Previews of Republican State of the Union responses
January 25th, 2011
05:41 PM ET
4 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. Constitutionalist_Patriot

    Sounds pretty good considering it's coming from GOP establishment. The thing is they have to do more than these token spending cuts. The president and his party simply plan to continue full throttle off the cliff, so the GOP has a chance and they better not screw it up unless they want to lose power for good next time. Ron Paul has a real plan that would make the necessary cuts and still ensure we keep our obligations to those who have become dependent on government theft from others to live. I don't see a plan like that from anyone else and I honestly believe noone else is serious about this disaster like him. It's probably all rhetoric and at the end of the day they won't listen to Paul and we are all in big trouble.

    January 25, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  2. Nick , California

    Yeah.. the conservatives are working hard to create jobs... abortion?... repealing a law.. not amending, but repealing healthcare that will provide coverage to over 30 MILLION? Yet repealing will cost some 230 billion.. but oh wait they exempted the repeal from the new rules that force them to not add to the deficit! Sounds like job creation to me! Still no specifics..

    "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."

    Yeah ok messiah.. and we will all sing around the campfire and hold hands! Get real and show me the numbers.. the clock has been ticking and you are costing US money!

    January 25, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  3. jphilly08

    I agree that there is a financial crisis here in america. But there is nothing any of us can do about it. Reps and dems are all guilty. We all are guilty. The fact is that capitalistic greed is what drives our debt. wealthy people and corporations wants to continue to transfer wealth from the poor masses into their private bank accounts. that is not going to change unit our economy is crippled and our nation is bankrupt. these elitists don't not care one bit about our country and will be the first ones to abandon ship when America gets it's forclosure notice from China and it's other debtors. The race is on to suck america dry as quickly as possible before that day comes.

    January 25, 2011 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  4. johnrj08

    Tonight, Michele Bachmann will state that the Founding Fathers eliminated slavery. In other words, she will say that neither George Washington, nor Thomas Jefferson owned any slaves and that there was no slavery at the time of the Civil War. Michele Bachmann has no officially replaced Sarah Palin as the most ignorant politician in this country's history.

    January 25, 2011 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  5. Jay

    Would they promise the future by committing to Science & education? Or would they oppose it just because President proposed those?

    January 25, 2011 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  6. smc

    Of course we wouldn't be in this budget/fiscal mess if Republicans/Bush hadn't added $6+ trillion to the debt in unfunded wars and unfunded mandates like Medicare Part D – more than doubling the unemployment rate in the process, all while Bush cut investment in US education along with science and engineering research. At least Obama's "spending spree" was on investments in this country that will pay for themselves in the long run. Money Republicans wasted on wars and big pharma entitlements is gone forever.

    January 25, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  7. keithc

    Rep. Bachmann, isn't 2 years a bit on the short side in expectation of overcoming the costs of 8 years of two wars and years of financial disaster before the economy crumbled in 2008?

    January 25, 2011 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  8. Joe

    The GOP will say what it always says: that Obama is wrong no matter what. Even when he's right, he's wrong. If he says the sky is blue, then it is almost certainly not blue. This isn't constructive criticism or reasonable dissent, this is "power at all costs" politics, even if that cost is the destruction of the country.

    January 25, 2011 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  9. jason

    If any politicians happen to read this, talk is cheap, and I am tired of listening to b.s. promises. Do something about the pathetic state of this country, "the most powerful nation in the world".

    January 25, 2011 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  10. Donna

    Michele Bachmanne worries so much about our children and grandchildrens future , why didnt those stupied republicans do something about the problem in the years they were busy living it up, and enjoying their lives on our expense? hippocrits they all are !! now they want to destroy healthcare for the americans they like to keep poor ! THEY LIKE TO TALK THE TALK, BUT DONT WALK THE WALK !! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    January 25, 2011 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  11. Matt

    Nothing will change but the heads doing the talking. Republican, Democrat, or Tea party we will still be talking about the same issues ten, twenty years from now. Our Government is a joke no matter who is running the show.

    January 25, 2011 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  12. durhamduck

    If publishing responses to a yet-to-be-heard SOTU speech doesn't indicate partisanship as usual I don't know what does. So much for keeping an open mind...

    January 25, 2011 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  13. Randy Johnson

    'Previews of Republican Resonses' – excuse me, but what strikes you wrong with that title. In my world of – well... supposed common sense, if I am going to give a reponse to something I usually have to hear what has been said. Therefore, how can you already have a response? Well – its easy when you are a Republican obviously. The Republican party kind of reminds me of the good old Austin Powers movie where Dr. Evil says "zip it" and "here is a pre emptive shhh just so I got a whole bag of shhh" (with Obama's name on it). My guess is that if Obama was actually Jesus and performed some miracles tonight the Republican Party wouldn't notice because they were practising their 'reponses'..

    January 25, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  14. mike_SD

    Same drivel we always here from republicans. Let's read between the lines for Bachman, less government (when it comes to the EPA) individual liberty (as long as it's not liberty in your individual uterus) When it comes to Uteri, apparently more government intrusion is ok. Decrease spending (on social programs but not defense spending). Energy policy which means drilling in ANWAR but never means conservation or alternative energy. Of course we must dismantle healthcare while providing no changes to the current broken system. Yup.. same old from the same old gop

    January 25, 2011 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  15. giff

    Funny how no one is asking, "How did we get into this 'Crushing Burden of Debt'?"

    January 25, 2011 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  16. Red-vs-Blue

    Well let's see if they will revert back to the childish behavior.... I'm not holding my breath.

    January 25, 2011 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  17. DB Lovett

    The GOP will disagree with everything. They're the G "NO" Party.

    January 25, 2011 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  18. B

    Why does the Tea Party think it deserves a rebuttal to the State of the Union? It doesn't. You don't see the Green Party or other Independents thinking they're so important. The Tea Partiers are just out for attention. A bunch of over-the-hill upper-middle-class white people that think that they run the world and what they want ought to be law. In reality, they're all just upset that they're completely out of touch with reality, foreign policy and environmental policy, let alone everything else they've got wrong.

    January 25, 2011 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    I am a little confused, why do we have the republican and the tea party giving rebuttal statements? I thought they stood for the same ideals? Is this what we are to expect from now on? A divided house and not a unified front is bound to fall.

    January 25, 2011 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  20. XWngLady

    WTH.... "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.""....huh!!! Yeah, Ryan, tell that to the millions of hard working Americans laid off through no fault of their own by trigger happy companies trying to maintain their profit margins during the recession, who are having a difficult time finding jobs because those same companies that are now doing well, are not hiring because they've figured out how to get the same amount of work with less employees. Ryan, like the rest of the Republicans have drunk Rush Limbaugh's kool-aid and believed the "all Democrats are a bunch of lazy bums that don't work and just want Republicans to pay everything" lie. Ryan's statement is code for that lie aimed at the rabid tea-partiers who foam at the mouth whenever they hear this as if their little two cents that they pay in taxes could pay for anything on its own. Ryan, like most other Republicans is just clueless!

    January 25, 2011 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  21. T.

    Well put,I'm just wondeing how a response has already been drafted, if there hasn't been anything said to respond to yet. The president could very well state all of the above in his upcoming speech so why not wait and see if he adresses it?

    January 25, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  22. The Real Tom Paine

    When these idiots agree to close EVERY loophole in the tax code, when these idiots agree to stop allowing multi-billion dollar corporations to file as either small businesses or individuals, when they agree that the average person is just as important as a member of the Koch family, then they can talk. Allowing these individual and entities to claim some priviliged status based on personal wealth that they accumulated at teh expense of the health and safety of hard-working American is a crime. The GOP knows this, yet they cater to them like girls at the Bunny Ranch induldging a John. Paul Ryan can talk all he wants, but wants to have a government based solely on defense, something the Founding Fathers like Jefferson and Madison would have been very uneasy with. If Bachman is so intent on extolling the virtues of private enterprise, let her quit Congress and renounce her pension and her healthcare for life and see how she can make it in the economy that is still recovering from the gross mismanagement the GOP inflicted on it. Returning us to 2006 spending levels does not cure the systemic problems our economy is facing, problems that grew out of wilfull neglect.

    January 25, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  23. Carl, Secaucus, NJ

    "Limited government also means effective government. When government takes on too many tasks, it usually doesn't do any of them very well." That's actually a smart point...and hopefully Rep. Ryan would acknowledge this bloating includes areas of government favored by conservatives, such as defense. In other words, it's indeed the job of the government to defend the country, but that doesn't mean all the defense spending really serves that purpose. Let's not forget the three departments which provide the most government jobs aren't Education, Health and Human Services and Housing and Urban Development–they're Defense, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security.

    January 25, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  24. paul

    Isn't is funny when the Republicans criticize the stimulus yet many were the first to use the stimulus money to balance their state budgets and to show up at all the ribbon cutting ceremonies saying, "Look what I have done for you". The R's promised to focus on jobs, jobs, and jobs if elected; yet, they haven't done one thing to promote jobs. The R's sure promise a lot of things before the elections and then................nothing!!!!!!!

    January 25, 2011 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  25. guy from NM

    Bachmann and Ryan the best the Repugnants have to offer are the future enemies of the people

    January 25, 2011 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
1 2 3 4