Obama: Time to shift attention from wars to home

Associated Press Modified: May 5, 2012 at 9:46 am •  Published: May 5, 2012
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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says his goal of defeating al-Qaida is within reach and that it's time to turn the country's attention to domestic concerns.

Just four days after his trip to Afghanistan, Obama said that money saved from ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan should help pay down the national debt and go to health care, education and infrastructure.

"After more than a decade of war, it is time to focus on nation-building here at home," he said in his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday.

The president took note of the agreement he signed with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday that shifts security to the Afghan people. He reminded the American public, once again, of the military raid that killed Osama bin Laden a year ago.

But he said the nation now should concentrate on economic issues such as tax disparities and government spending. Without mentioning Republicans, he cast the GOP view as one that promotes more tax cuts for millionaires while cutting spending "that built a strong middle class."

"That's why I've called on Congress to take the money we're no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt and use the other half to rebuild America," he said.

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