President Obama on Friday night continued throwing his entire second-term agenda against the wall to see what sticks, challenging Republicans to join him and support more federal spending, pass immigration reform and tackle other challenges.
But should the GOP stand in the way, the president indicated he’s willing to use executive orders to accomplish his aims.
“What we’ve seen over the last several years is a constant ratcheting up of partisanship that prevents us from moving forward on things that I think most people would say aren’t Democrat or Republican ideas. They’re just good, common-sense American ideas,” Mr. Obama said at a Democratic party fundraiser in Miami. “Energy independence is one of them. Making sure that we’re investing in the best schools, so that our children can compete in this new global economy; rebuilding our infrastructure, not just our energy infrastructure, but our ports and our roads and our bridges and our air traffic control systems, so that we stay on the cutting edge; making sure we’re investing in research and development … We have a whole drawer full of good ideas. And some of them I can do on my own, administratively.”
As was the case when Mr. Obama spoke in New Orleans earlier Friday, health-care reform played a minimal role in his remarks. Just one day after apologizing to the nation for the glitch-plagued HealthCare.gov website and the fact that millions of Americans stand to lose their insurance coverage as a result of his signature health-care law, the president pivoted to a wide array of other goals that comprise his second-term wish list.
Mr. Obama also said that, because he’s run his last political campaign, he’s looking to build his legacy and leave the U.S. a better place.
“And when I’m hopefully playing with some grandkids, but not too soon, because [Mr. Obama’s daughters] Malia and Sasha are only 15 and 12, I want to know that what I did made the world a better place for them,” he said. “I want them to know that because of the decisions we made now, we’re more energy independent and that we’re improving our environment. I want them to know that not just they and their friends got a great education, but children all across America got a great education … That’s what motivates me. That’s what gets me up every day.”