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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida reaction to President Obama's State of the Union

President Obama delivering the State of the Union

The Associated Press

President Obama delivering the State of the Union



Florida reaction to President Obama's State of the Union:

Sen. Bill Nelson (D)

“It’s frustrating when partisanship prevents the Congress from getting things done. And it’s pretty clear that Americans are fed up with our inability to enact common-sense reforms. While we were able to get a few things passed back in December, there’s still a lot that we need to accomplish. And I will continue to do everything that I can to try to bring people together in a bipartisan way to get things done.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R)

"This president has been the single most divisive political figure this country has had over the last decade. This is a president that has deliberately pitted Americans against each other time and again. Now if he had given that speech in his second year in office, his third year in office, his fourth year in office on some of those things he said tonight, it would have been a lot more useful. But this is a person that has gone around for seven years telling people that Republicans don't care about those that are less fortunate, even accusing some of not caring about those that are disabled or the elderly, etc. He has used all sorts of attacks against Republicans and against the critics of his agenda. Now, tonight he comes out with language of reconciliation. In many ways, it's too late, because he has bitterly divided this country and he has done so for political gain."

Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Miami:

"After hearing President Obama’s final State of the Union Address, it is abundantly clear that our leaders must search for common ground now more than ever. To elicit positive change in our communities, both parties must work together to craft solutions. We have already seen willingness to come together and pass laws that will address such issues as revitalizing our nation’s transportation & infrastructure networks and reforming our education policy to strengthen America's schools. I’ve made both of these issues high priorities during my first year in Congress, and we’ve made real changes to benefit South Florida. The need to mitigate the effects of climate change, a matter of vast concern to the families of our state and coastal communities across the country, is another urgent problem that I will continue to find common ground with the President and Congress. I appreciate the President's emphasis on this issue."

Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa

“I am pleased that the President struck a clear alternative, optimistic tone on the big things that will guarantee an even stronger, better, more prosperous America for our kids. This is a stark contrast to the sour, ominous and gloomy themes dominating the presidential primary contests so far. The President voiced an optimism that America is great and will stay great -- an optimism brought about by his confidence in the American people and the many times we as Americans have banded together to overcome huge and sometimes terrible challenges. As the President said so well, ‘the future we want -- opportunity and security for our families; a rising standard of living and a sustainable, peaceful planet for our kids – all that is within our reach.  But it will only happen if we work together.  It will only happen if we can have rational, constructive debates.’”

Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach

“Countering the noise of negative political rhetoric, the President delivered an optimistic message affirming the greatness of our country,” Frankel said. “He offered a vision of a future that advances people instead of holding them back, keeps our nation secure, and leaves our planet healthy for generations to come.”

Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Ponte Vedra Beach

"The American people have not reaped the benefits of this so-called economic recovery, as workforce participation is anemic and median income is lower than when the President took office.  The deluge of regulations and the burdens of bureaucracy have stifled innovation and capital formation, thereby restraining the economy's growth rate.  ObamaCare, the President's signature piece of legislation, has caused premiums and deductibles to skyrocket and has placed serious strains on the budgets of American families. The bottom line is that the nation needs to see significant policy reforms.  President Obama's speech tonight demonstrates that he is out of touch with the concerns of the American people."

Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland

“For seven long years, President Obama has delivered thousands of empty words in his State of the Union addresses, and tonight was no different, unfortunately. As usual, we were lectured on sidetracked issues in an attempt to distract us from what have been the failed policies of this administration, such as defeating ISIS, ObamaCare, the Iran Nuclear Deal, anti-gun executive overreach, and the refusal to enforce our immigration laws."

Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar:

"More than two thirds of the American public believe that tighter restrictions on firearms are needed.  And yet, Republicans in Congress, beholden to the powerful gun lobby, continue to demonize and obstruct every effort to enact common-sense reform. I do not believe this is what Americans want from their government. I believe that the American people want leaders who choose to engage in dialogue in order to find common ground. This partisan rancor has gone on for far too long."

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston

"It was incredibly important when the President called out politicians who insult Muslims. At one point, the President also said, ‘democracy […] require[s] basic bonds of trust between its citizens.’ Of course, demonizing and lying about Muslims and Muslim-Americans is one flagrant attempt to rip those bonds of trust apart, but the President and Congressional Democrats won’t stand for it. And neither do the vast majority of the American people."

[Last modified: Wednesday, January 13, 2016 11:32am]


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