DENVER (CBS4)– Elected leaders in Colorado are reacting to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.
The president focused on traditional issues like immigration, tax reform, higher education and energy. He also focused on economic inequality and a fair shake for everyone.
Rep. Cory Gardner, a Republican representing Northern Colorado, sits on the Energy Subcommittee on Capitol Hill. He is skeptical of the president’s plan to create jobs with clean energy and referred to the president’s recent action with the Keystone Pipeline project.
“When it comes to Colorado’s energy, the country’s energy, the president makes clear his vision of economics. We have a Solyndra economy versus a Keystone economy. A Solyndra economy is one that relies on handout and government bailouts versus a Keystone economy that would provide private sector jobs. The president has already made it clear which one he prefers. He prefers a Solyndra versus a Keystone idea,” said Gardner.
“I thought the president laid out a great set of proposals to get our country moving again. I thought he apportioned responsibility to both his office and the Congress. And in particular I like the fact that he said we can with the right investments we can get our economy moving and in the process be more self-reliant when it comes to our energy needs. To make sure that every American who wants a job has a job and particularly our young people can get an education without burdening them with a debt load they’ll have to shoulder their entire lives. On balance it was an important speech. The president showed leadership tonight, now let’s show leadership as a Congress,” said Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat.
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Rep. Mike Coffman, a Republican representing Littleton, said the president’s address has him worried about the skyrocketing deficit.
“We already have a spending problem in Washington with tremendous deficits and debt and yet to engage in programs that are a state and local responsibility, to assume them and assume part of it and drive the deficit further, did surprise me,” said Coffman.
Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn from Colorado Springs chose to sit out the address. He watched it on television and participated in an online chat session during the address.
“I was analyzing it closely. I wish he had more in the way of solutions for going forward. I was distressed several times he seemed to be blaming George Bush and not taking ownership when, after three years of this economy, he does have ownership and he doesn’t recognize that,” said Lamborn.
“He didn’t want to talk about the Keystone Pipeline, 20,000 to 100,000 new jobs to put Americans back to work,” said Colorado Republican Rep. Scott Tipton.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock released this statement in response to Obama’s State of the Union address, “I stand with the President in calling for Congress to put aside the partisan gridlock and do what’s right for the American people. As the President said, this is the time to rebuild an America where everybody gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share and everybody plays by the same set of rules. That’s the American way, and it’s the only way to create an economy that works for everyone and is built to last.
“I also want to congratulate Ms. Mahala Greer, a University of Colorado Denver student and Bilingual Education Corp Member in Teach for America, for her honor of being a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama at the address. Mahala embodies that Denver spirit, and the whole city is very proud of her accomplishments.”
Another Coloradan who was a guest at the State of the Union was Lorelei Kilker, an analytical chemist from Brighton.
Obama is stopping at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora Thursday on a five-state swing to follow his State of the Union address.
Obama is giving remarks at a brief stop that is open to the press but closed to the public. Obama heads to Colorado from Las Vegas. The president is also going to Arizona, Iowa and Michigan on his brief tour after his third State of the Union speech.
The White House has not released details of what Obama will talk about at Buckley, but it’s believed the president will talk about energy policies.
The president was last in Colorado in October 2011, when he outlined ways of helping college students deal with school loan debt at the Auraria campus in Denver.
Watch live coverage of Obama’s visit on CBSDenver.com and watch CBS4 News Thursday night to see full coverage.