republican response

State of the Union Live-Blog

Doug Mataconis, Brett Bittner, Mike Hassinger, Tom Knighton and Jason Pye will be live-blogging President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address and the Republican response given by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). We’ll kick things off around 8:30pm (EST).

Our friends at the Cato Institute are also live-blogging this evening.

You can full text of President Obama’s prepared speech here. Excerpts from Rep. Ryan’s speech are available here.

Welcome Instapundit readers!

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers to deliver GOP response to State of the Union

Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) will deliver the official Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, congressional party leaders announced yesterday.

“Cathy McMorris Rodgers is proof that with humility, hard work, and dedication, you can overcome any obstacle – a story to which many Americans can relate,” said Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) in a statement announcing the five-term Washington Republican as the party’s choice to deliver its response.

“Through the lens of her family’s experiences, Cathy will share our vision for a better America built on a thriving middle class, guided by a fierce belief in life and liberty, and grounded in greater trust between citizens and their government,” he said. “We are grateful to Cathy for lending her voice and perspective to this national occasion.”

Though not a nationally known figure, McMorris Rodgers currently serves as chair of the House Republican Conference, an important leadership post responsible for the party’s messaging to the public. She will be the first Republican woman to deliver the official State of the Union response on her own.

McMorris Rodgers made news in November when she became first member to give birth three times while in office. She also co-founded the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus. Her first child, Cole, has the genetic disorder.

“I am honored to speak with Americans in every corner of the country on Tuesday and to share our Republican vision for a better future,” said McMorris Rodgers, “one that trusts the American people and doesn’t limit where you finish because of where you started.”

Marco Rubio’s underwhelming response to the State of the Union

Marco Rubio delivers the GOP response

You’ve no doubt heard about Sen. Marco Rubio’s stopping his speech for a few seconds to take a couple swigs of water — now known as “Rubio-ing,” because what the world needs is yet another meme. However, the substance of Sen. Rubio’s speech, in which he tried to present a distinction between the Republican Party and the vision of President Barack Obama, is vastly more important.

After the pleasantries and offering giving his extraordinary background, Sen. Rubio went right after President Obama’s economic agenda.

“Presidents in both parties – from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan – have known that our free enterprise economy is the source of our middle class prosperity,” Sen. Rubio explained. “But President Obama? He believes it’s the cause of our problems. That the economic downturn happened because our government didn’t tax enough, spend enough and control enough.”

Sen. Rubio added that President Obama’s “solution to virtually every problem we face is for Washington to tax more, borrow more and spend more.”

He went right after the heart of President Obama’s proposed solutions to economic problems facing the country, explaining that more government isn’t going to get Americans ahead nor will it create more opportunities or inspire new ideas.

Mitch Daniels will counter Obama’s State of the Union address

Next Tuesday evening, President Barack Obama will deliver his fourth State of the Union address — and hopefully, his last. While we don’t yet know the themes and issues that Obama will discuss, we got a hint of what is to come in the Republican response as House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels will counter Obama’s address:

In a statement, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) praised Daniels as “a fierce advocate for smaller, less costly and more accountable government” and said that he “has the record to prove it.”

“For making tough choices and keeping his promises, Mitch Daniels is the right choice at the right time to deliver the Republican response to President Obama’s address,” Boehner added.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called Daniels “an eloquent spokesman for limited government” and said that he “knows that President Obama’s three-year experiment in big government has made our economy worse and our future more uncertain, and he knows that Americans want a government that’s simpler, streamlined and secure.”

“He is a forceful advocate of pro-growth policies like fundamental tax reform, regulatory reform and energy security,” McConnell said. “And he is the right choice to explain the challenges we face and to outline a hopeful, common-sense vision for moving America forward by growing the economy, not the national debt.”

Eric Cantor asks why the media is paying attention to Michele Bachmann

With the official Republican response to the State of the Union set to be given by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) wonders why the media is paying attention to Rep. Michele Bachmann, who will give a shadow response through the Tea Party Express:

At his weekly briefing today, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor fielded a question about whether Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-Minn.) Tea Party Express-hosted response to the State of the Union would “muddy” the rest of the Republican response.

“Paul Ryan’s giving the official Republican response,” said Cantor, “and, you know, Michele Bachmann, just as the other 534 members of the House and Senate, [is] going to have opinions as to the State of the Union. And again, this is a process that happens every year, and I look forward to all comments. But it’s Paul Ryan that’s giving the official response.”

The follow-up: Those other 534 members were not going to get their speeches televised that night, with reporters on deck to cover them.

“All right,” said Cantor. “Well, then, maybe I should ask: Why is that the case?”

Admittedly, I’m not a fan of Bachmann. She’s a reactionary that often has problems getting the facts right, talks a lot of about spending, but when it comes to pet projects, she want to change defintions to make those projects not sound bad. Like I said yesterday, this makes the House Republican Conference look divided, which is not a good sign this early on in this new majority.

Video: State of the Union and Republican response

In case you missed it, here is video of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech. I’ll try to have some thoughts about the speech posted later today:

Here is video of the Republican response, given by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell:


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