Republicans Slam Obama's Speech

Wednesday, 29 Jan 2014 12:54 AM

By Todd Beamon

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Republicans from Capitol Hill to statehouses slammed President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday on many fronts.

Here are some of their remarks:

House Speaker John Boehner:

"After five years, President Obama is clearly out of ideas. With few bipartisan proposals, Americans heard a president more interested in advancing ideology than in solving the problems regular folks are talking about.

"Instead of areas of common ground, the president focused too much on the things that divide us — many we've heard before — and warnings of unilateral action.

"The president must understand his power is limited by our Constitution, and the authority he does have doesn't add up to much for those without opportunity in this economy.

"The real answer for the president is to refocus his priorities and work with us on the things that we can achieve together to create jobs and promote greater opportunity."

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor:

"President Obama said we are united by the 'profound belief in opportunity for all, the notion that if you work hard and take responsibility, you can get ahead.' I couldn't agree more.

"For years, Republicans have operated under this principle — and I'm relieved to hear that the president was listening.

"However, blocking school-choice programs, raising the cost of living through energy and healthcare regulations, and accepting the new normal of long-term unemployment and a smaller workforce are antithetical to that philosophy.

"House Republicans have a more hopeful agenda that helps get working middle-class Americans back to work, moving ahead and passing along the promise of America to the next generation."

Sen. John Thune, chairman of the Senate Republican Conference:

"The only way to give Americans real opportunity and prosperity is to give them access to jobs. A year of action should be about creating jobs to lead to a better, brighter future for middle-class families."

Sen. Jim Inhofe, ranking GOP member of the Senate Armed Services Committee:

"President Obama presented his hopes for 2014, one that will include him using a 'pen and phone' to get work done. But these tactics are not new.

"He used this strategy in 2013 when his administration issued thousands of pages of healthcare regulations and job-killing regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency.

"This excessive power grab is all part of Obama's expanding government, where power is increasingly in the hands of unelected bureaucrats instead of the American people."

Sen. Marco Rubio:

"President Obama missed an opportunity on several fronts — especially by insisting that Washington keep spending more money than it takes in, keep dictating to entrepreneurs how to run their businesses, and failing to level with the American people about how we can save our retirement programs.

"We need a real opportunity agenda that helps people seize the enormous potential that the coming years hold."

Sen. Chuck Grassley:

"The president should use his pen and phone to build coalitions on Capitol Hill and sign legislation into law, not issue executive orders that Congress and the American people don’t support."

Sen. Richard Burr:

"It's as if the president, five years into office, still doesn't understand our country and what makes it work. The greatest achievement of our modern, free society is not the promise of equal outcomes . . . but rather equality of opportunity.

"The president's policies are destroying opportunities for families and businesses across the country in the misguided belief that tearing down some will benefit all."

Rep. Steve Scalise, chairman of the Republican Study Committee:

"While President Obama made more hollow promises during his State of the Union address, he failed to explain why his IRS targets certain citizens who disagree with his policies. The president also neglected to explain why his signature healthcare law has failed.

"It’s time for President Obama to abandon the campaign trail while working with Congress to create a healthy economy and finally make Washington start living within its means."

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee:

"The president's solutions are just more of the same failed policies that have left Americans facing looming uncertainty, shrinking paychecks, rising costs, and greater dependency on the federal government.

"With the highest poverty rate in a generation, median household income having fallen each year that he has been in office, and a record 47 million Americans on food stamps, some Americans may just wonder what side of the 'war on poverty' the president is on."

Rep. Tom Price, vice chairman of the House Budget Committee:

"Real people are hurting, and instead of working cooperatively with Congress, President Obama is threatening to exercise even more executive power in pursuit of an extreme agenda.

"During a time of extraordinary challenge for our nation, the White House should seek to build relationships and work with Congress, not circumvent us at every turn."

Rep. Glenn Thompson:


"Divided government isn't easy, but we must strive to make it work."

Rep. Matt Salmon:

"If the president is serious about working with Congress, he should start by asking Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to take up the 40 jobs bills the House has sent to the Senate, finally approve the Keystone Pipeline and remove job-killing regulations through legislation."

Rep. Tom Cole:

"New promises abounded, but lofty ambitions don't pay for themselves."

Rep. Jeff Duncan:

"Our Founding Fathers could have given us a king, but instead created the presidency, the Congress, and the courts.

"When a President decides to bypass Congress, he sends our country down a very dangerous path and makes compromise and bipartisanship even more difficult to achieve."

Florida Gov. Rick Scott:

"President Obama has had more memorable speeches. But, in fairness, it's hard to top 'if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan.'

"Unfortunately, what we didn't hear tonight was how he would make healthcare more affordable by undoing his failed law or how he would undo the outrageous flood insurance hikes he forced on Floridians."

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