DARKE COUNTY — The reactions of Ohio Republican leaders and candidates to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night were unequivocally negative.
Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges released the following statement after the president’s address:
“After seven years of Obama’s presidency, we have a more dangerous world, a more divided government than ever, and millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet. More leading from behind, more spending and more Washington overreach will not fix our nation’s problems.
“It’s no surprise the American people overwhelmingly say the country is on the wrong track and want to see their next president take a different direction,” Borges added. “Thank goodness this was President Obama’s last State of the Union. We look forward to electing a Republican president this year who is willing to work with Congress to tackle the big issues facing our country.”
Sen. Rob Portman said, “The President missed an opportunity to support specific ways we can work together to achieve results for Ohio families.”
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, seeking the GOP nomination for president, issued a statement, saying, “Eight years from now I look forward to giving a State of the Union that describes a stronger, safer and more united America. We’re going to cut taxes, balance the budget and get government out of the way so every American can rise. We’re also going to strengthen our military and renew our alliances to proclaim the values of the civilized world and stand up to extremists and bullies.”
Kasich continued, saying, “On-the-job training in this presidency has marched us down a trail of failure and left America weaker, divided and adrift. That’s going to end and by working together we’re going to fight, win and succeed.”
Ohio Sen. Bill Beagle, in the running to fill the congressional seat of resigned Rep. John Boehner, stated, “Instead of presenting a plan to try and fix the damage done during the first seven years of his presidency, Obama decided use his last State of the Union address to pat himself on his back for a job well done. Americans continue to be deprived of a leader who speaks the truth and tackles the real issues that plague our country. If we are ever going to get America back on track, we must send conservative leaders to Washington who share our values, our priorities and our vision for the future.”
Another candidate for Boehner’s seat, J.D. Winteregg of Troy, Ohio, commented, “Once again, President Obama has proven that he’ll continue to lie to the American people in order to implement his radical, far left agenda. The United States is worse off after seven years of his presidency, and his socialist, Bernie Sanders-style calls to require the government provide ‘free’ services to the American people will continue us on the path to decline.
“Unfortunately, as bad as policies of Democrats are, they would not have been able to achieve this without the help of establishment Republicans,” Winteregg added. “We need a fighter; not only for [Ohio’s 8th Congressional District], but also for the Republican party. I’m the only candidate who has proven that he has the guts to fight for what’s right, and you know that I’ll continue to fight for conservative principles — and against the far left — while representing you in [Washington] D.C.”
Rep. Tim Derickson, also seeking Boehner’s 8th District seat, said, “In last night’s State of the Union, Americans heard one of the last major addresses from a President who ran on bringing us together but sadly has divided us more than ever. With a record number of Americans pessimistic about their future, it is my job to remind those I interact with about the reasons America always has been and will be the greatest nation on earth.”
“America is great not because of our elected leaders but because of the principles in which she was founded. My campaign is about returning to those principles of self-determination, faith, family, community, hard work and bravery,” he said. “Throughout his speech, President Obama uttered the word ‘God’ just twice, each in his closing sentence. That right there sums up the State of our Union.”
Eighth District congressional candidate and businessman Warren Davidson of Troy, offered his response, saying, “Tonight President Obama delivered his final State of the Union address. He sounded more optimistic, but continued to promise more of the same. We heard how he plans to rob us of our Constitutional rights. He spoke of his plans to take away our 1st Amendment right to Freedom of Speech through his democratic derived plan for campaign finance reform, and his plans to take away our 2nd Amendment right to bear arms through his executive orders on gun control.”
Davidson said, “Obama expressed regret that partisanship has gotten worse on his watch, while failing to acknowledge that his rhetoric and policies have skillfully and purposefully worked to divide the country into hostile factions, and no more acutely than on race and religion. Obama said he believes in change. I believe he has achieved too much change, at our expense.”
“The people of the 8th District know the record. We know that under Obama, America has become less safe, less free and more burdened by debt,” he added. “In Congress, I will fight to bring conservative change that restores our freedoms, secures our borders and strengthens our economy. We need strong, conservative leadership in Congress to move the country forward. I appreciated [South Carolina Governor] Nikki Haley’s vision for a better path and look forward to working toward it.”