Obama Worried Young People Have Become Cynical

Image: U.S. President Obama receives hug from student at Worcester Technical High School graduation ceremony in Worcester
U.S. President Barack Obama receives a hug from a student who just received her diploma at the Worcester Technical High School graduation ceremony in Worcester, Massachusetts June 11, 2014. Obama delivered the commencement address and greeted all the graduates onstage. KEVIN LAMARQUE / Reuters

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The president elected with a slogan of “hope” said Wednesday he sometimes worries young people have lost any semblance of optimism.

Speaking to a group of newly minted high school graduates, President Obama said he worried “your generation has grown up in a cynical time.”

“In the aftermath of a great recession, in the aftermath of two wars, we live in a culture that so often focuses on conflict and controversy, looks at the glass half empty instead of half full,” he told graduates of Worcester Technical High School in Massachusetts.

But, the president quickly pivoted to a more optimistic message akin to the speeches he delivered that got him to the White House in 2008. He praised the school for its innovative approach that mixes hands-on learning opportunities with high academic standards.

Obama said students are going to compete with people from around the world for jobs, but the education and training they have received will prepare them.

“We are going to win because of you, because we’re Americans, thats what we do. We don’t settle. We out work, we out innovate, we out hustle the competition, and when we do no one can beat us,” Obama said.