As they filed out of the Capitol Thursday evening, a few Republican House members told THE WEEKLY STANDARD what they thought of President Obama's address to Congress on jobs:
Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.): "I didn’t hear any new ideas. The only new idea from him that I was encouraged by is corporate tax reform. Broad based, lower rates. That’s something we called for in our budget, we’ve always wanted to do. So perhaps some room for common ground there...I lost count of all the straw men up there. I mean, I was losing count at about 14 or 15. But we’re used to hearing that. I think the last third of it was pretty much straw men...All the ideas in the front that he ticked off were the same things that he put in the stimulus that he proposed earlier, which are more Keynesian-style ideas that have already sort of proven to fail. I would rather we pass ideas that have proven to work rather than double down on ones that have proven to fail."
Tom Price (R-Ga.): "I felt it was desperate. I felt he was desperate and I though the speech was desperate...He mocked many of the proposals that we’ve put forward, and none of it was productive or constructive to the political discourse. Somehow, he’s incapable of appreciating that many of the things that he says actually thwart positive political discourse."
Diane Black (R-Tenn.): "There was something new. The president was saying we should look at Medicare, Medicaid. First time I ever heard that...What he does in there is like what my kids do. They take my credit card, they spend, and then they want me to pay for it."
Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.): "At one point, he said, some of you believe if we cut regulation and cut spending, that’s going to be enough. I couldn’t have applauded harder. I believe that very much...His approach is not very pro-business. When he talks about Warren Buffett, that’s a little far-removed from the average businessperson. If any of those guys want to send in more tax dollars to the treasury, they can. They can just write the check."
Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.): "I thought it was a little bit of a campaign speech...Part of it was a little bit demeaning. The president sometimes can be a bit arrogant."
Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.): "It’s a rehash. I think this is the stimulus part deux or, I guess when you’re talking about multiple stimuluses, stimuli. You could call it the stimuli speech."
Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.): "For somebody who keeps saying we should get beyond politics, that was a pure political speech tonight. It was unfortunate."