President Obama’s Address to the Nation

President Barack Obama is introduced as he enters the East Room of the White House for a new conference, Nov. 14, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza).

President Obama held a press conference in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. It was the first time he’d addressed America since Election Day.

In a nutshell, the President said there’s one thing everyone agrees we can do right now to provide a foundation for a solution that helps the economy and gives American families more certainty: prevent taxes from going up for the middle class.

The President diplomatically referred to the current scandal involving Generals Petraeus, but it was a mere bookmark in his address to the U.S.

“I have no evidence at this point from what I’ve seen that classified information was disclosed that in any way would have had a negative impact on our national security,” said President Obama. “Obviously there’s an ongoing investigation.  I don’t want to comment on the specifics of the investigation.  The FBI has its own protocols in terms of how they proceed, and I’m going to let Director Mueller and others examine those protocols and make some statements to the public generally.”

He then added, “I do want to emphasize what I’ve said before:  General Petraeus had an extraordinary career.  He served this country with great distinction in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and as head of the CIA.  By his own assessment, he did not meet the standards that he felt were necessary as the Director of CIA with respect to this personal matter that he is now dealing with, with his family and with his wife.  And it’s on that basis that he tendered his resignation, and it’s on that basis that I accepted it.”

Concluding, “But I want to emphasize that from my perspective at least, he has provided this country an extraordinary service.  We are safer because of the work that Dave Petraeus has done.  And my main hope right now is, is that he and his family are able to move on and that this ends up being a single side note on what has otherwise been an extraordinary career.”

Audio, video and the full transcript are below for public consumption.

Download mp4 (1966MB) | mp3 (124MB)

Read the transcript.

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