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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida reaction to Obama's State of the Union




U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson: "The president unveiled some ambitious plans – and, they’re aimed more directly at helping everyday Americans. I think health care legislation took too long and now we must focus on jobs, the economy, Wall Street bank reform and reducing the deficit. On the downside, we’re going to have to get the president to do more for NASA. America’s global leadership in science and technology is at stake if we don’t maintain a more robust space exploration program.  I’m still hopeful we’ll be able to do that."

U.S. Sen. George LeMieux: “The President missed a golden opportunity to give the American people real solutions. I suggest the President acknowledge the problems we face are due in part to too much government – too much spending, and a failure to focus on the real problems at hand. Americans want government to work for them, not the other way around. Unless we work in a bipartisan way to control spending, reduce our debt, secure our nation, and achieve energy independence, the future prosperity of our children will suffer."

RPOF's Jim Greer: “Tonight’s speech was a classic example of the President’s ability to convey, in a very eloquent way, an essentially meaningless message. The President might be able to offer excuses, blame and political rhetoric as an explanation for his failed policies to Washington liberals, but as the President will learn when he travels to the Sunshine State tomorrow, Floridians expect results that resonate across the aisle, and won’t settle for back room deals and sound bite solutions."

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville: "I do not think that the result of the Massachusetts Senate election necessarily means that the health care debate is over.  For too long, health care has been a privilege, not a right in America.   For the woman who cannot get insurance coverage because she is diabetic and has a pre-existing condition, to the one in nine children in America without heath care, to the millions of middle class American citizens who skip necessary treatments because they cannot afford it, it is for them that we desperately need to pass a health care bill that will ensure that all Americans are covered and have access to affordable care.”

U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fort Myers: “Where was President Obama’s call for fiscal responsibility last year when the Democrats in Congress and the administration pursued a relentless increase in government spending that only compounded the nation’s debt problems? If President Obama wants to get serious about the federal deficit, he can start by cutting spending – and then freezing it.”

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar: “Across the nation, millions of Americans are unemployed and millions more are struggling to make ends meet, including in my own district in South Florida and the Treasure Coast.  The American people need more than eloquent words right now, they need real jobs.  Congress must take bold action to get Americans back to work."

U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Miami: "Floridians are hearing about the economic recovery, but they are not seeing it - and that will be the truest success measure of President Obama's State of the Union address. Tonight President Obama made clear that his focus is my focus; helping middle class Floridians regain their economic security, and encouraging small businesses that make up the backbone of Florida's economy to thrive once again."

Gov. Charlie Crist: "While the president has always been able to give a good speech, what our country needs right now are the right ideas put into action. It is time for President Obama and Democratic leaders to change course, commit to true bipartisanship and set forth policies that are in line with the will of the American people. I look forward to seeing the president tomorrow to tell him myself the direction I believe our country should move toward, not just in talk but in action."

U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Bartow: “I welcome the president back to the negotiating table. I hope he is sincere. The American people need us to work together. The American people need a budget that recognizes we cannot borrow our way into prosperity.  The American people need us to implement solutions for our economy and that utilize the strengths of America – our ability to innovate and succeed – instead of policies that create additional burdens and bureaucracies.” 

U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio: "The President also struck a curiously partisan tone while lecturing others about the evils of partisanship. He certainly didn’t move away from liberalism or to the center."

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor: “Tonight President Obama outlined a welcomed, although small step toward fiscal responsibility. Unfortunately, I fear that freezing 1/6 of the federal budget after a year of enormous spending increases which have already set us on a course to double the size of the $12 trillion national debt is little more than a political ploy.

U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Rockledge: "One way to keep America competitive in the world is by maintaining America ’s leadership in space and I’m disappointed that the President has not stepped up to provide the necessary leadership to close the space gap. It’s important to preserve our edge in science and technology; national security and an overall higher standard of living."

U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, D-New Smyrna Beach: "We must redouble our efforts to create jobs and promote fiscal responsibility. Though the President's speech was a step in the right direction, with a call for tax relief to help small businesses hire new workers, investments in clean energy jobs, and the creation of a bipartisan debt commission, it remains to be seen whether or not he can overcome the partisan bickering and special interests that stand in the way.”

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston: “Tonight, the President made it clear that he’ll continue to fight for South Florida’s families as we struggle to recover from an economic crisis that he inherited,” said Rep. Wasserman Schultz.  “Tomorrow I will travel with President Obama to Tampa to announce the nation’s first high-speed rail project, and it will be built right here in Florida.  The 23,000 jobs created with the new high-speed rail is just one more example of how President Obama and the Democrats in Congress are working to create jobs and invest in the future of America.”

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:16pm]


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