President Obama Announces The Fatherhood And Mentoring Initiative

WASHINGTON -- President Obama pledged a series of new initiatives to support responsible fatherhood on Monday, but called on fathers to recognize that government cannot do what they can best do in the home. In his annual Father's Day event, Obama urged fathers to mentor their own children and to reach out to those in the community who don't have strong parental or guardian support. "I can't legislate fatherhood. I can't force anybody to love a child," Obama told a crowd gathered at a community center on the southeast side of Washington. "But what we can do is send a clear message to our fathers that there is no excuse for failing to meet their obligations." The message echoed that of a noted Obama campaign speech from 2008, when he told absent fathers to stop making excuses and take economic and emotional responsibility for their children. Obama launched what he called a national conversation about fatherhood, sending Cabinet secretaries and other staffers around the country.