Previews of Republican State of the Union responses
January 25th, 2011
05:41 PM ET
3 years ago

Previews of Republican State of the Union responses

(CNN) - Ahead of the Republican responses to the State of the Union Tuesday night, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, who's delivering the official GOP response and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, who's responding to the president from the Tea Party Express headquarters, released excerpts from their prepared remarks.

From Rep. Ryan:

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords: "President Obama just addressed a Congressional chamber filled with many new faces. One face we did not see tonight was that of our friend and colleague, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona. We all miss Gabby and her cheerful spirit; and we are praying for her return to the House Chamber."

Spending: "In one of our first acts in the new majority, House Republicans voted to cut Congress's own budget. And just today, the House voted to restore the spending discipline that Washington sorely needs. The reason is simple. A few years ago, reducing spending was important. Today, it's imperative. Here's why. We face a crushing burden of debt. The debt will soon eclipse our entire economy, and grow to catastrophic levels in the years ahead. On this current path, when my three children – who are now 6, 7, and 8 years old – are raising their own children, the federal government will double in size, and so will the taxes they pay. No economy can sustain such high levels of debt and taxation. The next generation will inherit a stagnant economy and a diminished country. Frankly, it's one of my greatest concerns as a parent – and I know many of you feel the same way."

Budget: "Americans are skeptical of both political parties, and that skepticism is justified – especially when it comes to spending. So hold all of us accountable. In this very room, the House will produce, debate, and advance a budget. Last year – in an unprecedented failure- Congress chose not to pass, or even propose a budget. The spending spree continued unchecked. We owe you a better choice and a different vision. Our forthcoming budget is our obligation to you – to show you how we intend to do things differently, how we will cut spending to get the debt down, help create jobs and prosperity, and reform government programs."

Fiscal challenge ahead: "Our nation is approaching a tipping point. We are at a moment, where if government's growth is left unchecked and unchallenged, America's best century will be considered our past century. This is a future in which we will transform our social safety net into a hammock, which lulls able-bodied people into lives of complacency and dependency. Depending on bureaucracy to foster innovation, competitiveness, and wise consumer choices has never worked – and it won't work now. We need to chart a new course."

"Stimulus": "The facts are clear: Since taking office, President Obama has signed into law spending increases of nearly 25% for domestic government agencies – an 84% increase when you include the failed stimulus. All of this new government spending was sold as 'investment.' Yet after two years, the unemployment rate remains above 9% and government has added over $3 trillion to our debt."

Health Care: "What we already know about the President's health care law is this: Costs are going up, premiums are rising, and millions of people will lose the coverage they currently have. Job creation is being stifled by all of its taxes, penalties, mandates and fees. Businesses and unions from around the country are asking the Obama Administration for waivers from the mandates. Washington should not be in the business of picking winners and losers. The President mentioned the need for regulatory reform to ease the burden on American businesses. We agree – and we think his health care law would be a great place to start. Last week, House Republicans voted for a full repeal of this law, as we pledged to do, and we will work to replace it with fiscally responsible, patient-centered reforms that actually reduce costs and expand coverage."

Debt Limit: "Whether sold as 'stimulus' or repackaged as 'investment,' their actions show they want a federal government that controls too much; taxes too much; and spends too much in order to do too much. And during the last two years, that is exactly what we have gotten – along with record deficits and debt – to the point where the President is now urging Congress to increase the debt limit. We believe the days of business as usual must come to an end. We hold to a couple of simple convictions: Endless borrowing is not a strategy; spending cuts have to come first."

Role of Government: "We believe government's role is both vital and limited – to defend the nation from attack and provide for the common defense … to secure our borders… to protect innocent life… to uphold our laws and Constitutional rights … to ensure domestic tranquility and equal opportunity … and to help provide a safety net for those who cannot provide for themselves. We believe that the government has an important role to create the conditions that promote entrepreneurship, upward mobility, and individual responsibility. We believe, as our founders did, that 'the pursuit of happiness' depends upon individual liberty; and individual liberty requires limited government. Limited government also means effective government. When government takes on too many tasks, it usually doesn't do any of them very well. It's no coincidence that trust in government is at an all-time low now that the size of government is at an all-time high."

Limited Government: "We need to reclaim our American system of limited government, low taxes, reasonable regulations, and sound money, which has blessed us with unprecedented prosperity. And it has done more to help the poor than any other economic system ever designed. That's the real secret to job creation – not borrowing and spending more money in Washington. Limited government and free enterprise have helped make America the greatest nation on earth."

From Rep. Bachmann:

"After the $700 billion bailout, the trillion-dollar stimulus, and the massive budget bill with over 9,000 earmarks that the President signed, many of you implored Washington to please stop spending money we don't have.

But, instead of cutting, we saw an unprecedented explosion of government spending and debt at President Obama's direction; unlike anything we have seen in the history of our country.

For two years President Obama made promises… He claimed that he would find solutions to fix our economy and help create jobs.

Well, here are a few suggestions:

The President could stop the EPA from imposing a job-destroying cap-and-trade system.

The President could agree with House Republicans and commit himself to signing a Balanced Budget Amendment.

The President could also agree to an all-of-the-above energy policy whereby we increase American energy production, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, reduce the price of gas at the pump, and create good-paying jobs in the U.S.

The President could turn back some of the 132 regulations put in place in the last two years that each have an impact of $100-million or more on our economy.

Thanks to all of you, there's reason to hope that real spending cuts are coming. Last November many of you went to the polls and voted out big-spending politicians and you put in their place men and women who have come to Washington with a commitment to follow the Constitution and cut the size of government. And I believe that we are in the early days of a history-making turn here in the House of Representatives.

Last week we voted to repeal ObamaCare, and each day going forward, we must work hard to dismantle the massive government expansion that has happened over the past two years."

– CNN's Dana Bash and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report


Filed under: Michele Bachmann • Paul Ryan • SOTU 2011
soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. Voice of Reason

    This is the same TeaNut farmer who said this country needs a 'second-amendment solution' to a black man in the White House. Wake up America – this is what the Tea Party has brought us. Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, The Koch bros, Marco Rubio, Glenn Beck, et al. Please take a long hard look at where this is leading. Our roads crumble, our bridges are in danger of falling down. We have the most inequitable health care system of ANY industrialized nation, and our life expectantcy is correspondingly low. Rampant deregulation has led to financial collapse that has affected the entire world. Our children cant read and dont understand the most basic scientific principles. The Tea Party would push our nation even further in this same direction. By refusing all taxes, by dumbing down our schools, by deregulating Wall Street.

    Michelle Bachmann voted against regulating Wall Street. She says that global warming is a myth, and that carbon dioxide is 'natural', and therefore cannot be harmful to us, regarless of how much is in the air. She believes that we need a second (armed) revolution – because apparently the 'revolution of ignorance' hasnt been effective enough in driving this country to the brink of obsolesence.

    'nuff said.

    January 25, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  2. blue

    Ryan will say some reasonable things, Bachmann will rave like a lunatic as usual.

    January 25, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  3. GaryB

    I got a chuckle out of this line: ""What we already know about the President's health care law is this: Costs are going up, premiums are rising, and millions of people will lose the coverage they currently have. " Apparently Ryan hasn't had to purchase health insurance in the last decade, as that's been the situation since at least 2001. As a small business owner, the private health insurance system is bleeding me dry, The federal government couldn't do any worse.

    January 25, 2011 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  4. Sees All Evil

    Blah blah blah we are going to take your healthcare right out from under you. blah blah blah we are pandorers of the rich which we want you to support after all theyre rich why should rich people have to pay taxes. blah blah blah

    January 25, 2011 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  5. Terry

    I think I've heard all this before??

    January 25, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  6. keith Allen

    Mrs bacamann, do you have a plain in place for the people that don't have health. Insurance. You people talk big but don't have one you people didn't have or try to give people insurance when bush was president so why are you Republican trying to stop the president from given some of us insurance let's see how you do without Insurance and then maybe you and the Republican might get it other country like Canada have insurance for everyone because they care for their people. So stop blaming our president for trying to help people get insurance

    January 25, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  7. fred

    I am appauled that a great news media like CNN will give a nut-job like Michelle Bachman any time to speak her gutter politics. If she shows up on your coverage tonight you can count me out for watching any more of CNN. Please don't waste our time.

    January 25, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  8. Voice of Reason

    Yay Tea Party! Let's hear it for astroturf and delusions of adequacy!

    January 25, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  9. smitty

    I don't care whar anyones says if it were not for the Gop's we would not be in the situation we are in but I have complete confidence in President Obama so get our Nation back on track. Remember it took 8 years of the Republicans in office to get us in this mess and President Obama can not correct things over night. You go Obama and should these stupid republicans that you can make change. Go OBAMA for another term

    January 25, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  10. bootstomper

    Rep, Bachmann please don't tell us what a patriot you are and that President Obama is not. Take a look at what your fellow republican John McCain said about the leader of the free world. And what is it about really cold places like Alaska and Minn that brings out such warmth?

    January 25, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  11. Big_D

    The GOP will introduce their new cure all plan. They will call it trickledown economics.

    January 25, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  12. Randy, San Francisco

    Bachmann would be more interesting of the two to watch if she did not use a prepared speech. You never know what will come out her mouth when she speaks off the top of her head. She might repeat her belief that the founding fathers ended slavery in the Constitution. She must have not paid attention in her US History classes.

    January 25, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  13. fred

    Please refrain from covering Ms. Bachman's response tonight. I really don't think she has much to offer and why don't we have all the Rightees comment tonight and we can go to bed feeling like we just got the flu...

    January 25, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  14. fred

    thanks for the opportunity. We love Wolfe and the gang . Have a great night. God bless Pres. Obama and our great country....

    January 25, 2011 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  15. LAngel

    I'll change the channel... I'm not interested in whatever Michele Bachmann has to say... She just remind me to Sarah Palin... I don't know which one is worse.

    January 25, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  16. Joan

    Perhaps the two GOP speakers could give us some additional information. How much more money would be in the US coffers if they hadn't spent trillions of dollars on the illegal Iraq war. Also, if they hadn't gone into the Iraq war, they could have probably finished the war in Afghanistan long ago and think of how much would have been saved there. If the President and his administration hadn't taken drastic steps to keep the country from going into a depression, then what might the jobless rate be now? Maybe 15% – 18% or higher? If the country was in a depression what would the stock market be like now? Not getting near 12,000 I'm pretty sure. If the policies of the Republiccan party work so well then why did the economy fail during their reign? Now that the American voters have called their bluff how do they plan to really make the cuts they promised? Just wondering.

    January 25, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  17. Ted

    After President Obama gives his impeccable speeches, the "responders" end up sounding so stupid.
    So why bother?
    Remember Jindal?

    January 25, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  18. BGZ

    Funny how the President hasn't even giving his speech, yet two Republicans already have a response. So it doesn't even matter what he says, the GOP has already said no to his speech. Interesting

    January 25, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  19. P PeGar

    The US Govt by the people, of the people, & for the people should be just that! All foreign aids stopped, all support for the undocumented, illegal, & non-citizen populace curtailed, & jobs are kept within its borders, stop dependence on foreign oil, etc. etc. Keep the people who voted alive & sustained. Take back the dream that made "America the Land of Opportunity!" God save America.

    January 25, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  20. Flexible Atheist

    Representative Michele Bachmann has intimate ties to a Christian rock band in Minnesota which has called for Gay Americans to be killed and targeted for violence. Our Great-grandparents, grandparents and parents sacrificed a lot, sometimes their lives, fighting a war to defeat a politician and spokesperson who engaged in that behavior, Adolph Hitler. By introducing Michele Bachmann as their spokesperson The Tea Party Express has now officially introduced overt fascism into their platform and spit in our forefather’s face.

    January 25, 2011 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  21. Marcus

    Is it unexpected?
    The 'stimulus' failed. (No serious and honest economist agrees with that).
    Let's repeal some (some?) of the regulations put in place the past 2 years. (Yeah, let's take RESPONSABILITY out of the picture, again. Worked so well last time we did that... NOT!)
    No accountability for the GOP's responsability for the consequences of they 'We only say NO to everything that the POTUS comes up with', is it working (in their minds).
    Fiscal responsability (which is good) through the most inefective possible ways.
    Yep, more of the same from the GOP...

    January 25, 2011 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  22. Russ

    Pretty amazing you can respond before you actually hear all of the speech. This whole thing, State of the Union and the responses are like a bunch of robots talking to each other with pre programmed responses. What a waste of the Amercian peoples time. And anyone that would let a crazy headed Palin spin off like Bachmann respond i.e. the Republican or Tea Party needs to have their heads examined.

    January 25, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  23. Christopher Robbins

    After Obama's uplifting State of the Union comments, these speaches will do nothing to improve the widespread view of the GOP and their Tea Party allies as negativity-filled hate groups.

    January 25, 2011 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  24. JusticePrevails

    Republicans keep talking about their children's future as if Democrats do not want to see the same for their own. Quite the contrary, but we cannot progress forward until we fix he problems of today. If we continually look towards the future, while oppressing those of the current, we will never be doing the very thing we set out to do. Republicans–stop with the nonsense.

    January 25, 2011 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  25. Baruch

    Both of these sets of remarks completely miss the boat. The US is spending trillions on war. We have over 400 bases just in Afghanistan! We are squandering our young people on senseless killing and a war that cannot be won. Rep. Ryan said that people are skeptical of both parties and then went on to NOT address the elephant in the room. $1,000,000,000,000.00 That's what a trillion dollars looks like in numbers. What could we do in this country with a trillion dollars; health care for everyone, fund schools, repair roads and bridges, create green technologies to transition us away from fossil fuels, and on and on.

    Yes, we are skeptical of both parties because both parties just keep doing the same thing over and over; catering to the corporations, impoverishing the people, destroying the environment, and lying about it all every day. This is obscene. It is the people in our government who are destroying this country.

    January 25, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
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