2016 State of the Union address: on Homeland Security

Barack Obama: Self-defeating to overstate ISIS threat

As we focus on destroying ISIL, over-the-top claims that this is World War III just play into their hands. Masses of fighters on the back of pickup trucks, twisted souls plotting in apartments or garages -- they pose an enormous danger to civilians; they have to be stopped. But they do not threaten our national existence. That is the story ISIL wants to tell. That's the kind of propaganda they use to recruit.
Source: 2016 State of the Union address to Congress Jan 20, 2016

Barack Obama: We spend more on military than next 8 nations combined

President Obama said, "We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined." Is that literally true? We found the answer on Wikipedia, for the top 9 countries in military expenditures (in billions per year):
  1. $581B United States
  2. $129B China
  3. $81B Saudi Arabia
  4. $70B Russia
  5. $62B United Kingdom
  6. $53B France
  7. $48B Japan
  8. $45B India
  9. $44B Germany

The "next eight nations combined" add up to $532 billion annual military expenditures. Compare that to the U.S.'s annual total of $581 billion, and Pres. Obama is accurate. (Sen. Rand Paul said in 2015 the same statement about "the next ten countries combined," and we rated his statement "loosely accurate", but Obama could have gone up to "the next nine nations combined" adding in South Korea's $34B). Obama's point was the same as Paul's: the U.S. has by far the strongest military on earth, and we need not increase military spending to maintain our military dominance.

Source: 2016 State of the Union: OnTheIssues FactCheck Jan 13, 2016

Barack Obama: Talk of economic decline & military weakness is just hot air

A big question that we have to answer together is how to keep America safe and strong without either isolating ourselves or trying to nation- build everywhere there's a problem. All the talk of America's economic decline is political hot air. Well, so is all the rhetoric you hear about our enemies getting stronger and America getting weaker. Let me tell you something. The United States is the most powerful nation on Earth, period. Period. It's not even close. We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined. Our troops are the finest fighting force in the history of the world.

No nation attacks us directly or our allies because they know that's the path to ruin. Surveys show our standing around the world is higher than when I was elected to this office, and when it comes to every important international issue, people of the world do not look to Beijing or Moscow to lead. They call us. So I think it's useful to level set here, because when we don't, we don't make good decisions.

Source: 2016 State of the Union address Jan 12, 2016

Gary Johnson: Spying on U.S. citizens dismantles the 4th Amendment

The President speaks of civil rights and those who have resisted expanding them. This from a President whose Administration continues at every turn to dismantle the 4th Amendment, spy on American citizens and plant the government in every aspect of society.
Source: Libertarian Party response to 2016 State of the Union speech Jan 12, 2016

Margaret Flowers: Empire Economy: projects the Pentagon rejects get funded

[In President Obama's State of the Union speech], U.S. Empire, the largest in human history, will not be discussed even though it is a driver of the climate and economic crises. The US military is the largest single user of oil in the world, most of it for aviation fuel which produces triple the amount of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) as oil and diesel. The military also uses large amounts of electricity to power its 1,100 bases and outposts around the world.

The Empire Economy, which consumes 55% of discretionary federal dollars, has expanded unreasonably under President Obama to the point where even projects that the Pentagon rejects are funded while domestic needs are left unmet. President Obama is even wasting a trillion dollars over ten years to upgrade the US nuclear weapons program. Under President Obama, the US is surrounding China with the Asian Pivot and militarizing the European border with Russia while continuing to be entrenched in wars in the Middle East.

Source: 2016 MD Senate campaign: response to State of the Union Jan 12, 2016

Pope Francis: Imitating tyrant's violence means we take their place

President Obama: "American leadership in the 21st century isn't a matter of political correctness. This is a matter of understanding just what it is that makes us strong. The world respects us not just for our arsenal, it respects us for our diversity and our openness and the way we respect every faith. His Holiness, Pope Francis, told this body from the very spot I'm standing on tonight that 'to imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place.' When politicians insult Muslims, whether abroad, or fellow citizens, when a mosque is vandalized, or a kid is called names, that doesn't make us safer. That's not telling it what--telling it like it is, it's just wrong. It diminishes us in the eyes of the world."
Source: 2016 State of the Union address Jan 12, 2016

  • The above quotations are from 2016 State of the Union address to Congress, plus the opposition party responses: Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Homeland Security.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
  • Click here for more quotes by Barack Obama on Homeland Security.
  • Click here for more quotes by Nikki Haley on Homeland Security.
2020 Presidential contenders on Homeland Security:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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Page last updated: Dec 03, 2021