Tags: Barack Obama | SOTU 2015 | Joe Manchin | obama | SOTU | debt | terrorism

Debt, Terrorist Threat Missing in Obama's SOTU, Critics Say

By    |   Tuesday, 20 Jan 2015 01:31 PM

Sen. Joe Manchin told the MSNBC's "Morning Joe" panel that President Barack Obama shouldn't use the State of the Union address Tuesday night to posture for the 2016 elections, but should speak to the issues that could benefit Americans.

"I hope we're hearing a little bit about fixing the debt, and not growing the debt any more," the West Virginia Democrat said Tuesday. "We've got to be careful what we do and how we do it. And work in a bipartisan way to get something done, and don't just posture ourselves for this 2016 election."

Republican strategist Steve Schmidt told the panel Obama's tax increase proposals "have no chance of actually passing a Republican Congress," and that his State of the Union address amounted to "Kabuki theater."

Story continues below video.

The advance details about Obama's speech sounded "campaign message oriented," said NBC's "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd, and felt like the president was "setting the table for 2016" elections.

"I'm sitting there thinking, it's your second to last State of the Union. Shouldn't this be about what can you get done? What can you get accomplished?" Todd asked.

Manchin said that even though the economy was improving, "there's a long way to go" to help those in the middle class "that feel left out," adding that income inequality was an issue Congress needed to address.

"The facts are we have a growing disparity of income in this country, and we've got to change that," he said, adding he thought lawmakers could also find "unity" on energy and foreign policy issues.

Illinois Republican Sen. Mark Kirk told the panel he wanted a bipartisan plan in Congress to "make sure we're much more pulling together as a team to reduce the overall debt," adding he had concerns about Obama's tax proposal.

"I'm a little worried if you redistribute income, you'll have less of it," Kirk said.

Schmidt, who was campaign strategist for Arizona Sen. John McCain when he was the Republican nominee for president in 2008, said that Obama in his speech should address the threat facing the country from radical jihadists.

"You look at the threat posed to all of Western civilization by radical Islamic extremism, the fact that 14 years, two administrations, one Republican, one Democrat, we don't have a national strategy to combat it. None of our national leaders are able to articulate what that strategy should be. We don't have a plan to defeat it.

"Is the president of the United States going to talk to the American people about this tonight to a national audience at an important moment when the country faces a real profound threat?" Schmidt asked.

Democratic strategist David Axelrod defended the tax proposal Obama is expected to make during Tuesday's address.

"He's going to make a case tonight. And, I think that's what the president of the United States should do is make a case about the problems we face and where we should go and start a conversation," Axelrod told the "Morning Joe" panel.

Watch the video below.

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Sen. Joe Manchin told the MSNBC's "Morning Joe" panel that President Barack Obama shouldn't use the State of the Union address Tuesday night to posture for the 2016 elections, but should speak to the issues that could benefit Americans like fixing the national debt.
Joe Manchin, obama, SOTU, debt, terrorism, taxes
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2015-31-20
Tuesday, 20 Jan 2015 01:31 PM
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