President Obama shares hopes for the US in last speech

World Today

President Barack Obama speaks at McCormick Place in Chicago, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, giving his presidential farewell address. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

In a well-choreographed farewell speech in front of a crowd of supporters in his adopted hometown of Chicago, U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday evening reflected on his legacy and his future.

“My fellow Americans, it has been the honor of my life to serve you. I won’t stop; in fact, I will be right there with you, as a citizen, for all my remaining days,” the president said to a packed audience.

CGTN’s Jim Spellman reports from Washington.

President Obama shares hopes for the US in last speech

President Obama's final address as president.

Obama took credit for saving the U.S. economy, killing Osama Bin Laden and restoring relations with Cuba.

But he also addressed some of his shortcomings as president, like failing to heal the racial divide in the U.S.

“After my election, there was talk of a post-racial America. Such a vision, however well-intended, was never realistic. For race remains a potent and often divisive force in our society,” Obama said.

Obama praised international agreements on climate change and the Iran nuclear program, but asserted that rival countries like Russia and China cannot match US influence around the world– an argument China rejects.

“If we are to talk about influence, according to the Chinese logic, what influence a country has in the international affairs, this must be subject to the judgment by the majority of the international community rather than to its own judgment,” said Lu Kang, spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The speech came as incoming President Donald Trump and the Republicans have set about to dismantle Obama’s legacy. Their first target is the health care program known as Obamacare.

During his last farewell address, Obama said that if Republicans can put together a better health care program, he will support it.

Pierre Martin discusses President Obama’s farewell address

For more on President Obama’s farewell address, CGTN’s Asieh Namdar spoke with Pierre Martin, a politics professor at the University of Montreal.