President Barack Obama\’s State of the Union speech lasted almost exactly an hour, and ended at 10: 16 Tuesday night.
Here are the the exact times when press aides for various Connecticut officials pushed the \”send\” button on emails conveying statements of reaction to the President\’s speech, a few fairly lengthy: State Republican Party Chairman Jerry Labriola, 10:16 p.m.; U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District, 10:19 p.m.; Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, 10:20 p.m.; U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, 10:22 p.m.; U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, 10:42 p.m.; U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, 10:51 p.m.; U.S. Rep. John Larson, D-1st District, 11:47 p.m.
And here are the statements of each, in full:
Labriola, at 10:16 p.m., the minute Obama stopped talking:
HARTFORD—Connecticut Republican Party Chairman Jerry Labriola, Jr. made the following statement this evening in response to President Obama\’s State of the Union address.
\”Tonight, President Obama reminded Americans that he either has no real plan for creating jobs and getting our economy moving – or he simply does not care enough about those issues to tackle them by making the tough decisions that will spur the private investment that creates jobs.
\”The same empty promises and the same empty rhetoric we have heard for more than four years are not putting Connecticut’s unemployed back to work. Each time the President has been faced with a tough decision, his answer has been to raise taxes.
\”Raising taxes was wrong for our country and it was wrong for Connecticut. After all of the President’s tax hikes – and after Governor Malloy pushed through the biggest tax increase in Connecticut history two years ago – Connecticut now has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.
\”Connecticut citizens didn’t need a recycled version of the President’s campaign speech tonight. They need jobs, and the President\’s economic policies are — literally — not working.\”
Esty, at 10:19 p.m.:
Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty released the following statement regarding President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight:
“Tonight, the President laid out a compelling vision for our future and spoke to the issues that are vital to rebuilding a rising, thriving middle class in central and northwest Connecticut – proposals that include reinvigorating manufacturing, making needed investments in our infrastructure, in a clean energy future, and in education. These are measures that I applaud and will be working with the President and my colleagues in Congress to help move forward.
“The President’s address was also particularly meaningful for our state and for the community of Newtown. Tonight, people affected by gun violence, including several from Newtown, helped give a face to the cost of political inaction. Among them – talented and courageous educators like Natalie Hammond and Kaitlin Roig, heroic leaders like Pat Llodra, brave first responders like Daniel McAnaspie and Jason Frank, loving parents like Chris and Lynn McDonnell and siblings like Carlos Soto, and so many others served as an inspiration to our country – to the courage of everyday Americans and to our need and our potential to do better as a country.
“I was moved by President Obama’s call for real and meaningful change to save lives in the wake of the Newtown tragedy, and I’m grateful to President Obama and Vice-President Biden for the care and support they have shown the Newtown community. Tonight was a reminder that, even in the face of great difficulty and political opposition, we must not lose our will to fight for commonsense, comprehensive reforms to reduce gun violence. I stand ready to move forward, with our President, with my colleagues in Congress, with my constituents in Connecticut, and with Americans everywhere who are making their voices heard and standing up for commonsense, comprehensive reforms to make our communities safer and to save lives across the country.”
Esty participated in an effort, spearheaded by Rhode Island Congressman Jim Langevin, to invite people affected by gun violence as guests at the State of the Union. Esty’s guest was Natalie Hammond, lead teacher at Sandy Hook elementary, who was wounded in the Newtown shooting on December 14, 2012.
Malloy, at 10:20 p.m.:
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today released the following statement in response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address:
“In his State of the Union address tonight, President Obama built upon the themes of his Inaugural Address and proposed a plan to accelerate job creation, promote long-term economic growth and grow the middle class.
“This plan is rooted in our values: that if you work hard and play by the rules, you should make it in America.
“His speech was also a powerful call to action against gun violence. The green and white ribbons that have come to signify the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School have now, for some, become a call to action. We have a responsibility to our children to take common sense steps now to prevent gun violence.
“At the start of the President’s second term and the start of a new Congress, a fresh opportunity exists for our federal lawmakers to meet head-on our nation’s challenges and set aside rigid ideology and political brinkmanship. I commend the President for his economic plan and for championing issues that matter to the citizens of Connecticut.”
Murphy, at 10:22 p.m.:
WASHINGTON—Following President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) released the following statement:
Congress needed to be challenged to get moving on everything from gun violence to fiscal reform, and the president certainly made that challenge tonight. I\’m especially glad he pushed Congress to break down partisan divides and pass common sense gun violence legislation. For those of us in Connecticut, we are still living with the horror of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, but the healing process is helped knowing we have a president who is going to do everything in his power to make sure no community ever has to go through this again. There are no excuses anymore. It\’s time to pass legislation to keep military-style assault weapons and ammunition off our streets and out of our schools, to impose universal criminal background checks, and to make a real commitment to improving mental health services across this nation.
The president laid out a strong and thoughtful agenda for the next four years, focusing on accelerating the steady job growth that we’ve seen since he took office in 2009. While we’ve made progress, we still have a long way to go, and President Obama is right that smart investments in job training, infrastructure, education, clean energy, and R&D are how we get there—not with another round of tax breaks for big corporations and the wealthiest Americans.
I applaud the president’s focus on revitalizing our country’s manufacturing sector—something I’ve worked hard on for years. During my time in the House, I pushed the Administration hard to drastically reduce the number of government contracts awarded to overseas companies, and I’ll make closing loopholes and strengthening our Buy American laws a priority in the Senate. I’ll also continue to support policies that focus on investing in vocational education and cutting-edge manufacturing technologies so that the United States, and especially Connecticut, is the most attractive place for the next generation of manufacturers to set up shop.
We must continue to make bold strides in health care reform. Now that the Affordable Care Act is law, we need to ensure that it is enacted and implemented in a way that makes health care better and more affordable for families and businesses in Connecticut and across the country. Just yesterday, a new report showed that more young Americans are insured than ever before, thanks to provisions in the Affordable Care Act that allow young people to stay on their parents’ health plans. We must also work hard to ensure that the state health exchanges have robust buy-in from individuals and businesses across the country to reduce costs and maximize the enormous benefits they’ll provide.
I’m excited to work with President Obama in his second term and I applaud him for using his speech tonight to challenge Congress to break the bonds of the status quo and pass legislation that moves this nation forward.
Blumenthal, at 10:42 p.m.:
(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) issued a statement following President Obama’s fourth State of the Union address:
\”Tonight, the President issued a spurring and stirring call to action against gun violence in America, to prevent another tragedy like the one that befell Newtown. The President’s message was strongly reinforced by the presence of families of victims, first responders, and Newtown First Selectwoman Pat Llodra, who was my guest in the chamber. I am unwavering in my commitment to fight for a ban on assault weapons and large-capacity clips, to crack down on illegal gun trafficking, and for background checks on gun and ammunition sales.
“The President presented a powerful blueprint for a strong jobs agenda, focusing on driving the economy and putting people back to work in America and Connecticut – at a time when economic growth has been too slow and fragile. Creating jobs is his job number one and also mine. The President also called on Congress to help him by avoiding crisis-induced legislation – particularly with regard to the dangerous defense sequester. I hope Congress heeds his call.
\”In regards to immigration reform, the President\’s program of an earned path to citizenship, combined with stronger enforcement at the borders and a crackdown on employers who illegally hire undocumented workers, are absolutely essential and should be at the forefront of his agenda moving forward.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues on a bipartisan basis to keep this nation on a path toward progress.”
Courtney, at 10:51 p.m.:
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Joe Courtney tonight released the following statement after President Obama’s State of the Union address:
“President Obama effectively challenged Washington to focus like a laser on continuing our economic recovery, growing jobs at home, and expanding markets abroad. By emphasizing manufacturing, hiring tax credits, college affordability and the value of associate’s degrees and technical schools, we reinforce the underpinnings of our economy and ensure a workforce whose skills match the challenges we face.
“The President is also on target in calling for immediate, bipartisan action to reverse sequestration and prevent across-the-board, indiscriminate budget cuts. The simple possibility of sequestration already yielded negative GDP growth in the fourth quarter of last year, and allowing it to be implemented would shake the very real progress we are making across our economy. At the same time, the policy President Obama laid out for Afghanistan will help rebalance our military and sharply reduce the strain on our readiness and scarce budget resources.
“Finally, as a Representative from Connecticut—a state rocked by the Newtown shooting and battered by a string of once-in-a-generation storms—I applaud the President’s calls to action on climate change and preventing gun violence. Protecting our children and passing on to them a healthy planet Earth should always be our driving goals.”
Larson, at 11:47 p.m.:
(Washington) – Today Congressman John B. Larson released the following statement after President Barack Obama delivered his annual State of the Union Address:
“Tonight President Obama confirmed his commitment to creating jobs and growing the economy. The President’s focus on jobs and the economy, as well as his emphasis on infrastructure and manufacturing is important to Connecticut and the constituents of the First Congressional District. This has been my focus, and will continue to be my focus because there is nothing more important than the simple dignity that comes from a job.
“I am thankful that the President remains committed to addressing the issue of gun violence in a comprehensive manner. Many of us invited victims of gun violence to tonight’s State of the Union address; I was honored to bring Ross Hollander, President of Hartford Distributors in Manchester. On August 3, 2010, Ross and his family experienced one of the worst tragedies the first district has ever seen as eight employees of Hartford Distributors were shot and killed and two were injured in a senseless, horrific act of violence. And I couldn\’t have been more proud that the President used his State of the Union speech to call on Congress to finally vote on common sense approaches to addressing gun violence. It’s time we stand up for the victims of Newtown, Manchester, Aurora, Chicago, and Tucson. We owe them nothing less.
\”Further, as the newly-appointed Chairman of the Task Force on Election Reform, I appreciated the President’s remarks about long lines at the polls, and his willingness to take a stand against other forms of voter suppression we saw across the country. I am glad that President Obama has acknowledged that we must take immediate steps to reform our broken system of elections, and I look forward to working with the President and members of Congress to address these injustices.”
“I am also pleased that the President announced the withdrawal of 34,000 troops. Ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been a longtime commitment of mine, and I am pleased at this step to bring our men and women home.
“No member of Congress can deny the need to hasten our recovery. It is my sincere hope that, based on some encouraging words from the Republican leadership, they are prepared to work with the President to put the country back to work. That’s what the American people want, that’s what we need, and that’s where my efforts will be focused.”