President Obama delivering the Union address at the congress
President Obama delivering the Union address at the congress

President Barack Obama has defended his legacy in his final State of the Union address.”Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction,” Mr Obama told lawmakers in Washington.

The address highlighted his accomplishments such as health reform. “For my final address to this chamber, I don’t want to talk just about the next year. I want to focus on the next five years, 10 years, and beyond,” President Obama said, adding that “I want to focus on our future.” Obama focused on the need to tackle income inequality, use technology to combat climate change and maintain national security while not becoming mired in foreign conflicts.

“When politicians insult Muslims, when a mosque is vandalised, or a kid bullied, that doesn’t make us safer,” Mr Obama said.

“That’s not telling it like it is. It’s just wrong… And it betrays who we are as a country.”

In the year ahead, Mr Obama said he wanted to: close the Guantanamo Bay prison, achieve meaningful criminal justice reform, address rising tide of prescription drug abuse,authorise the use of military force against IS and lift the embargo on Cuba

He also announced a new national cancer research initiative that Vice-President Joe Biden will be leading.

However, Donald Trump, the Republican presidential hopefuls has described the State Of The Union speech as characterized by its denial of current realities and challenges facing the United States. For Donald Trump, it was “one of the most boring, rambling and non-substantive speech I have heard in a long time.” Likewise, Ted Cruz said the speech was less a State of the Union and more a state of denial. “While Isis [Islamic State] is beheading people and burning them in cages he [President Obama] says climate change is our greatest threat,” said Marco Rubio in a video response. According to Jeb Bush: “Safer? Isis on the rise. North Korea testing nukes. Syria in chaos. Taliban is on the march. This president is living in a different world,” said Jeb Bush.

“Despite his rhetoric, Americans know that our economy is lagging, our leadership in the world is waning, and the very character of our nation is threatened,” wrote Carly Fiorina on Facebook.

By Dike Onwuamaeze

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