President Obama let everyone know that he is still fired up at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual awards dinner Saturday night in Washington.
During his keynote address, the Commander-in-Chief joked that many Caucus members have tried to give him words of encouragement, “Hang in there, man.” But, he told them, “don’t worry about me.”
“I am still fired up, ” Obama said to the several hundred guests, “because I still see the work that needs to be done…We’re going to have to keep marching.”
He went on to reiterate his stance on gun control. “We can’t rest until all of our children can go to school or walk down the street free from the fear that they will be struck down by a stray bullet,” he said, adding that he plans to meet with families “who now know the same unspeakable grief of families in Newtown, and Aurora, and Tucson, and Chicago, and New Orleans, and all across the country — people whose loved ones were torn from them without headlines sometimes, or public outcry.”
“It’s happening every single day,” he added. “We fought a good fight earlier this year, but we came up short. And that means we’ve got to get back up and go back at it.”
He also had words for anyone who has tried to shut down his Affordable Care Act.
“Let me say as clearly as I can: It is not going to happen! We have come too far,” he said. “We will not negotiate over whether or not America should keep its word and meet its obligations. We’re not going to allow anyone to inflict economic pain on millions of our own people just to make an ideological point.”
“Your top agenda is making sure 20 million people don’t have health insurance,” he added. “And you’d be willing to shut down the government and potentially default for the first time in United States history because it bothers you so much that we’re actually going to make sure that everybody has affordable health care.”
And as for the economy, he said “working Americans of all races have seen their incomes and wages stagnate even as corporate profits and the incomes of folks at the very top are soaring.”
Obama noted, “We have to make this a country where anybody who works hard can earn their way into the middle class.”
According to The Grio, “This year’s Caucus dinner, a tribute to the “Spirit of 1963,” and the Civil Rights Movement, featured footage of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Georgia Congressman John Lewis, an iconic Caucus member who touted the national progress made since the seminal March on Washington nearly a half-century ago.”