Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) will focus the official GOP response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Wednesday on jobs and economic issues, and he also will lay out the GOP’s broader philosophical differences with Democrats, according to excerpts of his rebuttal.
McDonnell will argue that the government should look to “promote entrepreneurship and innovation— rather than piling on “more taxation, regulation, and litigation that kill jobs and hurt the middle class.— McDonnell, elected last November in a key battleground state, will also call for cuts to federal spending beyond the three-year non-military spending freeze called for by Obama.
“The amount of this debt is on pace to double in five years, and triple in ten. The federal debt is already over $100,000 per household. This is simply unsustainable. The President’s partial freeze on discretionary spending is a laudable step, but a small one. The circumstances of our time demand that we reconsider and restore the proper, limited role of government at every level.—
McDonnell will find some common ground with the administration during his speech, particularly on education. “The President and I agree on expanding the number of high-quality charter schools, and rewarding teachers for excellent performance. More school choices for parents and students mean more accountability and greater achievement,— McDonnell will say, adding that, “a child’s educational opportunity should be determined by her intellect and work ethic, not by her zip code.—
And while he will praise Obama’s strategy in Afghanistan, he will echo criticisms of Senate Republicans, who are taking Obama to task for his handling of terrorists, saying: “We applaud President Obama’s decision to deploy 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. We agree that victory there is a national security imperative. But we have serious concerns over recent steps the Administration has taken regarding suspected terrorists.—
McDonnell will also use the speech to outline broader philosophical differences between Republicans and Democrats, particularly on the role of government.
“Government must help foster a society in which all our people can use their God-given talents in liberty to pursue the American Dream. Republicans know that government cannot guarantee individual outcomes, but we strongly believe that it must guarantee equality of opportunity for all,— McDonnell will say. “Top-down one-size fits all decision making should not replace the personal choices of free people in a free market, nor undermine the proper role of state and local governments in our system of federalism. As our Founders clearly stated, and we Governors understand, government closest to the people governs best.—