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State of the Union: Wicker: It Wasn’t a Speech I Was in Love With, Thompson: Theme Was the Middle Class

WASHINGTON, D.C.–A State of the Union speech that thrilled some Democrats, but didn’t please too many Republicans had Mississippi’s Republican Congressional delegation calling it “same old speech, different day” and Mississippi’s lone Democrat in DC echoing the president’s call for Congress to work together.

“Tonight, President Obama spoke to the American people, but the theme of tonight’s message was the middle class. His proposals around paycheck fairness, raising the minimum wage and innovation in education and research are views shared by House Democrats,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-2nd District) in a statement Tweeted out after the speech.

“I applaud the President’s efforts to strengthen our middle class and continue the longest stretch of job creation since the 1990s. I look forward to supporting legislation that will boost our economy and make timely investments to Mississippians and Americans.

“I urge my colleagues to work together and leave the partisan gaming in 2014. I will continue to work with our President to promote investment in our education system, to create more jobs and to provide Mississippians and Americans with the physical and financial security they deserve. We must continue to move forward with effective solutions for the American people.”

For Sen. Roger Wicker, what Pres. Obama talked about in the speech didn’t hold much promise.

Wicker said he was pleased with a couple of points in the speech. He told News Mississippi he was at least excited that the president talked about having manned space missions again, which would affect Mississippi’s Stennis Space Center.

“Anything that is blasted off from the United States, anything that NASA lifts into space must first be tested at the Stennis Space Center. A lot of people don’t appreciate that it is Mississippi’s ag-business economy that really benefits from expanded trade. We sell a lot of our ag products overseas. I’d be happy to work with the administration on that.”

But most of the speech disappointed him.

“The President had an opportunity to outline ways in which he could join forces with the new Republican majority in Congress. The voters have given us this divided government and given us an opportunity to work together. Instead, the President delivered more of the same types of themes from years past – bigger government, higher taxes, and more spending. I think he is bound to realize that those are nonstarters with this new Republican majority.

“The President has only two years left in office. Rather than catering to the special interests of the far left, I was hoping the President would choose to use these next two years to work with Republicans to strengthen our economy, to create jobs for Americans.

“Americans made it clear in November that they are tired of business as usual in Washington. We have divided government; clearly it is going to take both political parties to produce results and to produce a lasting recovery.  I would challenge anyone who says we are in a very real recovery, because I think it is weak. Job creation is weak, labor participation rate is very, very low, and job increases are barely keeping up with inflation. So, we need a real recovery.”

This statement came from Mississippi’s senior senator, Thad Cochran (R):

“The President has shared his priorities, but now it is time for him to work with the new Congress on solutions to the challenges facing our nation at home and abroad.  An improving national economy is good news, but it is not the result of the executive orders, new regulations or government mandates dispensed by the Obama administration over the past six years of slow growth.  I am ready to work with my colleagues and the administration to protect our national security interests and improve economic opportunities for families in Mississippi and around the country.”

Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-4th District) said the speech was full of tired rhetoric.

“We can always count on this president to deliver a well-executed speech full of rhetoric.  What we can’t count on,is his ability to follow through and provide real solutions for the American people.  What I heard tonight was more of the same.  Six years in and the president still doesn’t get it.

It’s time for the political games to stop and our nation’s top priorities to be taken seriously.   We need to lighten the load on hard-working Americans, not further burden them with MORE taxes.  We need to enforce the laws on the books and secure our borders, not offer hand-outs to individuals who are in our country illegally. When is this president going to stand up for the American people for a change?  His proposals are going nowhere in Congress until he starts putting Americans and America first.”

The top trending topic on Twitter from the speech was free community college for students who keep their grades up.

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