SC reaction to State of the Union

February 12, 2013 

Some of the reaction Tuesday night to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech:

‘More big government’

“The president’s speech tonight was more big government at a time when we need less. His economic policies are hurting our economy, and he seems to have an insatiable appetite for taxation. ... President Obama also did not seriously address the foreign policy and national security challenges of our time. Radical Islam is on the rise and his decision to leave Iraq without any troops is coming back to haunt us. I am afraid his plan on Afghanistan will do the same. Our friend and close ally Israel has never needed us more. And every day that goes by where we don’t address the Iranian desire to acquire nuclear weapons is a bad day for peace-loving people around the world. In President Obama’s second term, I intend to work with him where I can – starting with immigration reform and stronger border security – and say no when I must.”

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-Seneca

‘Borderline unbelievable’

“The president had an opportunity tonight to show the country he was willing to work together with Republicans to solve our most pressing issues. Instead, he chose to double down on his big government policies. We have a spending problem here in Washington – a problem that we cannot tax our way out of. ... To call for even more government spending and even higher taxes is borderline unbelievable – taking more money out of the pockets of hardworking American families is not the way to kick start our economy. ... I was very disappointed by the tone and the substance of the president’s speech, but I hope we can all come together to do what is right and what is best for the American people.”

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-North Charleston

‘Applaud his vision’

“Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood at the Lincoln Memorial and proclaimed, ‘We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.’ Tonight President Obama ... echoed Dr. King’s sentiment ... declaring, ‘It is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few; that it encourages free enterprise, rewards individual initiative, and opens the doors of opportunity to every child across this great nation of ours.’ I applaud his vision, and I look forward to working with the president and my colleagues in Congress to get our country on a path of opportunity through economic development, job creation and investing in education, infrastructure and innovation to move our country forward. For too long, we have been hearing why it can’t be done. President Obama reminded us tonight that it can be done, we just have to have the political will to do it.”

Assistant House Democratic leader James E. Clyburn, D-Columbia

‘Empty promises’

“This evening’s remarks by President Obama conveyed to the American people that our commander in chief does not believe we have a spending problem. Instead, he claimed that he is willing to work with House Republicans to solve the tremendous issues facing our nation. Based on the past four years, his rhetoric does nothing but guarantee empty promises. Last Congress, House Republicans passed legislation that supported an all-of-the-above energy proposal, a balanced-approach replacement for the impending sequester and a national security strategy that kept American families safe. ... Unfortunately, the president and his colleagues in the Senate have refused to consider our efforts or even negotiate with us. ... It is my hope that he will extend an olive branch and work with House Republicans to help put our economy back on the right path.”

U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-Springdale

Compiled by Jamie Self

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