But the address was bold in another sense: a reelected chief executive did not appear in the mood to bow in the direction of the other party. While he refrained from criticizing Republicans by name and generally steered clear of obvious partisan shots, he outlined a government-centric approach to improving the US that could have been compiled from 2012 stump speeches.
“More government isn’t going to help you get ahead. It’s going to hold you back. More government isn’t going to create more opportunities. It’s going to limit them,” said Senator Rubio.
So what big questions did Obama’s outline of his 2013 agenda raise? Here are a few quick reactions.
WILL HE GET GUN VOTES? Perhaps the most emotional part of the president’s speech was his call for each of his major gun-control proposals to receive a vote in Congress. That would include a possible ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, expanded background checks, and more federal laws against the transfer of weapons to criminals, among other things.
“Each of those proposals deserves a vote in Congress. If you want to vote no, that’s your choice ... the families of Newtown deserve a vote. Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote,” said Obama.
WHAT DOES HE WANT ON CLIMATE CHANGE? The president cited the scientific consensus on climate change and noted that the weather seems to be notably changing around us. Then he urged Congress to act on a “bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on a few years ago.”