DENVER (CBS4)– Representatives from Colorado had reaction along party lines to President Obama’s State of the Union address.
Rep. Jared Polis, a Democrat representing Boulder said, “”I think the president knocked it out of the park. He hit on a lot of the important policies. These are critical areas our nation needs to move forward whether you are liberal, conservative, moderate, doesn’t matter.”
Rep. Cory Gardner, a Republican representing Northern Colorado said, “You heard a lot last night about more spending programs, bigger government, a reliance on bureaucracy and so I was disappointed that the president, instead of saying ‘Hey, let’s get government out of the way, let’s reduce regulations, let’s reduce spending’ you heard more from the president on tax and spend economic policies.”
The gun control debate mentioned in the president’s speech seemed to spark reaction that followed party lines.
“I think what the president is asking for is very reasonable which is a straight up or down on these issues. Where do members of Congress stand on universal background checks, where do they stand on the gun show loophole, where do they stand on banning different types of weapons or magazines and we may come out in different places and some of those may win and some of those may lose but how can you argue that we shouldn’t even allow this issue to come before Congress and politicians should be able to continue to hide their positions and not let the American people know where they stand. For elections to matter and for the American people to hold their elected officials accountable, they have to know where they stand. So I agree completely with the president. Let Congress vote and some of these will be voted up and some of these will be voted down,” said Polis.
“I don’t think the House of Representatives will support any gun control measure. I don’t think additional gun control is the right direction for this country. I was disappointed the president didn’t take a tone we can actually agree on. Taking a more common ground approach last night instead of a more divisive tone that he did indeed take. I think we ought to start from those areas that we can work together to reduce the violence in our society and not just gun violence where we can address mental health issues, what we need to do to make sure people in our society don’t fall through the cracks and cause harm to others around us. And so I wish that we would have started from a more common ground standpoint than the president did last night. But again I think you saw the president in pretty much full campaign mode during his speech,” said Gardner.
Polis said he believes the American people agree with the president on many issues.
“We all know our immigration system isn’t working. We have 11 million people here illegally. If we don’t take action then there will probably be 15 million people here illegally in five years. Let’s solve it. Let’s have zero illegal immigrants, we’ll reunite families, have workplace authentification, broad majorities of Democrats and Republicans support these policies, let’s do it!” said Polis.
“Improving our schools, universal preschool, tying in high schools to the needs of the workforce, the president hit on a lot of themes that yes, it’s a steep challenge for Congress but the American people are already there on these issues and Congress just needs to catch up.”
Gardner said Obama missed an opportunity to make a connection with the American people.
“I think you heard last night Sen. Marco Rubio [(R) Florida] talk about making sure that the American people know that the Republicans in the House of Representatives stand for a great opportunity. Stand for lifting people up and out of poverty by free market principles, by making sure that we have the opportunity to move and grow into a middle class by good paying jobs through economic policies that really promote small businesses, that don’t promote regulation or this strangulation by regulation but actually get people working again because we are lifting everybody up through those things that have made this country great and that’s capitalism, the free market and individual innovation and entrepreneurship across this country.”