Excerpts from the speech
The year ahead: I want to go easy on the traditional list of proposals for the year ahead. Don't worry, I've got plenty, from helping students learn to write computer code to personalizing medical treatments for patients. And I will keep pushing for progress on the work that still needs doing. Fixing a broken immigration system. Protecting our kids from gun violence. Equal pay for equal work, paid leave, raising the minimum wage. … I will not let up until they get done.
Nation's strengths: Our optimism and work ethic, our spirit of discovery, our diversity, our commitment to the rule of law — these things give us everything we need to ensure prosperity and security for generations to come.
Facing the future: Will we respond to the changes of our time with fear, turning inward as a nation, turning against each other as a people? Or will we face the future with confidence in who we are, in what we stand for, and the incredible things we can do together?
The economy: America … has the strongest, most durable economy in the world. We're in the middle of the longest streak of private-sector job creation in history. More than 14 million new jobs; the strongest two years of job growth since the 1990s; an unemployment rate cut in half. … Anyone claiming America's economy is in decline is peddling fiction.
Education: We've actually got to cut the cost of college. Providing two years of community college at no cost for every responsible student is one of the best ways to do that, and I'm going to keep fighting to get that started this year.
Poverty: America is about giving everybody willing to work a chance, a hand up, and I'd welcome a serious discussion about strategies we can all support.
Curing cancer: Last year, Vice President Biden said that with a new moonshot, America can cure cancer. … So tonight, I'm announcing a new national effort to get it done. … For the loved ones we've all lost, for the families that we can still save, let's make America the country that cures cancer.
Climate change: If anybody still wants to dispute the science around climate change, have at it. You will be pretty lonely, because you'll be debating our military, most of America's business leaders, the majority of the American people, almost the entire scientific community, and 200 nations … who agree it's a problem and intend to solve it.
Threats: Both Al-Qaida and now ISIL pose a direct threat to our people, because … even a handful of terrorists who place no value on human life, including their own, can do a lot of damage. They use the Internet to poison the minds of individuals inside our country. But … over-the-top claims that this is World War III just play into their hands.
Politics: The future we want … is within our reach. But it will only happen if we work together … if we can have rational, constructive debates. It will only happen if we fix our politics.