Colorado politicians react to Obama’s State of the Union

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Gov. John Hickenlooper: “There is no greater priority than getting people back to work and making America a magnet for jobs. That will happen only if Congress joins the President in putting aside partisan politics and working together. The President laid out a strong and positive message designed to cut through the gridlock and bickering. He talked about manufacturing, innovation, clean energy and investing in people. These are investments we can all endorse.”

Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia: “The President’s vision for America’s prosperity is based on the belief that an investment in people – all people – drives real economic success.  Here in Colorado, we know that means a strong commitment to strengthening public education and providing access to high-quality skills development for all of our young people.

“We also support the President’s commitment to providing a fair path to legal status through comprehensive immigration reform.  We hope that Sen. Marco Rubio and the Senators who are demonstrating courageous bipartisan leadership on this issue will be successful in addressing America’s need for security, a system for hiring undocumented workers to strengthen our economy, and an opportunity for all students to pursue higher education.”

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colorado: “I’ve been saying for several years that we have to keep a laser-like focus on crafting common-sense policies that encourage the private sector to create jobs. Growing the economy must be our top priority. And the president underlined that over and over again with a series of common-sense and specific plans.”

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora: “In his State of the Union message, President Obama announced his plan to reduce troop levels in Afghanistan by 34,000 by this time next year, and I strongly applaud his efforts to bring our troops home.

“I worry that his plan to spur the economy and to create more jobs will result in more spending and bigger deficits.  If there was a direct relationship between government spending and jobs, the unemployment rate should be next to zero by now.  I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get Americans back to work and to ensure our government begins to live within its means.”

Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma: “Instead of strengthening the middle class through real economic growth, the President’s plan outlined in his State of the Union speech relies on outdated tax and spend economics. The President already got a massive tax increase, but he still wants to tax more, spend more and rely on government growth instead of private sector innovation.

“Strengthening the spirit of America doesn’t mean more bureaucracy. It means economic health and growth through small business, not big government. It means a country where people’s hard work allows them to move up and achieve their dream. We are not a nation that government made – we are a nation who’s people make a good government. I will fight for the people who will be hurt most by President Obama’s policies: the poor, middle class and hard working Americans who just want a good life for their families.”

“President Obama tonight delivered the speech of a seasoned leader with a strong vision of a better America for all our families. The President laid out a clear path to continue our economic recovery in the short-term and to build lasting economic strength for our nation. He drew on proven solutions like encouraging and rewarding the kind of innovation that creates jobs, while also advocating for the fiscal discipline that makes for a smarter government.

 Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver: “In Colorado, we know first-hand the economic value of smart investments in research and science to create jobs and even build entirely new industries. That is why I know my fellow Coloradoans applaud President Obama’s ideas to encourage clean energy technology development that increases our global competitiveness, while securing our environment for our children’s future.

“While the most immediate challenges we face are economic in nature, the President tonight also spoke to the societal challenges that touch families all across this great nation. As a country, one of our greatest shared values is that everyone who works hard should have a chance to get ahead. That is why the President’s call for common-sense immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship and keeps families together was met with bipartisan support throughout the Chamber.

“But perhaps the most moving and indeed memorable movement of President Obama’s address was when he called on Congress to vote on the common-sense gun violence prevention measures introduced since the massacre at Sandy Hook. The President’s passion and commitment to keeping killing machines out of the hands of disturbed individuals paid tribute to the lives of the victims of gun violence there in the Chamber with us tonight. I was proud to have joined with Rep. Ed Perlmutter to bring the loved ones of A.J. Boik, killed in the Aurora shootings last summer, to tonight’s address so they could hear their President’s commitment to ensure their tragic loss would not be in vain.

“Whether getting our nation’s fiscal house in order or keeping our children safe from gun violence, our nation craves bipartisan solutions from their government. We deserve better than the intransigence and brinksmanship that have marked the last few years in Washington. I share President Obama’s repeated call tonight to set aside partisan politics and work for the good of all Americans; and I believe it can be done.”

Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Golden: “The President is right — through innovation, education and cooperation, our country will continue on the road to economic recovery and stability. But we can’t cut our way to prosperity — we have to work together in a bipartisan way to cut waste, not jobs.

“We can’t continue the partisan politics of kicking the can down the road and bringing the country to the brink of shutting down.  We need to act now to avoid the harshest penalties of the sequester which could go into effect in March and jeopardize thousands of jobs in Colorado as well as our national security.

“The hardworking people in the middle are the true engines of our economic prosperity.  We want a country where American ingenuity is the envy of the world, and investments in education, infrastructure, and new industries are the future we build together. Tonight, the President laid out a responsible plan to fuel our future, secure our energy independence and build on America’s path toward economic stability and prosperity.”

Colorado GOP Chairman Ryan Call: “President Obama once again demonstrated that his values and priorities are not in sync with those of hardworking Americans.

“On the campaign trail, President Obama preached fiscal responsibility and lectured about the need to make tough choices. However, as our national debt skyrockets to $16.5 trillion, his State of the Union failed to lay out a serious plan to implement a balanced budget, it is clear that those were just empty words.

“With so many broken promises still left over from his last term, Colorado voters are right to be skeptical that the President actually intends to deliver on his promises this time around. As in years past, Coloradans are right to believe he’ll soon forget about his commitment to improve the economy and tackle meaningful spending reform, and will instead get back to his favorite pastimes: raising taxes, imposing burdensome and unconstitutional regulations, and fleecing American job creators.

“The American people are resilient, and will succeed in spite of this President’s policies. But American’s deserve more from their President than a new series of promises he has no intention of keeping. This President must stop blaming others and start leading.  He, along with Senate Democrats, must stop shirking their duties and pass a responsible budget, as House Republicans have done time after time. And it must be a budget that doesn’t simply stick future generations of Colorado families and their children with the bill, but deals with our fiscal problems in an honest and courageous way today.”

Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio: “We have tremendous challenges facing the country, but there are also great opportunities to seize—if we are willing to work together and grab them. While there is often disagreement on the best way forward, President Obama laid out a clear and sensible plan for the nation. But while we may disagree, disagreement does not justify inaction. Both sides must come together and take action on behalf of the millions of parents, students, soldiers, and retirees who are counting on Washington to work for us all.”

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