Video by Gideon Resnick and Catherine Reid
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s fourth State of the Union address elicited strong opinions on both sides of the aisle.
In laying out his agenda for his second term, Obama said he wanted improvements in the nation’s roads and bridges, comprehensive immigration reform, improvements in education and incentives for industrial growth, all without adding to the federal deficit.
A sampling of opinions from Statuary Hall, outside the House chamber, and on Twitter just after the speech:
“Our goal shouldn’t be to raise the minimum wage — it should be to get people off it. President Obama is still stuck in the debates of six years ago. … He goes out of his way to divide the country.” — Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas
@BarackObama says “we can’t just cut our way to prosperity.” It may be true, but how does he know? He’s never cut anything.” – Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, via Twitter
Disappointed but not surprised by the President’s failure to seriously address the issue of 60,000 dead in #Syria. #SOTU – Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, via Twitter
“The raise on minimum wage [that Obama mentioned in his address] is long overdue. Just remember that the minimum wage increased 41 percent under President George W. Bush.” — Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill.
“The emphasis on the economy I thought was exactly what we needed. What was different about this speech was the focus on gun violence. That was a very spurring call to action, and he put the victims at the center.” — Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.
“The State of the Union address is hard because it has to touch on a broad range of topics, and I think President Obama did that very well, in mentioning industry, the economy, immigration and education. … He highlighted in particular where federal investment can make a big difference.” — Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del.
“As fast as we can get away [from military involvement in Afghanistan], the better off we’ll be. We can focus on investing in manufacturing and our own borders.” — Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill.