Local & state pols react to Obama's SOTU

In what some political pundits were calling the last, best chance to revive his second term in office, President Obama delivered his 5th State of the Union Address to the nation last night. Here's some reaction from our local and state officials:

Bill Nelson - “I’m very frustrated because it’s hard to get anything done in Washington and yet I’m really optimistic because for the first time in years we passed a budget, then we fleshed it out with a big appropriation bill that really helped out a number of parts including NASA. And now we’re about to pass a farm bill that will help save the Florida citrus industry. And so really in the midst of being very frustrated I am optimistic about the future of our country."

Marco Rubio - “President Obama missed an opportunity on several fronts, especially by insisting that Washington keep spending more money than it takes in, keep dictating to entrepreneurs how to run their businesses, and failing to level with the American people about how we can save our retirement programs. We need a real opportunity agenda that helps people seize the enormous potential that the coming years hold.”

Kathy Castor - “I support the President’s Executive Order to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers and urge Congress to take further action this year to raise the minimum wage, which has not been increased for nearly five years.”

Alex Sink - “I appreciate the President’s call for renewed action from a Congress that has too often been paralyzed by partisanship and gridlock. Washington’s frustrating failure to focus on growing our economy for middle class families and helping businesses and entrepreneurs create good paying jobs simply cannot stand. No political party has a monopoly on good ideas, but Republicans and Democrats must come together to focus on tackling the challenges that truly matter for Pinellas families. I have practiced these bipartisan, results-oriented values as a business leader and Florida’s CFO, and it’s these values that I will bring to Congress.”

David Jolly -“Since entering this race on November 7, I have spoken about the importance of a nation that ensures the equality of opportunity for every American. I hope President Obama was being sincere tonight when he talked about creating jobs and opportunity in this country. But his record, particularly on Obamacare, says otherwise. As I talk to families and business owners here in Pinellas County, I hear the frustration individuals are feeling due to rising health insurance premiums and cancelled policies caused by Obamacare, and I learn more and more about companies having to protect jobs for employees by reducing their hours worked to avoid the crippling costs of Obamacare.

“President Obama and Nancy Pelosi got us into this mess, and it’s foolish to think President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and, if elected, Alex Sink would get us out of it. Pinellas County deserves real solutions, not more soaring rhetoric, which is why I am running to represent the people of Congressional District 13.”

Dennis Ross- “We should be striving to raise the status quo, not lower those who are successful. The only way that is realistic is by addressing our problems with market-based solutions that are focused on individuals. Families and small businesses will prosper when we create an environment that allows them to thrive. Unfortunately, the president has limited our choices and ushered in government mandates in many areas of lives — from government control of health care to onerous business regulations, to what light bulbs we use as families."

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