"Together As An American Family": A Bipartisan Congressional Dinner at the White House
May 03, 2011
12:29 PM EDT
Watch the President's full remarks here.
On Monday evening, President and First Lady Obama welcomed Congressional leadership from both parties to the White House for an evening away from typical Washington politics. The President spoke about the previous day's special forces operation that had resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden:
Obviously we’ve all had disagreements and differences in the past. I suspect we’ll have them again in the future. But last night, as Americans learned that the United States had carried out an operation that resulted in the capture and death of Osama bin Laden, we -- (applause) -- you know, I think we experienced the same sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. We were reminded again that there is a pride in what this nation stands for, and what we can achieve, that runs far deeper than party, far deeper than politics.
I want to again recognize the heroes who carried out this incredibly dangerous mission, as well as all the military and counter-terrorism professionals who made the mission possible. I also want to thank the members of Congress from both parties who have given extraordinary support to our military and our intelligence officials. Without your support, they could not do what they do.
The President also expressed his hope that future weeks and months would allow the spirit of cooperation and common purpose to continue amongst America's elected leaders:
I know that that unity that we felt on 9/11 has frayed a little bit over the years, and I have no illusions about the difficulties of the debates that we’ll have to be engaged in, in the weeks and months to come. But I also know there have been several moments like this during the course of this year that have brought us together as an American family, whether it was the tragedy in Tucson or, most recently, our unified response to the terrible storms that have taken place in the South.
Last night was one of those moments. And so tonight, it is my fervent hope that we can harness some of that unity and some of that pride to confront the many challenges that we still face.