Tuesday, January 29

SOTU Responses from the Democratic Candidates

Barack Obama's Response to the SOTU

John Edwards' Response to SOTU

"The president tonight renewed his call for an economic recovery plan. But the plan he and Congress have offered leaves out tens of millions of Americans who need help the most. This plan would take months to have any impact, and the people I meet everyday on the campaign trail do not have months to wait. These people are hurting now and need this help now. Over the past seven years, typical workers' paychecks have failed to keep up with inflation, millions of families are facing the loss of their homes to foreclosures, health insurance premiums have doubled, and families are spending $1,000 more a year on gasoline. The State of the Union may be interesting political theater, but until we find bold solutions to the challenges facing the country, we will be stuck with the same old small, Washington answers.

"And in the chamber of the House of Representatives where the president speaks, even though this Congress stopped listening to him a while ago, they will still applaud and cheer him. The truth is that Washington is out of touch with what's happening across the country. Between now and January of 2009, Democrats must stand up to this president, stand up for what's right, so he does not continue to forget about the middle class in this country."

Hillary Clinton's Response to the SOTU

Tonight President Bush claimed that the state of our union is strong. And we can all debate that. But what is not up for debate is that for too many American families, the true "state of their lives" is one of economic anxiety and uncertainty.

As I've traveled across the country and visited with people in their homes, I have listened to the urgent problems they face. These families are resolute, and when it comes to their strength, optimism and hard work, the state of our union has never been stronger. Yet after seven years of stagnant wages, declining incomes and increasing inequality, our families are working harder and harder and still falling behind.

President Bush had one final chance tonight to acknowledge what the American people have known for years: that the economy is not working for middle class families. Unfortunately, what he offered was more of the same - a frustrating commitment to the same failed policies that helped turn record surpluses into large deficits, and push a thriving twenty-first century economy to the brink of recession.

We need a President who understands the urgent economic challenges our families face and who will work as hard for middle-class families as they work for America. I intend to be that President for the American people.

While I was heartened to hear the President acknowledge the need for immediate actions to jumpstart our economy, it will take more than tax rebates to fix our economic crisis and rebuild our economy for the future. We need immediate relief for people who are losing their jobs and facing skyrocketing home heating costs. And we need a comprehensive solution to the housing crisis. Every housing proposal the President made tonight, I made several months - and hundreds of thousands of foreclosure notices - ago. For example, I have proposed to enable the Federal Housing Administration to function as an alternative to the subprime market; and I have proposed to empower state housing finance agencies to help families refinance unworkable mortgages. But more is needed. So I have also called on the mortgage industry to observe a 90-day foreclosure moratorium on subprime mortgages and a 5-year freeze in rates on subprime loans.

We need a long-term economic vision to restore shared growth and prosperity for America's middle class. As President, I will work every day to create good high-paying jobs that can't be outsourced, restore fairness to our economy, renew the promise of America that if you work hard, you can get ahead, and restore real fiscal responsibility to Washington.

In Iraq, President Bush talked about the success of the surge. The Administration brandishes many numbers. The one I'm most focused on is that 2007 was the deadliest year for U.S. troops in Iraq. And the humanitarian situation remains devastating.

President Bush isn't satisfied with failure after failure in Iraq; he wants to bind the next President to his failed strategy by unilaterally negotiating with the Iraqi government about the future of the U.S.-Iraq security relationship, including the possibility of permanent U.S. bases in Iraq.

The Bush Administration says it does not even plan to submit this agreement to the Congress for approval, even though Iraqi officials plan to submit it to their parliament. It is an outrage that the Iraqi parliament will have an opportunity to debate this but the American Congress won't. We need to rein in this President. That is why I introduced the first legislation to require the President to submit any such agreement for congressional approval and to withhold any funding to carry out the agreement.

After seven long years of this Presidency, I am committed as President to solve problems, not ignore them. I am committed to working for the middle class, not just the privileged few. I am committed to restoring our leadership in the world through strong alliances, not alienating our friends. I am committed to working towards real solutions for real Americans every day as President of the United States.

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