112 Powerful Quotes by Barack Obama

Barack Obama, 44th president of the United States (2009–17) and the first African American to hold the office. Before winning the presidency, Obama represented Illinois in the U.S. Senate (2005–08). He was the third African American to be elected to that body since the end of Reconstruction (1877).

Inspirational quotes by Obama

Famous sayings of Barack Obama

So while an incredible amount of progress has been made on this fifth anniversary I wanted to come here and tell the people of this city directly: My administration is going to stand with you – and fight alongside you – until the job is done. Until New Orleans is all the way back all the way.

— Barack Obama

We have an obligation and a responsibility to be investing in our students and our schools. We must make sure that people who have the grades the desire and the will but not the money can still get the best education possible.

— Barack Obama

I know my country has not perfected itself. At times we’ve struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We’ve made our share of mistakes and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.

— Barack Obama

In fact the best thing we could do on taxes for all Americans is to simplify the individual tax code. This will be a tough job but members of both parties have expressed an interest in doing this and I am prepared to join them.

— Barack Obama

We can choose a future where we export more products and outsource fewer jobs. After a decade that was defined by what we bought and borrowed we’re getting back to basics and doing what America has always done best: We’re making things again.

— Barack Obama

It’s time to fundamentally change the way that we do business in Washington. To help build a new foundation for the 21st century we need to reform our government so that it is more efficient more transparent and more creative. That will demand new thinking and a new sense of responsibility for every dollar that is spent.

— Barack Obama

If you were successful somebody along the line gave you some help… Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

— Barack Obama

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

— Barack Obama

It’s time to fundamentally change the way that we do business in Washington. To help build a new foundation for the 21st century we need to reform our government so that it is more efficient more transparent and more creative. That will demand new thinking and a new sense of responsibility for every dollar that is spent.

— Barack Obama

Let me be absolutely clear. Israel is a strong friend of Israel’s. It will be a strong friend of Israel’s under a McCain administration. It will be a strong friend of Israel’s under an Obama administration. So that policy is not going to change.

— Barack Obama

I don’t care whether you’re driving a hybrid or an SUV. If you’re headed for a cliff you have to change direction. That’s what the American people called for in November and that’s what we intend to deliver.

— Barack Obama

Now we’re in the midst of not just advocating for change not just calling for change – we’re doing the grinding sometimes frustrating work of delivering change – inch by inch day by day.

— Barack Obama

We have an obligation and a responsibility to be investing in our students and our schools. We must make sure that people who have the grades the desire and the will but not the money can still get the best education possible.

— Barack Obama

Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine. It may make you feel like you’re flying high at first but it won’t take long before you feel the impact.

— Barack Obama

You can choose a future where more Americans have the chance to gain the skills they need to compete no matter how old they are or how much money they have. Education was the gateway to opportunity for me. It was the gateway for Michelle. And now more than ever it is the gateway to a middle-class life.

— Barack Obama

We can’t get to the $4 trillion in savings that we need by just cutting the 12 percent of the budget that pays for things like medical research and education funding and food inspectors and the weather service. And we can’t just do it by making seniors pay more for Medicare.

— Barack Obama

I know my country has not perfected itself. At times we’ve struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We’ve made our share of mistakes and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.

— Barack Obama

With patient and firm determination I am going to press on for jobs. I’m going to press on for equality. I’m going to press on for the sake of our children. I’m going to press on for the sake of all those families who are struggling right now. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I am going to press on.

— Barack Obama

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt.

— Barack Obama

In America there’s a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world.

— Barack Obama

The Bush Administration’s failure to be consistently involved in helping Israel achieve peace with the Palestinians has been both wrong for our friendship with Israel as well as badly damaging to our standing in the Arab world.

— Barack Obama

So while I will never minimize the costs involved in military action I am convinced that a failure to act in Libya would have carried a far greater price for America.

— Barack Obama

My family frankly they weren’t folks who went to church every week. My mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew but she didn’t raise me in the church so I came to my Christian faith later in life and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead.

— Barack Obama

You know my faith is one that admits some doubt.

— Barack Obama

What I think is fair to say is that coming out of the Republican camp there have been efforts to suggest that perhaps I’m not who I say I am when it comes to my faith – something which I find deeply offensive and that has been going on for a pretty long time.

— Barack Obama

My family frankly they weren’t folks who went to church every week. My mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew but she didn’t raise me in the church so I came to my Christian faith later in life and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead.

— Barack Obama

But let me perfectly clear because I know you’ll hear the same old claims that rolling back these tax breaks means a massive tax increase on the American people: if your family earns less than $250000 a year you will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime.

— Barack Obama

I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries.

— Barack Obama

On every front there are clear answers out there that can make this country stronger but we’re going to break through the fear and the frustration people are feeling. Our job is to make sure that even as we make progress that we are also giving people a sense of hope and vision for the future.

— Barack Obama

We can’t get to the $4 trillion in savings that we need by just cutting the 12 percent of the budget that pays for things like medical research and education funding and food inspectors and the weather service. And we can’t just do it by making seniors pay more for Medicare.

— Barack Obama

To avoid being mistaken for a sellout I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.

— Barack Obama

The Bush Administration’s failure to be consistently involved in helping Israel achieve peace with the Palestinians has been both wrong for our friendship with Israel as well as badly damaging to our standing in the Arab world.

— Barack Obama

On every front there are clear answers out there that can make this country stronger but we’re going to break through the fear and the frustration people are feeling. Our job is to make sure that even as we make progress that we are also giving people a sense of hope and vision for the future.

— Barack Obama

The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on.

— Barack Obama

We can choose a future where we export more products and outsource fewer jobs. After a decade that was defined by what we bought and borrowed we’re getting back to basics and doing what America has always done best: We’re making things again.

— Barack Obama

As I’ve said there were patriots who supported this war and patriots who opposed it. And all of us are united in appreciation for our servicemen and women and our hopes for Iraqis’ future.

— Barack Obama

You can choose a future where more Americans have the chance to gain the skills they need to compete no matter how old they are or how much money they have. Education was the gateway to opportunity for me. It was the gateway for Michelle. And now more than ever it is the gateway to a middle-class life.

— Barack Obama

Our combat mission is ending but our commitment to Iraq’s future is not.

— Barack Obama

And I will do everything that I can as long as I am President of the United States to remind the American people that we are one nation under God and we may call that God different names but we remain one nation.

— Barack Obama

We worship an awesome God in the Blue States and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States.

— Barack Obama

A good compromise a good piece of legislation is like a good sentence or a good piece of music. Everybody can recognize it. They say ‘Huh. It works. It makes sense.’

— Barack Obama

I think when you spread the wealth around it’s good for everybody.

— Barack Obama

If the critics are right that I’ve made all my decisions based on polls then I must not be very good at reading them.

— Barack Obama

It’s time to fundamentally change the way that we do business in Washington. To help build a new foundation for the 21st century we need to reform our government so that it is more efficient more transparent and more creative. That will demand new thinking and a new sense of responsibility for every dollar that is spent.

— Barack Obama

If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists – to protect them and to promote their common welfare – all else is lost.

— Barack Obama

The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. The point is is that when we succeed we succeed because of our individual initiative but also because we do things together.

— Barack Obama

One of the great strengths of the United States is… we have a very large Christian population – we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.

— Barack Obama

I cannot swallow whole the view of Lincoln as the Great Emancipator.

— Barack Obama

After a century of striving after a year of debate after a historic vote health care reform is no longer an unmet promise. It is the law of the land.

— Barack Obama

We’ve persevered because of a belief we share with the Iraqi people – a belief that out of the ashes of war a new beginning could be born in this cradle of civilization. Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the United States and Iraq we have met our responsibility. Now it’s time to turn the page.

— Barack Obama

In the end that’s what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope?

— Barack Obama

On every front there are clear answers out there that can make this country stronger but we’re going to break through the fear and the frustration people are feeling. Our job is to make sure that even as we make progress that we are also giving people a sense of hope and vision for the future.

— Barack Obama

Where the stakes are the highest in the war on terror we cannot possibly succeed without extraordinary international cooperation. Effective international police actions require the highest degree of intelligence sharing planning and collaborative enforcement.

— Barack Obama

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt.

— Barack Obama

We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times… and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK. That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen.

— Barack Obama

Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.

— Barack Obama

My family frankly they weren’t folks who went to church every week. My mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew but she didn’t raise me in the church so I came to my Christian faith later in life and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead.

— Barack Obama

I opposed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. It should be repealed and I will vote for its repeal on the Senate floor. I will also oppose any proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban gays and lesbians from marrying.

— Barack Obama

I think there are a whole host of things that are civil rights and then there are other things – such as traditional marriage – that I think express a community’s concern and regard for a particular institution.

— Barack Obama

I don’t think marriage is a civil right but I think that being able to transfer property is a civil right.

— Barack Obama

We can’t get to the $4 trillion in savings that we need by just cutting the 12 percent of the budget that pays for things like medical research and education funding and food inspectors and the weather service. And we can’t just do it by making seniors pay more for Medicare.

— Barack Obama

We need somebody who’s got the heart the empathy to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom the empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old – and that’s the criterion by which I’ll be selecting my judges.

— Barack Obama

We have an obligation and a responsibility to be investing in our students and our schools. We must make sure that people who have the grades the desire and the will but not the money can still get the best education possible.

— Barack Obama

We need earmark reform and when I’m President I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.

— Barack Obama

Money is not the only answer but it makes a difference.

— Barack Obama

I mean I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.

— Barack Obama

The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. The point is is that when we succeed we succeed because of our individual initiative but also because we do things together.

— Barack Obama

I know that campaigns can seem small and even silly. Trivial things become big distractions. Serious issues become sound bites. And the truth gets buried under an avalanche of money and advertising. If you’re sick of hearing me approve this message believe me – so am I.

— Barack Obama

You can choose a future where more Americans have the chance to gain the skills they need to compete no matter how old they are or how much money they have. Education was the gateway to opportunity for me. It was the gateway for Michelle. And now more than ever it is the gateway to a middle-class life.

— Barack Obama

A good compromise a good piece of legislation is like a good sentence or a good piece of music. Everybody can recognize it. They say ‘Huh. It works. It makes sense.’

— Barack Obama

The Bush Administration’s failure to be consistently involved in helping Israel achieve peace with the Palestinians has been both wrong for our friendship with Israel as well as badly damaging to our standing in the Arab world.

— Barack Obama

In the end that’s what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope?

— Barack Obama

There is probably a perverse pride in my administration… that we were going to do the right thing even if short-term it was unpopular. And I think anybody who’s occupied this office has to remember that success is determined by an intersection in policy and politics and that you can’t be neglecting of marketing and P.R. and public opinion.

— Barack Obama

Part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now and facts and science and argument does not seem to be winning the day all the time is because we’re hardwired not to always think clearly when we’re scared. And the country’s scared.

— Barack Obama

And we can see the positive impacts right here at Solyndra. Less than a year ago we were standing on what was an empty lot.But through the Recovery Act this company received a loan to expand its operations. This new factory is the result of those loans.

— Barack Obama

Here at this site Solyndra expects to make enough solar panels each year to generate 500 megawatts of electricity. And over the lifetime of this expanded facility that could be like replacing as many as eight coal-fired power plants.

— Barack Obama

As a nuclear power – as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon – the United States has a moral responsibility to act.

— Barack Obama

It’s not surprising then they get bitter they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

— Barack Obama

It was not a religion that attacked us that September day. It was al-Qaeda. We will not sacrifice the liberties we cherish or hunker down behind walls of suspicion and mistrust.

— Barack Obama

Part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now and facts and science and argument does not seem to be winning the day all the time is because we’re hardwired not to always think clearly when we’re scared. And the country’s scared.

— Barack Obama

In December I agreed to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans because it was the only way I could prevent a tax hike on middle-class Americans. But we cannot afford $1 trillion worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire in our society. We can’t afford it. And I refuse to renew them again.

— Barack Obama

There is probably a perverse pride in my administration… that we were going to do the right thing even if short-term it was unpopular. And I think anybody who’s occupied this office has to remember that success is determined by an intersection in policy and politics and that you can’t be neglecting of marketing and P.R. and public opinion.

— Barack Obama

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

— Barack Obama

It’s time to fundamentally change the way that we do business in Washington. To help build a new foundation for the 21st century we need to reform our government so that it is more efficient more transparent and more creative. That will demand new thinking and a new sense of responsibility for every dollar that is spent.

— Barack Obama

The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on.

— Barack Obama

With patient and firm determination I am going to press on for jobs. I’m going to press on for equality. I’m going to press on for the sake of our children. I’m going to press on for the sake of all those families who are struggling right now. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I am going to press on.

— Barack Obama

Part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now and facts and science and argument does not seem to be winning the day all the time is because we’re hardwired not to always think clearly when we’re scared. And the country’s scared.

— Barack Obama

We’ve protected thousands of people in Libya we have not seen a single U.S. casualty there’s no risks of additional escalation. This operation is limited in time and in scope.

— Barack Obama

We need to internalize this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent.

— Barack Obama

What I think is fair to say is that coming out of the Republican camp there have been efforts to suggest that perhaps I’m not who I say I am when it comes to my faith – something which I find deeply offensive and that has been going on for a pretty long time.

— Barack Obama

People of Berlin – people of the world – this is our moment. This is our time.

— Barack Obama

We’ve persevered because of a belief we share with the Iraqi people – a belief that out of the ashes of war a new beginning could be born in this cradle of civilization. Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the United States and Iraq we have met our responsibility. Now it’s time to turn the page.

— Barack Obama

We all knew this. We all knew that it would take more time than any of us want to dig ourselves out of this hole created by this economic crisis.

— Barack Obama

If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists – to protect them and to promote their common welfare – all else is lost.

— Barack Obama

I know that campaigns can seem small and even silly. Trivial things become big distractions. Serious issues become sound bites. And the truth gets buried under an avalanche of money and advertising. If you’re sick of hearing me approve this message believe me – so am I.

— Barack Obama

The United States is not and never will be at war with Islam.

— Barack Obama

I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war.

— Barack Obama

Where the stakes are the highest in the war on terror we cannot possibly succeed without extraordinary international cooperation. Effective international police actions require the highest degree of intelligence sharing planning and collaborative enforcement.

— Barack Obama

As I’ve said there were patriots who supported this war and patriots who opposed it. And all of us are united in appreciation for our servicemen and women and our hopes for Iraqis’ future.

— Barack Obama

There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes all of us defending the United States of America.

— Barack Obama

Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and the war on terrorism have reduced the pace of military transformation and have revealed our lack of preparation for defensive and stability operations. This Administration has overextended our military.

— Barack Obama

We’ve persevered because of a belief we share with the Iraqi people – a belief that out of the ashes of war a new beginning could be born in this cradle of civilization. Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the United States and Iraq we have met our responsibility. Now it’s time to turn the page.

— Barack Obama

But do I think that our actions in anyway violate the War Powers Resolution the answer is no.

— Barack Obama

We’re not going to baby sit a civil war.

— Barack Obama

We are not at war against Islam.

— Barack Obama

No party has a monopoly on wisdom. No democracy works without compromise. But when Governor Romney and his allies in Congress tell us we can somehow lower our deficit by spending trillions more on new tax breaks for the wealthy – well you do the math. I refuse to go along with that. And as long as I’m President I never will.

— Barack Obama

As I’ve said there were patriots who supported this war and patriots who opposed it. And all of us are united in appreciation for our servicemen and women and our hopes for Iraqis’ future.

— Barack Obama

We need to steer clear of this poverty of ambition where people want to drive fancy cars and wear nice clothes and live in nice apartments but don’t want to work hard to accomplish these things. Everyone should try to realize their full potential.

— Barack Obama

It took a lot of blood sweat and tears to get to where we are today but we have just begun. Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today.

— Barack Obama

Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes’ he said his voice rising as applause and cheers mounted. ‘Shake it off. Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’. We are going to press on. We have work to do.

— Barack Obama

John Kerry believes in an America where hard work is rewarded.

— Barack Obama

Now we’re in the midst of not just advocating for change not just calling for change – we’re doing the grinding sometimes frustrating work of delivering change – inch by inch day by day.

— Barack Obama

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