Advance excerpts of Obama’s State of the Union address

February 12, 2013

US Capitol Police stand guard in front of the House Chambers of Capitol Hill ahead of US President Obama's State of the Union address. (AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSON)

In his State of the Union tonight, President Obama will, as he has before, defend the role of government in making lives better. At the same time, he will emphasize that he does not plan to increase the deficit and that he is not for "bigger government" but "smarter government."

The full excerpts:

“It is our generation’s task, then, to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth – a rising, thriving middle class.

It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country – the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love.

It is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few; that it encourages free enterprise, rewards individual initiative, and opens the doors of opportunity to every child across this great nation of ours.”

“A growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs – that must be the North Star that guides our efforts. Every day, we should ask ourselves three questions as a nation: How do we attract more jobs to our shores? How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs? And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?”

“Tonight, I’ll lay out additional proposals that are fully paid for and fully consistent with the budget framework both parties agreed to just 18 months ago. Let me repeat – nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime. It’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.”

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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Rachel Weiner · February 12, 2013