Obama: ‘Misconduct of a Few’ Erodes ‘People’s Trust in Their Government’

By Melanie Arter | May 24, 2013 | 11:41 AM EDT

President Barack Obama (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama delivered the commencement speech at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., on Friday, blaming the “misconduct of a few” for erosion of the public’s "trust in the government."

“Everyday our civil servants do their jobs with professionalism, protecting our national security and delivering the services that so many Americans expect, but as we’ve seen again in recent days, it only takes the misconduct of a few to further erode to the people’s trust in their government, and that’s unacceptable to me, and I know that’s unacceptable to you,” Obama told graduates.

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“It’s no secret that in recent decades, many Americans have lost confidence in many of the institutions that help shape our society and our democracy, but I suggest to you today that institutions do not fail in a vacuum. Institutions are made up of people, individuals, and we’ve seen how the actions of a few can undermine the integrity of those institutions,” he said.

He added that the “misdeeds of some – while risk-taking or putting profits before people – sparked a financial crisis and deepened the recession that cost millions of Americans their jobs.”

“All too often we’ve seen the politics where compromise is rejected as a dirty word and policies are driven by special interests rather than the national interests, and that breeds a cynicism that threatens our democracy,” the president said.

The president’s comments come amid scandals that have plagued the administration recently, including the IRS targeting conservative groups and the Justice Department seizing the phone records of reporters and editors at the Associated Press.

As CNSNews.com reported, the president on Thursday announced that Attorney General Eric Holder would conduct a review of Justice Department investigations involving journalists.

CNSNews.com also reported that outgoing IRS commissioner Steven Miller told the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday that the IRS’s actions were not partisan but “foolish mistakes” made by employees trying to be “more efficient.”