We'll work together, and as we do so, you must understand I understand that racism still lingers in America. (Applause.) It's a lot easier to change a law than to change a human heart. And I understand that many African Americans distrust my political party.First of all, history does not prevent people from communicating with each other. The people involved make that choice. Second, education is not only for the "children." Moreover, education has to be applied in both directions. Third, the relaionship that today's GOP has with the Party of Abraham Lincoln is only chronological. They are ideologically different in both a fundamental and wholesale way.
AUDIENCE: Yes! (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: I consider it a tragedy that the party of Abraham Lincoln let go of its historic ties with the African American community. For too long my party wrote off the African American vote, and many African Americans wrote off the Republican Party. (Applause.)
That history has prevented us from working together when we agree on great goals. That's not good for our country. That's what I've come to share with you. We've put the interests of the country above political party. I want to change the relationship. (Applause.) The America we seek should be bigger than politics. And today I'm going to talk about some areas where I believe we can work together to reduce the obstacles for opportunity for all our citizens. And that starts, by the way with education. (Applause.)
To use a ploy deployed by the W, Rove and Co. I reject the connections W makes today. I reject them roundly and whole heartedly.