President Obama's Latest Speech on Paris Shooting Was Impromptu, But Still Important
During a speech on higher education at Pellissippi State Community College in Tennessee on Friday, Obama made further remarks on the Paris attack. The president revealed that he had offered France law enforcement and counterintelligence support in the wake of the massacre that killed 10 staff members of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and two law enforcement officers. The president was at the college to talk about his ambitious new proposal for community college assistance, but took the time to comment on the recent terrorist attack.
"The United States stands with you today, stands with you tomorrow," Obama declared to the crowd during the speech. He added:
We fight alongside you to uphold our values, the values we share, universal values that bind us together as friends and allies.... We stand for freedom, hope, and the dignity of all human beings and that's what the city of Paris represents to the world.
Obama's speech comes as reports out of Paris confirm that all three terror suspects have been killed. The two suspects in the Charlie Hebdo shooting, Cherif Kouachi, 32, and his older brother Said, 34, were killed by police in a warehouse raid north of Paris while a third suspect, Amedy Coulibaly, 32, was killed in a hostage standoff at a supermarket. Four hostages in the supermarket incident were also confirmed dead, French President Francois Hollande said in his remarks to the nation.
Though Obama was at Pellissippi State Community College for an entirely different agenda, the ongoing events were too pressing and significant to ignore. After reiterating America's resolute support for France, he turned the subject at hand. Obama re-announced his ambitious new plan to make community college free for all, saying he wanted to bring down the cost of higher education to zero.
The plan, called America's college promise, will make two years of community free for "responsible students who are willing to work for it." Students will have to do their part by keeping their grades up, while colleges do theirs by providing consistent quality education.
He told the students at Pellissippi State:
Here in America, we don't guarantee equal outcomes, but we do expect that everybody gets an equal shot.
If the plan passes approval and is implemented nationwide, nine million students will be able to receive two years of free college education, according to the White House. However, the plan is just a conversation at this time, since Obama has yet to reveal any legislation, budget, or other logistical details.Images: Getty Images (2)