Contribute
CONNECT:

research

Obama’s SOTU Slammed

- January 21, 2015

From Foreign Policy To Bipartisanship, Obama's Sixth State Of The Union Landed With A Thud

ON FOREIGN POLICY, OBAMA'S STATE OF THE UNION CLAIMS "SUSPENDED DISBELIEF"

ABC News' Rick Klein: Obama's "Focus Was Not On World Affairs" And "Glossed Over" ISIS, Iran, And Yemen. "His focus was not on world affairs, despite the real worries sparked by recent events in Western Europe. He glossed over the march of ISIS, the complications surrounding an Iran nuclear deal. He didn't say the word 'Yemen.'" (Rick Klein, "President Obama's Legacy Turn: From Yes We Can To Yes We Did," ABC News, 1/20/15)

NBC's Richard Engel: Obama's State Of The Union Foreign Policy Claims "Suspended Disbelief." RICHARD ENGEL: "Well, it sounded like the President was outlining a world that he wishes we were all living in, but which is very different than the world that you just described with terror raids taking place across Europe, ISIS very much on the move. One thing the President said, is that 'American leadership, including our military power, is stopping ISIL's advance.' That just isn't the case, according to military officials that I've been speaking to. …He talked about building and supporting the moderate Syrian opposition. That effectively isn't happening. There is no real support for the moderate Syrian opposition. In fact, one military official told me that they are calling the moderate Syrian opposition the unicorn because they have not been able to find it. So there was a general tone, maybe even suspended disbelief. I think when he started talking about foreign policy, there's not a lot of success stories to be talking about in foreign policy right now. And the general tone which was moving on, starting again, starting a new chapter, moving beyond the 9/11 generation. It doesn't feel like we necessarily have been able to put that generation behind us, and I think that was something that struck me." (NBC's State Of The Union Coverage, 1/20/15)

  • Engel: "[T]here's Not A Lot Of Success Stories To Be Talking About In Foreign Policy Right Now…" ENGEL: "I think when he started talking about foreign policy, there's not a lot of success stories to be talking about in foreign policy right now. And the general tone which was moving on, starting again, starting a new chapter, moving beyond the 9/11 generation. It doesn't feel like we necessarily have been able to put that generation behind us, and I think that was something that struck me." ( NBC's State Of The Union Coverage, 1/20/15)
  • Engel: In His State Of The Union Address, Obama Was Looking At The World Through "Rose-Colored Glasses." ENGEL: "It seems that the rose-colored glasses through which he was viewing the foreign policy were so rose colored that I think they don't even reflect the world that we're living in. He said at one stage that American leadership, including our military power, is stopping ISIL's advance. It didn't look that way in Paris. It looked like ISIS was doing well. It didn't look like that way -- I'm not going to be able to finish this -- with this new video that was released today with the Japanese hostages. It doesn't look that way in Syria. ISIS is doing very well, and the strategy is completely disjointed. So to sell that as a big success I think was missing the point. Maybe even disingenuous. Instead, he said the president I'm quoting, of getting dragged into another ground war in the Middle East: we are leading a broad coalition to degrade and destroy ISIL. First of all, 80 percent or more of the air strikes that are taking place now are by the U.S., and the U.S. is getting drawn back into a ground war with about 2,000 troops, another 1,000 on their way to Iraq." ( MSNBC's State Of The Union Address, 1/20/15)

CNN's Wolf Blitzer: Obama On "Questionable Ground" In Claiming Success Combating Terrorism. JAKE TAPPER: He pointed out that for the first time since 9/11 the combat mission in Afghanistan is over. He noted that six years ago there were nearly 180,000 American troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and today fewer than 15,000 remain." WOLF BLITZER: "Yeah but he also seemed to suggest that the U.S. is really winning on this war on terrorism. Here I think he was on more questionable ground, to be sure, because it looks right now that ISIS in Iraq and Syria still very powerful. Al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula, in Yemen, still very powerful. And these other Al Qaeda groups whether going forward in Somalia or elsewhere in Africa, North Africa, they seem to be very formidable. Represent not only a significant threat to people in the Middle East and North Africa, but Europe and potentially here in the United States as well." ( CNN's State Of The Union Coverage, 1/20/15)

NBC'S Andrea Mitchell: "It's Hard To See" The Foreign Policy Progress Obama Outlined In His State Of The Union Address. ANDREA MITCHELL: "Also on foreign policy, he presented a very positive and dare say rosy picture of the so-called progress against ISIS or ISIL in Iraq and Syria. It's really hard-we're hard pressed-Richard Engel was reporting tonight and I as well-hard pressed to see the progress that they claim. Perhaps there's more stability in Iraq since there was last summer. That's what White House officials are telling us. You have a government there. Certainly not the standing up of the free Syrian army and certainly not progress against Assad or progress against ISIS, certainly, in Syria. So, the civil war rages on. We are seeing an explosion of anger around the Muslim world at 'Charlie Hebdo' and at perceived anti-Muslim sentiment. Things are in a pretty dire state. We don't have cooperation in Nigeria against Boko Haram. I mean, it's hard to see the progress the President talked about." ( MSNBC's State Of The Union Coverage, 1/20/15)

  • Mitchell: Obama's Foreign Policy Claims Were "Not Close To Reality." ANDREA MITCHELL: "I think that on foreign policy, his projection of success against terrorism and against, you know, ISIS in particular, as I said, is not close to reality. It just -they have not come up with a strategy, and they've built a global coalition, but, again, he talked about Ukraine and Putin being isolated. Yes, Putin is isolated economically and the falling oil prices have hammered his economy. But at the same time, there's renewed fighting in Donetsk, and we haven't figured out Ukraine, we haven't figured out how the NATO alliance can push back. Sanctions have not really worked, and Ukraine is going to need more weaponry, and they have not reached that point. So you're right, Chris, it doesn't match the reality." ( MSNBC's State Of The Union Coverage, 1/20/15)

OBAMA SHOWED LITTLE SIGN THAT HE IS READY TO WORK WITH REPUBLICANS

ABC News' Rick Klein: Obama "Sketched An Economic Agenda Designed To Provoke Rather Than Accommodate Republicans." "If anything, the president sketched an economic agenda designed to provoke rather than accommodate Republicans -- programs that include vast new spending and higher taxes on the wealthy." (Rick Klein, "President Obama's Legacy Turn: From Yes We Can To Yes We Did," ABC News , 1/20/15)

  • Klein: "This Speech Was Never Designed To Present Bills That Have Actual Shots At Being Enacted By Congress." (Rick Klein, "President Obama's Legacy Turn: From Yes We Can To Yes We Did," ABC News , 1/20/15)

CNN's Wolf Blitzer: "[I] Don't Remember A State Of The Union Address Where I Heard A President Issue So Many Veto Threats..." TAPPER: "'Well and he also pointed out that there were some parts of his legacy that if members of congress, if the Republican House and Senate brought him bills that tried to undo them, he would veto the legislation, specifically doing away with ObamaCare, taking away their health insurance, unraveling the new rules on Wall Street, the rules that passed in the first couple years of his term, or refighting past battles on immigration. He issued veto threats specifically." BLITZER: "And on Iran sanctions, as well, if the Congress were to move ahead with new sanctions against Iran, he specifically said he would veto that legislation. I don't know about you Jake, but I don't remember a State of the Union address where I heard a President issue so many veto threats to the Republican majority, to the opposite party in the United States Congress.'" ( CNN's State Of The Union Coverage, 1/20/15)

The New York Times ' Peter Baker: Obama's State Of The Union Raised The Question Of "Whether Advancing Initiatives With Little Or No Hope Of Passage Constituted An Act Of Bold Leadership Or A Feckless Waste Of Time." "For all of Mr. Obama's confident demeanor, the question raised by the speech was whether advancing initiatives with little or no hope of passage constituted an act of bold leadership or a feckless waste of time." (Peter Baker, "State Of The Union Speech Leaves Questions About Usefulness Of Unlikely Goals," The New York Times , 1/20/15)

The Associated Press ' Julie Pace: Obama "Pledged To Work With Republicans" Yet He "He Showed Few Signs Of Curtailing Or Tweaking His Own Plans To Meet GOP Priorities." He appealed for 'better politics' in Washington and pledged to work with Republicans, but he showed few signs of curtailing or tweaking his own plans to meet GOP priorities. Instead, the president vowed to use his veto pen to strike down the Republican leadership's efforts to dismantle his signature accomplishments, including his health care and financial reform laws." (Julie Pace, "Obama In State Of The Union: Tax The Wealthy, Help The Middle Class, No Surrender To GOP," The Associated Press, 1/20/15)

The Washington Post 's Juliet Eilperin: "Obama And His Aides, By Contrast, Seem Eager For A Conflict That Will Put Their Differences With The GOP On Full Display." (Juliet Eilperin, "President Obama, With Two Years To Go, Commits To Cementing A Liberal Legacy," The Washington Post , 1/20/15)

The Washington Post 's Jerry Markon and David Nakamura: Obama's Proposals Raise "Doubts About Whether The President Can - Or Wants To - Break Through Partisan Gridlock." "The president's proposals represent a continuation of a White House tone and tenor since the midterms that has been anything but conciliatory, an approach that has raised doubts about whether the president can - or wants to - break through partisan gridlock before voters choose his successor next year." (Jerry Markon and David Nakamura, "Obama, In State Of The Union, Highlights Tax Reform, Community College Plans," The Washington Post , 1/20/15)

The Hill 's Justin Sink: Obama "Called On Lawmakers To Embrace A 'Better Politics'" Then He "Punctuated That Sentiment With A Defiant Reminder That He Still Had The Bully Pulpit." "He called on lawmakers to embrace a 'better politics' where they could work through disagreements for the good of the nation. … But he punctuated that sentiment with a defiant reminder that he still had the bully pulpit - and still planned to use it." (Justin Sink, "Obama: My Policies Are Working," The Hill, 1/20/15)

USA Today's Susan Page: "Obama Signaled Little Of The Move To The Center, Or The Willingness To Compromise..." "Obama signaled little of the move to the center, or the willingness to compromise, that is likely to be needed if deals are to be made over the next two years on the issues that divide them." (Susan Page, "Analysis: A Better Economy, A More Hostile Congress," USA Today, 1/20/15)

The New York Times ' Michael D. Shear And Julie Hirschfeld Davis: Obama "Grew Cocky" During His Speech, Saying That He Has No More Campaigns To Run "Cause I Won Both Of Them." "He grew cocky at one point, noting near the close of the speech that 'I have no more campaigns to run.' Pausing, the president went off script to quip, 'I know, 'cause I won both of them.'" (Michael D. Shear And Julie Hirschfeld Davis, "In State Of The Union, Obama Focuses On The Middle Class," The New York Times, 1/20/15)

The Washington Post 's Chris Cillizza: "Obama's Confidence Threatened To Derail His 'We Are Better Than The Current State Of Our Politics' Message, Which Dominated The Second Half Of The Speech." "From start to finish, Obama was supremely confident, challenging -- and mocking -- Republicans at every turn. … And yet, at times, Obama's confidence threatened to derail his 'we are better than the current state of our politics' message, which dominated the second half of the speech." (Chris Cillizza, "The Remarkable Confidence Of Barack Obama," The Washington Post, 1/20/15)

AT LEAST ONE PERSON LIKED THE SPEECH: OBAMA'S 2016 SUCCESSOR, HILLARY CLINTON

Clinton "Tweeted Praise" For Obama's Speech "Almost Immediately After Obama's Remarks Concluded." "Hillary Clinton, the likely frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, tweeted praise Tuesday night for the president's State of the Union address, saying he 'pointed the way to an economy that works for all.' In his remarks, Obama outlined a proposal to increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans to fund middle-class tax cuts, a tripling of the child care tax credit, paid sick leave and free community college for qualified students. Clinton's tweet came almost immediately after Obama's remarks concluded. She has not formally announced a presidential run but is widely expected to enter the race with overwhelming Democratic support." (Carrie Dann, "Hillary Clinton: Obama 'Pointed The Way To An Economy That Works For All'," NBC News, 1/20/15)


Previous post

Quiet In Canada

Next post

Obama’s Union By The Numbers
Republican National Committee

Connect With Us

Republican National Committee
Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel
News & Videos
  • 310 First Street SE, Washington, DC 20003
  • 202-863-8500

By providing your phone number, you are consenting to receive calls and SMS/MMS msgs, including autodialed and automated calls and texts, to that number from the Republican National Committee. Msg&data rates may apply. Terms & conditions/privacy policy apply 80810-info.com.

Paid for by the Republican National Committee. Not Authorized By Any Candidate Or Candidate's Committee. www.gop.com

By providing your phone number, you are consenting to receive calls and SMS/MMS msgs, including autodialed and automated calls and texts, to that number from the Republican National Committee. Msg&data rates may apply. Terms & conditions/privacy policy apply 80810-info.com.

Paid for by the Republican National Committee.
Not Authorized By Any Candidate Or Candidate's Committee. www.gop.com