Roll Call: GOP Leaders Hope Obama Follows Through on Promises

Posted on January 27, 2010

Senate GOP leaders wasted no time attacking President Barack Obama following his State of the Union speech, accusing him of being long on style but short on substance.

“President Obama’s State of the Union address was like many of his other speeches — it was clearly well delivered and certainly he has a gift,” National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (R-Texas) said. “But I was a little disappointed because the problem the President has is not a communications problem — he really has a credibility problem.

“He’s made a bunch of promises over this last year, including one tonight that I liked about more tax relief. But we’ve all heard these promises before, and he simply hasn’t delivered.”

Other Republicans, while not as openly hostile to Obama, nevertheless attacked the president’s record over the past year and called on him to refocus his efforts, particularly on the economy and national security.

“The President talked about jobs tonight. This is a welcome change in focus after the President and his administration spent nearly an entire year pursuing a partisan health care plan that would have spent trillions of dollars we don’t have rather than on a plan for getting Americans back to work,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said.

McConnell said he is “hopeful the administration’s new focus on the economy will lead it to say no to more spending and debt, more bailouts, and more government,” adding that he was happy to see Obama committed to trying to trim the deficit.

“The President’s words about the importance of deficit reduction are timely. The times require that we build upon these modest proposals. Americans are concerned about what kind of country we will leave to our children,” McConnell said.

Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) said he hopes Obama’s State of the Union represents a shift in the administration’s priorities.

“My hope is that the president now will focus on jobs, debt, and terror. And it would suit me fine if he would stop right there until he has all three headed in the right direction. On jobs, that means lower taxes instead of higher taxes, cheap energy instead of a national energy tax, reducing health care costs instead of increasing them, and ending TARP instead of spending TARP. And it means getting the government out of the automobile business. All of that would create an environment in which Americans could create more jobs,” Alexander said.