this beautiful beach here, even in the rain, it looks good.  You look out over the horizon, you can count on the fact that you won’t be alone.  Your fellow citizens will be there for you — just like we’ll be there for folks in Breezy Point and Staten Island — (applause) — and obviously, we’re going to be there for the folks in Monroe [sic], Oklahoma, after the devastation of last week.  (Applause.)

Part of the reason I wanted to come back here was not just to send a message to New Jersey, but send a message to folks in Oklahoma:  When we make a commitment that we’ve got your back, we mean it — (applause) — and we’re not going to finish until the work is done.  Because that’s who we are.  We help each other as Americans through the bad times, and we sure make the most of the good times.  (Applause.)

So let’s have some good times on the New Jersey Shore this summer.  (Applause.)  And next summer and the summer after that, and all year long, America, bring your family and friends.  Spend a little money on the Jersey Shore.  (Applause.)  You’ll find some of the friendliest folks on Earth, some of the best beaches on Earth.  And you’ll see that even after a tough couple of months, this place is as special as ever, and down the Shore, everything is still all right.  (Applause.)

Thank you, everybody.  God bless you.  (Applause.)  God bless America.  (Applause.)

1:35 P.M. EDT
END

Political Headlines May 28, 2013: President Barack Obama & NJ Gov Chris Christie Tour Recovery Efforts at Jersey Shore

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama, Christie Tour Recovery Efforts at Jersey Shore

Source: ABC News Radio, 5-28-13

Office of NJ Gov. Chris Christie/Twitter

Seven months after superstorm Sandy hammered the New Jersey coast, President Obama returned to the Jersey Shore to highlight the state’s recovery and rebuilding efforts, declaring that the “Jersey Shore is back.”

“We’re still rebuilding after Sandy.  Now we all understand that there is still a lot of work to be done,” the president said Tuesday before a crowd of 3,800 at the Asbury Park Convention Hall in Asbury Park, N.J….READ MORE

Political Headlines May 28, 2013: White House Say They Knew of Sen John McCain’s Syria Trip

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

White House Knew of McCain’s Syria Trip

Source: ABC News Radio, 5-28-13

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call

The White House was made aware ahead of time that Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., would travel to Syria this week, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday….READ MORE

Political Headlines May 28, 2013: House Judiciary Committee: Did Eric Holder Lie Under Oath?

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Did Eric Holder Lie Under Oath?

Source: National Review Online (blog), 5-28-13

The House Judiciary Committee is investigating whether Attorney General Eric Holder lied under oath during his May 15 testimony on the Justice Department’s (DOJ) surveillance of reporters, an aide close to the matter told The Hill….READ MORE

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