Obama tells activists ‘change is hard,’ in video message to Netroots Nation

President Obama taped a surprise video message for activists attending the progressive Netroots Nation conference, telling them that "change is hard, but we've seen it’s possible."

"It’s hard to believe this is already the fourth Netroots Nation of my presidency," said Obama, greeting attendees in the pre-recorded message which was played at the summit in Providence, R.I. on Saturday. "That’s like 200,000 news cycles on Twitter," he joked.


Obama, who has faced criticism from some progressive activists for not doing more to help unseat GOP Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin's failed recall effort and who has been on the defensive on the economy and seen rival Mitt Romney rise in the polls, sought to reassure liberal supporters in his message.

"Four years ago, we came together because we shared a simple belief — that people who love their country can change it. And you have," he said.

"I know it hasn’t always been easy. I know the petty political fights in Washington can be frustrating, and believe me, I know that. But I hope you’ll look back and think about the fact that everything you did, step-by-step and day by day, has helped bring about the changes we’ve fought for.

The president touted many of his achievements including the Affordable Care Act, with the video cutting away to a clip of a family from Englewood, Colo. discussing how the healthcare reform law helped them secure coverage for their sick son. 

"Change is also doubling down on clean energy and enacting historic fuel efficiency standards, changing our entire trajectory after decades of inaction," Obama continues.

"Change is the fact that for the first time in history you don't have to hide who you love to serve the country," he adds, referencing the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Obama also mentions his ending of the war in Iraq and the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. 

On the economy, Obama touts 4.3 million new jobs created in the last 27 months and vows to continue efforts to boost the economic recovery.

"That's just a short list," he says.

“At this make or break moment for the middle class, we face our most important fight yet, and now is the time to dig deep. Change is hard, but we’ve seen that it’s possible, as long as you’re willing to keep up that fight, I’ll be right there with you,” Obama concludes.