Obama frustrated over divided America during State of the Union address

Posted at 10:25 PM, Jan 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-13 04:13:56-05

Talking about the current state of politics in the United States, President Barack Obama said that he was frustrated by the political divide and his inability to unite Americans during his tenure as president. 

During his one-hour address before a joint sessions of Congress, Obama laid mostly kept away from the tradition of past presidents of reinforcing his tenure, opting to close with stating his biggest frustration as president. 

"Most of all, democracy breaks down when the average person feels their voice doesn’t matter; that the system is rigged in favor of the rich or the powerful or some narrow interest," Obama said.

"Too many Americans feel that way right now.  It’s one of the few regrets of my presidency – that the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better."

Obama is took a few jabs at the Republican presidential field in his final State of the Union address.

Obama said the world is looking to the U.S. to address threats in the Middle East and elsewhere. He said the U.S. response must be more than calls "to carpet bomb civilians." Obama says that works as a sound bite on television, but doesn't pass the test on the world stage.

The remarks are aimed at Republican candidates, including Ted Cruz, who has said he'd carpet bomb the Islamic State group. Donald Trump has used similarly bombastic language to describe how he'd attack the Islamic State group.

Obama is also criticizing those who say the U.S. is getting weaker or that its economy is declining. He says that's just "political hot air."

Obama pledged at the start of his State of the Union address that he was going to try to keep his last address shorter.

Well, it was shorter than most of his State of the Unions, but not shorter than his first.

There were two White House hopefuls attending President Barack Obama's final State of the Union address — Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders.

Florida's Rubio was backslapping with GOP colleagues like South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, chatting with Arizona Sen. John McCain and hugging Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina.

Sanders shook hands as he entered the House chamber and then joined Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed to hear the speech.

Two other GOP candidates — Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul — skipped the speech.