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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Yarmuth Praises Obama Address for Contrasting Income Inequality

Calling America’s wealth disparity the defining issue of our time, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., praised President Obama’s annual State of the Union as a strong and decisive speech.

The nationally televised address was framed with a call that every American deserves a fair shake and should pay their fair share. Before Mr. Obama’s address, White House aides defined the speech as a defense of the middle-class.

Yarmuth says the president outlined an impressive direction for the country, adding Mr. Obama has improved the economy from the recession he inherited.

“The last two and a half years have seen a dramatic improvement in our economic prospects. When you talk about going from losing 8 million jobs over a period of a year and then subsequently creating 3 million private sector jobs, there’s no question that things have gotten better. The ditch was incredibly deep and we’re slowly crawling out of it,” he says.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Area Lawmakers React to State of the Union Address

Several lawmakers from the region have responded to President Obama’s annual State of the Union address, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who earlier criticized the speech before it was delivered.

The responses follow the official GOP reaction from Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and an unofficial one from U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who both criticized the speech.

From McConnell:

“Tonight, the President delivered a campaign speech designed to please his liberal base. The President told the American people that he has a blueprint for the economy, but what he failed to mention is that we’ve been working off the President’s blueprint for three years. And what’s it gotten us: millions still looking for work, trillions in debt, and the first credit downgrade in U.S. history.

The President also proposed some ideas tonight that could have bipartisan support. If he’s serious about those proposals — if he really wants to enact them — he’ll encourage the Democrats who run the Senate to keep them free from poison pills like tax hikes on job creators that we know from past experience turn bipartisan support into bipartisan opposition.

The President can decide he’s not interested in working with Congress if his party only controls one half of it. That’s his prerogative. He can give up on bipartisanship. But we won’t. Our problems are too urgent. The economy is too weak. The future is too uncertain.

Let the President turn his back on bipartisanship. But we intend to do our jobs. And we invite him to join us.”

Other regional leaders are also adding their thoughts to the president’s address.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Paul Delivers State of the Union Response

Following President Obama’s annual State of the Union address that called for domestic nation-building, job creation and a fair economy, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., delivered his own response.

During the speech, Mr. Obama focused primarily on the economy and reiterated that every citizen must pay their share and play by certain rules to regulate the financial system. The president’s supporters have highlighted his point about boosting the economy and ensuring protections for the middle class.

However, Paul says the president used the national address to blame congressional Republicans for inaction instead of taking responsibility for mistakes made during his tenure.

“One thing is for certain: President Obama is in full campaign mode,” he says. “In last year’s State of the Union Address, President Obama came before Congress with lofty promises to the American people of job creation, a prosperous economy and American innovation. He told Americans that we were going to ‘win the future.’ But now, a year later, his focus has clearly changed from winning the future, to winning re-election.”

Check it out:

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels was selected to give the official GOP reply, but as in year’s past several lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have chimed in with their own version.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

McConnell Preemptively Criticizes Obama Address

Speaking on the Senate floor hours before the State of the Union, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., preemptively slammed President Obama’s annual address, saying he is already disappointed in the speech.

The president is scheduled to deliver the nationally televised speech in the House chamber Tuesday, and several reports have signaled it will focus on the economy. According to White House aides, Mr. Obama is expected to frame the address as a “make or break” moment for the middle-class while covering accomplishments and proposing a number of ambitious proposals for the future.

McConnell says lawmakers welcome the president to the Capitol, but that Mr. Obama is more interested in winning re-election than working with Congress and fixing the economy.

“Based on what the president’s aides have been telling reporters, the goal isn’t to conquer the nation’s problems. It’s to conquer Republicans. The goal isn’t to prevent gridlock, but to guarantee it,” he says.