President Barack Obama on Tuesday bid farewell in Chicago, telling supporters “You were the change” as he called for a peaceful transition to power.
With a final shout of his campaign phrase “Yes We Can,” Obama urged Americans to stand up for U.S. values and reject discrimination as the country prepares transitions to the presidency of Republican Donald Trump.
“So just as we, as citizens, must remain vigilant against external aggression, we must guard against a weakening of the values that make us who we are” he said.
So just as we, as citizens, must remain vigilant against external aggression, we must guard against a weakening of the values that make us who we are.
In an emotional speech, he thanked his family and declared his time as president the honor of his life.
He called on the public to embrace his vision of progress while repudiating some of the policies that Trump promoted during his campaign for the White House.
Trump, who takes office on Jan. 20, proposed that the United States temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country.
Obama made clear his opposition to those positions during fiery campaign speeches for 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, but he has struck a more conciliatory tone with Trump since the election. In his farewell speech, he made clear his positions had not changed.
“I reject discrimination against Muslim Americans,” he added.
First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, his wife Jill Biden, and many current and former the White House staff members and campaign workers attended the speech.
CNN (@CNN) January 11, 2017
Obama plans to remain in Washington for the next two years while his younger daughter, Sasha, finishes high school. Sasha, who has an exam on Wednesday, did not attend the speech but her older sister Malia was there.