The following is an excerpt from Stephen Collinson | January 13, 2016 | CNN.com |
Washington (CNN)Putting aside a sudden crisis with Iran, President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged Americans in his final State of the Union address to reject the politics of tribalism and fear that have rocked the campaign to find his successor and to build a "clear-eyed, big-hearted" and "optimistic" nation.
Delivering his annual report to the nation, Obama did not name Republican 2016 candidates. But he took clear, implied shots at them nevertheless, particularly front-runner Donald Trump, as well as Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. America's destiny, the President said, was imperiled by a political system festering in malice, gridlock and in the grip of the rich and the powerful.
Obama also took on critics who accuse him of weakening American power abroad and Republicans who say he is underplaying the threat from radical Islamist groups such as ISIS. He mocked the contention that fighters on "on the back of pickup trucks and twisted souls plotting in apartments or garages" represented an existential threat to America.
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