- Title: Barack Obama tells Berlin audience: â€˜We must stand for our values and ideals'
- Date: 25th May 2017
- Summary: BERLIN, GERMANY (MAY 25, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SECURITY AT BRANDENBURG GATE PEOPLE WAITING AT ENTRANCE TO PANEL DISCUSSION POLICE CAR PARKED NEXT TO STAGE AT BRANDENBURG GATE VARIOUS OF POLICE AND STAGE AT BRANDENBURG GATE GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL AND FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, HEAD OF THE 36TH GERMAN PROTESTANT CHURCH CONGRESS CHRISTINA AUS DER AU AND BISHOP HEINRICH BEDFORD-STROHM ARRIVING AT THE STAGE VARIOUS OF AUDIENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT, BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "At a time when the world is a very complicated place, when we can see the terrible violence that took place just recently in Manchester, and we had a chance backstage to send a message to the people of Manchester about how heart-broken we are by the loss of life and the grief of the families, and it's a reminder that there is great danger and terrorism and people who will do great harm to others just because they are different. It's also a time of great opportunity. And my hope is that now that I am no longer president, but I still hopefully have a little bit of influence, that I am going to be in a position to help more and more young people to deal with some of these challenges, to encourage a new generation of leadership, so that we can marginalise those who will try to divide us and bring together more and more people who are trying to unite us around the common good." AUDIENCE CHEERING (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT, BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "When you get involved in public life you have to recognize that you never achieve a hundred percent of what you want. That this is a human enterprise. And so inevitably, it's flawed. And what you're try to do is to work with others who share your values and share your vision to try to make things better, understanding that you wonâ€™t make things perfect. A good example, something I'm very proud of, is health care reform in the United States." AUDIENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT, BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "Certainly, I have some regrets that we weren't able to get everyone healthcare, and obviously, some of the progress we made is now imperilled because there is still a significant debate taking place in the United States. But the point, though, is is that for those 20 million people (who receive health care) their lives have been better. And we've set a standard of what's possible that people can than build on." PEOPLE IN AUDIENCE PANORAMA BERLIN VICTORY COLUMN AND CROSS (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "What I think is most important is is that we rally around those values and ideals that are best. And we have to push back against those trends that would violate human rights, or that would suppress democracy, or that would restrict individual freedoms of conscience and religion. And that is going to be a significant battle that we have to fight, all of us have to be a part of. And it's not always easy." AUDIENCE, STAGE AND SCREEN (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL SAYING: "We have to remind ourselves all the time: the things I am convinced of, those things I try day in and day out not to ignore and to work for them, even to accept obstacles. And then maybe it is a bit slower. But I feel right doing so, I have the feeling of doing something important to me. And the sum of this, the many initiatives, they make us strong. And yes, there are setbacks. History consists of setbacks. But one has to look forward." WIDE STAGE
- Embargoed: 8th June 2017 11:31
- Keywords: Obama Merkel security protestant church congress Germany
- Location: BERLIN, GERMANY
- City: BERLIN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0016IC4BPJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Former U.S. President Barack Obama told an audience in Berlin on Thursday (May 25) that the 'terrible violence' in Manchester where a suicide bomber blew himself up after a concert by U.S. singer Ariana Grande, killing at least 22 people and injuring many more, was a reminder of the danger that is in our world, but must also be seen as a chance to over come the division in our society.
"What I think is most important is is that we rally around those values and ideals that are best. And we have to push back against those trends that would violate human rights, or that would suppress democracy, or that would restrict individual freedoms of conscience and religion. And that is going to be a significant battle that we have to fight, all of us have to be a part of. And it's not always easy."
Speaking in a panel discussion on democracy with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in front of 70,000 people at a spot where the Berlin wall once stood, Obama spent 90 minutes talking about international and U.S. issues without once mentioning his successor Donald Trump.
Without mentioning his name, Obama lashed out at the changes the Trump administration had made to his policy changes, especially Obamacare.
"Certainly, I have some regrets that we weren't able to get everyone healthcare, and obviously, some of the progress we made is now imperilled because there is still a significant debate taking place in the United States." But Obama insisted that his health care reform improved the lives of the people who have benefited from it. "And we've set a standard of what's possible that people can than build on," he said to cheers, adding he was especially proud of health care reform.
"Now some of the progress we made is imperilled because a significant debate is taking place in the United States," he added, again avoiding direct mention of Trump, who is attempting to dismantle the so-called Obamacare.
Obama, who was making his first speech in Europe since leaving the White House, also warned against taking peace and prosperity for granted.
Just four months before Germany's election, Obama's mere appearance with Merkel, broadcast live on four networks, raised concerns that he was helping her re-election campaign.
But Merkel and Obama stayed away from the campaign with their discussion focused on faith and politics in general.
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