Photo Credit: BlatantWorld.comPresident Obama, clearly emboldened off his reelection win, used his State of the Union address Tuesday night to press for more government spending, challenge Republicans over Medicare and declare that victims of gun violence “deserve a vote” on a sweeping gun control package.
In what was effectively the kick-off address of his second term, Obama largely pressed on with the policies of his first, while adding a roster of wish-list items – including a call to increase the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour, up from $7.25, and pass immigration reform.
The speech was wrapped in the theme of boosting the middle class and jolting what continues to be a tepid economic recovery. “It is our generation’s task … to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth – a rising, thriving middle class,” Obama said.
Still, Republicans saw in his address a president clinging to ideas they have repeatedly rejected, and say do not work.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who was delivering the GOP response, said Obama’s solution “to virtually every problem we face is for Washington to tax more, borrow more and spend more.” More government, he said, will “hold you back.”
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