Democratic Governors Respond to President Obama's State of the Union Address
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin
“In his State of the Union address tonight, President Obama laid out a bold, comprehensive plan to continue creating jobs and expanding opportunity for middle-class Americans. By taking a balanced approach to reducing our deficits, promoting innovation through smart investments in clean energy and manufacturing, rebuilding our infrastructure and improving education, the President’s plan will reignite economic growth and expand prosperity to all those willing to work hard for it.
“That’s exactly what Democratic governors are doing every day in states across the country – and it’s producing real results. Unfortunately, like too many Republican governors, congressional Republicans remain wedded to the same failed policies that created the economic crisis in the first place: tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans paid for by the middle class and deep cuts to critical investments that we know will grow our economy. In November, voters roundly rejected those very policies, and it’s well past time for Republicans to put ideology aside and work across the aisle to create jobs and strengthen the middle class.”
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley
“The President made a persuasive case tonight for why we must begin to make better choices as a nation. Progress is a choice. Job creation is a choice. And whether we give our children a future of more or a future of less, this too is a choice.
“The better choices the President laid out will achieve better results. They’re choices that prioritize the safety of our streets, schools, and places of worship. They’re choices to implement forward-looking policies to address the consequences of climate disruption and bring some thoughtfulness to our immigration system. And they’re choices based on the sound fiscal policy of a balanced approach, where eliminating government waste and cutting spending responsibly are paired with investments in core priorities like promoting innovation, improving our schools, and rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure.
“We know this balanced approach works because it’s what we’ve done in Maryland over the last six years. And, even in the toughest of times, we’ve seen the results: a stronger middle class and a stronger Maryland. Maryland is #1 in education five years in a row, #1 in holding down the cost of college, #1 in innovation and entrepreneurship, #1 in research and development, and #1 in median family income.
“It’s time for Congress to do its part and work with President Obama to make these better choices. Only with their help can we truly build a stronger middle class and stronger America.”
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber
“The President delivered a compelling vision for America and a comprehensive plan to grow the middle class. I am proud to be a part of it, and Oregon stands ready to do our part. Our partnership with the administration on health care and education innovations offers a model for federal flexibility and local accountability that can help lead the way to a more prosperous future.”
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton
“Tonight President Obama presented an excellent plan to expand our nation’s economy and strengthen the middle class. The addition of over 6 million jobs in America during the past 35 months shows he has put us back on the right track. His proposed new investments in clean energy, education, and worker training are crucial for the creation of more, good-paying jobs in Minnesota and across our country. I applaud The President for his strong leadership and for his proposals, which will lead our country to even greater prosperity.”
Colorado 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.”
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn
“President Obama laid out an inspiring agenda that will make America a magnet for jobs and drive economic growth for the next generation.
“As the President made clear tonight, cuts alone will not bring us to prosperity. We must reduce our deficit by taking a balanced approach that includes both reforms and closing loopholes. And making crucial investments in areas like education, infrastructure and manufacturing will pay dividends in the future, creating more jobs and growing the middle class.
“Illinois stands ready to do our part. As the President called for manufacturing hubs across the nation, we are already on our way to making the Illinois Manufacturing Lab a reality.
Last week in my State of the State address, I announced a partnership with the University of Illinois and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications to create an advanced manufacturing hub where companies come to learn and access the world’s most sophisticated tools and software.
“We can all agree that hard work should lead to a decent living. A strong middle class will lift up our entire country. I urge the members of the United States Congress to put politics aside and join the President in doing the hard work that’s necessary to strengthen our economy.”
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick
“Tonight the President proposed a plan to grow jobs and opportunity, a plan that history has proven will work. We have seen here in Massachusetts and across the country that when you invest in public infrastructure and education you create jobs, strengthen the middle class, and build a better future. I am excited to work with the President to advance his growth agenda, and call on the Congress and the American public to join me in that commitment.”
Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy
“In his State of the Union address tonight, President Obama built upon the themes of his Inaugural Address and proposed a plan to accelerate job creation, promote long-term economic growth and grow the middle class.
“This plan is rooted in our values: that if you work hard and play by the rules, you should make it in America.
“His speech was also a powerful call to action against gun violence. The green and white ribbons that have come to signify the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School have now, for some, become a call to action. We have a responsibility to our children to take common sense steps now to prevent gun violence.
“At the start of the President’s second term and the start of a new Congress, a fresh opportunity exists for our federal lawmakers to meet head-on our nation’s challenges and set aside rigid ideology and political brinkmanship. I commend the President for his economic plan and for championing issues that matter to the citizens of Connecticut.”
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell
“President Obama outlined his vision for creating jobs and growing the middle class in a State of the Union Address that focused on expanding economic opportunity and improving education”, Governor Markell said shortly after the speech.
“The Presidents focus on making our country a magnet for job creation and ensuring Americans are equipped with the skills they need to do those jobs shows his commitment to the continued growth and prosperity of this nation”, Governor Markell said.
Many of the proposals outlined during the Presidents remarks mirror those shared by the Governor during his State of the State Address last month, including efforts to strengthen our schools, invest in high quality pre-school education, improve energy efficiency, and reduce gun violence.
The world we now live in is more global, more productive, more competitive. It is a new world of unprecedented opportunities to create new partnerships, to sell to new customers, to innovate and collaborate in ways previously unimaginable. The President recognizes that the best way we can compete in an ever-evolving, global economy is by making smart investments in our workforce and creating opportunities to expand the number of available jobs in our country.
The topic of education, from early education to college, was a significant component of the Presidents remarks, and one that Governor Markell believes is key to future economic growth.
“The President understands that education has never been more important when it comes to finding a job and expanding opportunities for every American, and that’s why in Delaware we are holding our students to higher academic standards and surrounding them with quality educators who inspire, motivate and challenge them,” Governor Markell said. “Delaware has been leading in an effort that the President committed to tonight by working to provide more children access to quality-rated early education programs. I look forward to seeing the President’s early childhood proposal and how it can build on the great start we have on giving our kids a good start in life.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
“President Obama put forward a bold, comprehensive agenda in his 2013 State of the Union Address that continues to rebuild our nation’s economy and strengthens the middle class.
“The vision President Obama presented tonight is one we embrace here in New York. The President laid out an agenda for a vibrant American future, where we work together to bring jobs back from overseas, train our young people to have the skills they need to succeed in the workforce, and ensure those who work long and hard hours can provide for their families. The President from his first day in office has sought to reform our education system to benefit our students, and the vision he put forward tonight continues this effort by calling for all our children to have access to high quality preschool education. I commend his proposal to raise the federal minimum wage, in recognition that the current rate is not enough to earn a living.
“Since the President delivered his 2012 State of the Union Address just twelve months ago, our nation has felt more than in any year before the tragic consequences of gun violence, from the senseless shooting in Aurora, Colorado, the evil massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, to the murder of two of our first responders in Webster. The President is right to say that action must be taken. The vast majority of Americans believe in sensible gun safety laws, and I commend the President for outlining a series of reasonable measures to reduce gun violence in our nation.