Tonight, President Obama and Majority Leader Cantor may have found common ground in the belief that every American should have the opportunity to succeed. Questions remain however whether the President's “fair shake” is the same as Leader Cantor's “fair shot” at letting people earn their own success.
- President Obama: Tonight: These men and women grew up with faith in an America where hard work and responsibility paid off. They believed in a country where everyone gets a fair shake and does their fair share – where if you stepped up, did your job, and were loyal to your company, that loyalty would be rewarded with a decent salary and good benefits; maybe a raise once in awhile. If you did the right thing, you could make it – anybody could make it in America.
- Majority Leader Cantor: April 18, 2011: Like so many, I am the grandson of immigrants who came to this country to escape religious persecution. When they came to America, they found that no matter who they were, where their parents were born, there were no limits. They learned that it really didn’t matter where they came from, it was where they were going. They came to understand that in America, the only guarantee is that of an opportunity to have a fair shot at earning success. In America it was generally accepted that by working hard, playing by the rules, you could get ahead. ... In America, you may be talking to the union worker in Philadelphia, the retired state employee in Sacramento or the working Mom in a small town in Kansas. All of them come from different places and different backgrounds. But each of them rely upon a simple and implicit guarantee – that the deck won’t be stacked against them in America. That they’ll have a fair shot and the opportunity to succeed. And we must work hard to make sure the American fair shot is here for us in this room, and for our children.