House Republican leaders on Thursday expressed disappointment with President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address and said his Wednesday night speech did nothing to change their belief that the country is headed in the wrong direction.
Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Obama “doubled down on his job-killing agenda— and that the speech was a sign the president had not listened to the message sent by voters recently in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia.
Boehner stopped short of declaring that the three GOP victories meant voters had begun to overwhelmingly favor Republicans and their message.
“At this point I think what they want to do, they want the job-killing agenda to stop,— Boehner said. “Listen, they are not enamored with us except that right now they are ready to take a chance on us because they’ve seen what the other team can produce.—
Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.), ranking member of the House Rules Committee, offered tepid praise for Obama’s comments about strengthening trade with Panama, Colombia and South Korea but said his speech lacked detail and a plan of action.
“In the past when presidents have talked about these kinds of agreements, they have indicated they are sending them to us and challenging us to pass these agreements so that we can create these jobs,— Dreier said. “Time will tell. I hope very much that he will do that.—
Dreier added that he could not remember a more partisan State of the Union address.
“This is my 30th State of the Union message, and I have got to say I don’t remember one that was more partisan than this one,— he said.
And while each Republican leader took turns criticizing Obama, each professed a willingness to work with Obama and Congressional Democrats to craft bipartisan legislation.
“We want to work with them, but there has been no outreach all year,— Boehner said. “I’m willing to sit down with the president and Democrat leaders to try to address the problems that we have.—
Obama is scheduled to address the House Republicans at their annual retreat in Baltimore on Friday.
But Boehner indicated there were limits to how far future bipartisanship could go before Republicans would need to stand their ground.
“I know who I am, I know what my principles are, I know what the principles of my Members are, and I’m not going to sacrifice my principles just by sitting down and negotiating,— Boehner said. “I’m willing to sit down and work with them.—