President Obama calls 2014 a year of action and a breakthrough year for America.
Opening a year-end news briefing at the White House, the President said the economy continues to recover nicely from the deep recession. He cited ongoing economic growth, job gains and noted that "wages are on the rise again." Obama said deficits are falling and he also touted ongoing success with the Affordable Care Act. He said the U.S. is leading global efforts to combat climate change, Ebola and ISIS. With two years left in his presidency, the President called himself energized and excited.
Obama: Sony Made Mistake Pulling Controversial Movie
President Obama says Sony made a mistake in pulling a controversial movie after a massive cyber attack. During a White House news conference, the President said the Sony corporation suffered significant damage in the hacking incident. The FBI says North Korea is to blame for the hacking. The hackers threatened severe repercussions if Sony released the movie "The Interview." Sony pulled the film, which depicts an assassination plot against North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Obama said foreign powers must not be able to impose censorship on U.S. companies.
Obama Defends Cuba Moves
President Obama is defending his moves to start normalizing relations with Cuba. During a White House news briefing, the President said the 50-year policy of isolating Cuba has not worked and he argued that it is time to try something different. He stressed that more open U.S. policies will help prompt positive changes in communist Cuba. Obama said the U.S. will be pushing Cuba to start embracing the ideals of democracy and human rights. He also warned that changes will probably not happen overnight. The President also played down talk that he may visit Cuba, saying it's too early for such speculation.
Obama: Things Can Get Done In Deeply Divided Capital
President Obama is optimistic that things can get done in the deeply divided capital city. In a news briefing at the White House, the President was pressed about life with a new Republican-led Congress. Obama said he is always willing to compromise. He also defended his frequent use of executive actions, saying he will act if Congress does not. Republicans regained control of the Senate in November's elections. The GOP has held the House for the past four years and will continue to do so in 2015.
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