Obama: Citizenship ‘Expresses Itself Through Our Government’

Fred Lucas | April 25, 2013 | 1:31pm EDT
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President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama told donors at a Democratic National Committee fundraising event at a private residence in Dallas, Texas, on Wednesday that Americans express their citizenship and obligations to one another “through our government,” among other areas.

“That all of us have a stake in their success, and all of us have a stake in a country that expresses this incredible quality of compassion and concern and fellow feeling, not just in our churches or our synagogues or our mosques or our temples, not just in our workplaces or our neighborhoods or our Little League, but also expresses itself through our government,” Obama said.

The president went on to talk about hypothetical obligations to seniors in Maine, single mothers in New York and new immigrants in California.

“And the reason I think all of you are here is because you believe that too, and the Democratic Party at its best tries to give expression to that,” Obama said, according to the official White House transcript..

“That idea of citizenship, the idea that we don't just have obligations to ourselves – we do; we have obligations obviously to our families and our immediate circles, but we have also an obligation to something larger than ourselves; that our orbit of concern extends to a child somewhere in a border town in Texas who is struggling to get a decent education,” the president said.

In front of the partisan crowd, Obama mentioned that he would be attending the events Thursday for the George W. Bush presidential library, honoring his Republican predecessor.

“I'm really looking forward to attending the Bush Library opening tomorrow, and one of the things I will insist upon is that whatever our political differences, President Bush loves this country and loves its people and shared that same concern and was concerned about all people in America, not just some, not just those who voted Republican,” Obama said.

“I think that's true about him, and I think that's true about most of us,” the president said.

“But what’s also true is that policy matters. How we express that best part of ourselves is a matter of significant debate, and it’s a matter of votes, and it’s a matter of legislation and budgets, and how we're allocating resources and how we're prioritizing what we think is important,” he added.

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