the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release

Remarks by The Vice President at a State Luncheon in Honor of President Calderón of Mexico and Mrs. Margarita Zavala

State Department
Washington, D.C.

1:13 P.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Madam Secretary, thank you very much.  Mr. President, it’s an honor to be with you today.  It’s an honor to have you all here today.

We gather here today with a -- shared goals and a common vision of the future for Mexico and the United States.  To state the obvious, we share a range of common interests and a common vision for how as neighbors we can together make life better for every Mexican and every American.

Mr. President, this State visit demonstrates just how -- just how much our futures and fates are intertwined.  Environmental conservation, clean energy, climate change, nuclear nonproliferation and the social and economic well-being of our citizens -- we approach each of these issues with a common objective of building a widespread prosperity for the people of both our countries in this hemisphere.

A critical shared interest, Mr. President, is the mutual desire to provide security for all our citizens.  And, Mr. President, we admire -- and I personally admire -- your courage and your determination to confront the drug cartels.  And we’re equally determined to confront them with you.

Now, to state the obvious, Mr. President, we know that our border poses challenges for both our countries, but it also provides mutual benefit -- economic, social, cultural -- if managed efficiently and securely.  As we share responsibility for a strong, secure, and stable border -- and that is a commitment we have both already assumed -- we will have strong and secure and stable communities.

Mr. President, in the end our goals are the same as yours.  We together today are about the business of creating a better tomorrow for all our people.  And, Mr. President, your visit is an expression of our joint commitment to build on what we’ve accomplished together in the past and to create an even brighter future than exists today.

Mr. President, nearly three years ago, you ended your first state of the union address with a rousing call to your countrymen, one that seems equally relevant to our time together today.  If I may use the English translation because my Spanish is so bad -- (laughter) -- you said, and I quote:  “With the strength of much that unites us, with the strength of our shared views, let us take the reins of our destiny, and together let us lead into the future.”

Now, I ask you to raise your glasses, the ones that we do not have.  (Laughter.)  There we go.  We now have.  (Laughter.)  Mr. President, here’s to fulfilling our destiny and leading each of our countries into a bold new future. 

To Mexico.  Mr. President, the floor is yours.  I’ll take that for you and get out of your way.