From the News Sentinel:
Perhaps the most telling part of an otherwise “pedestrian” State of the Union address Tuesday, has been the fractured reactions from the President Barack Obama’s opposition, according to a political scientist.
“This is the first time (following a major presidential speech) I can remember it being so obvious the opposing party is speaking not with one voice, but with several,” said Anthony Nownes, a political scientist at the University of Tennessee. “They are not able to work together to propose an alternative to the president other than to say ‘We don’t want what he wants.’”
The official, televised party response came from highest-ranking woman in the House, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, of Washington, who commentators largely agree succeeded in her measured, thoughtful reply to the president.
“Republicans have plans to close the gap, plans that focus on jobs first without more spending, government bailouts and red tape,” she said.
But there were a flurry of other replies from Sens. Rand Paul, of Kentucky, and Mike Lee, of Utah, along with Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, of Florida, who delivered a Spanish-language speech that echoed much of what McMorris Rodgers said.
The tone from Paul and Lee, both Tea Party members, was pointed and combative compared to the more even tone from McMorris Rodgers. Other Republicans issued news releases with reflections on the speech, including Sen. Lamar Alexander, of Maryville. Alexander’s statement pushed for the president to offer “a real answer to income inequality” by suggesting he “liberate the free enterprise system from Obama regulations so it can create more good new jobs.”
Some news releases from Tennessee politicians on the State of the Union are below.