In weekly addresses, Obama touts military support; GOP talks Isaac, jobs

President Obama marked the two-year anniversary of his ending of combat missions in Iraq with a visit to Fort Bliss, Texas. Nancy Cordes reports that the president has challenged Mitt Romney's harsh assessment of his leadership abroad.

Obama marks Iraq pullout anniversary
President Obama marked the two-year anniversary of his ending of combat missions in Iraq with a Friday visit to Fort Bliss, Texas.

(CBS News) In his weekly radio and Internet address kicking off Labor Day weekend, President Obama reflected on the importance of supporting members of the U.S. military, both during active service and afterward, and pledged "to do everything in our power to keep them safe and help them succeed."

The Republican National Committee (RNC), meanwhile, released its own weekly address, discussing Hurricane Isaac and the economy.

The president, who visited troops in Fort Bliss, Texas on Friday, marked the second anniversary of the end of the Iraq War, celebrating "how far we've come" while acknowledging the nation's continued presence in Afghanistan.

"Some of the soldiers I met at Fort Bliss had just come home from the battlefield, and others are getting ready to ship out," he said in his radio address. "As long as we have a single American in harm's way, we will continue to do everything in our power to keep them safe and help them succeed. That means giving them a clear mission and the equipment they need on the front lines."

In addition to those measures, Mr. Obama said it was "time to do some nation-building here at home."

"My grandfather's generation came back from World War II and helped form the backbone of the greatest middle-class in history," he said. "They helped this country come back stronger than before. Today's veterans have the skills, the discipline, and the leadership skills to do the exact same thing - and it's our job to give them that chance."

Mr. Obama repeatedly emphasized his support for military families on the campaign trail, and has touted new laws to help unemployed veterans succeed in the workforce after returning home from service.

In Nevada, Obama makes play for veteran support

First Lady Michelle Obama, meanwhile, has launched a "Joining Forces" initiative aimed at providing support for military families, as has the president's campaign. The Obama campaign insists it has a real chance to win a majority of military support this November.

In the RNC weekend address, Rep. Steve Scalise spoke of the state of the storm in Louisiana, pointing to "light at the end of the tunnel," though he added, "We're not out of the woods just yet."

Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, touted the sense of community and teamwork he had seen in the community during the disaster.

"We've seen neighbors helping each other and people coming together to ensure the safety of their loved ones. That's what we in Louisiana do. That's what Americans do," he said. "One of the greatest things about our country is that we're a resilient, hard-working people, and on this Labor Day weekend, we remember these values and the things that have made our country the greatest in the world."

Scalise then pivoted to the economy, blasting Democratic policies on energy and taxes, while touting Republican measures that he said would help rebuild a "strong, vibrant economy that promotes freedom and fosters private-sector jobs and opportunities."

"For millions of Americans, this Labor Day finds them still looking for work and still asking, 'Where are the jobs?' It doesn't have to be this way, and we can turn it around, because in America it's times of adversity that bring out the best in us," Scalise said. "It's a lesson we saw on display yet again this week in Southeast Louisiana. And it's one worth reflecting on in the coming days as we give thanks for the men and women who built this country, and rededicate ourselves to addressing the challenges America's workers face."

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