WASHINGTON — Saying America has a history of doing what it takes to make a better tomorrow, President Barack Obama is calling on a country climbing out of its worst economic slump in decades to summon that spirit again this holiday season.
"This is not the hardest Thanksgiving America has ever faced. But as long as many members of our American family are hurting, we've got to look out for one another," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address, released for Thanksgiving.
"As long as many of our sons and daughters and husbands and wives are at war, we've got to support their mission and honor their service," Obama added. "And as long as many of our friends and neighbors are looking for work, we've got to do everything we can to accelerate this recovery and keep our economy moving forward."
In the weekly Republican message, Georgia Rep.-elect Austin Scott characterized the 85-member incoming freshman class as a "new breed of leaders for a new majority and a new Congress" and said they stand ready to turn around the country.
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The GOP won control of the House in elections earlier this month and will take over in January.
"As much as we have to be thankful for, too many Georgians and too many Americans have been out of work for far too long," Scott said. "Our new Republican majority is ready to focus on creating jobs and putting a stop to the runaway spending in Washington, D.C."Obama pardons turkey named 'Apple'
The White House said the president thanked two each from the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy for their service and sacrifice and wished them and their families a happy Thanksgiving.
White House menu
The calls came as the president, his wife Michelle and their daughters Malia and Sasha spent the holiday at the White House with family and friends.
NBC News reported that their Thanksgiving dinner consisted of: turkey, ham, cornbread stuffing, oyster stuffing, greens, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese and dinner rolls.
For dessert, the menu included a variety of pies: apple, pumpkin, sweet potato, banana cream, cherry and huckleberry.
On Wednesday, Obama pardoned Apple and Cider, two 21-week-old, 45-pound turkeys raised on a farm outside Modesto, Calif.
Other political news of note
In his address, Obama stayed mindful of the new political reality taking shape in Washington: a new order in which Democrats no longer will rule both the White House and Congress.
Obama wove another call for bipartisanship in, saying one political party won't be able to solve all the country's problems.
"We've got to do it as one people," the president said. "And in the coming weeks and months, I hope that we can work together, Democrats and Republicans and independents alike, to make progress on these and other issues."
He cited jobs and economic recovery among the issues.
Obama is to meet at the White House on Tuesday with congressional leaders from both parties, a session originally announced for Nov. 18 but was delayed a week and a half after Republicans said they couldn't accommodate the president.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.