President Obama during the 2013 State of the Union address. Photo by Paul J. Richards, AFP/Getty Images.
Many of Ohio's political figures are issuing their reactions to President Obama's 2013 State of the Union. Here are some of them:
Congressman Tim Ryan:
"I saw true leadership tonight from the President; he knows the middle class is the heart of America's economic engine. The middle class and the US economy are fundamentally dependent upon each other, and the only way our economy will continue to grow is if ordinary Americans are prosperous.
"The President and I agree that we cannot simply cut our way to economic prosperity; he set forth a plan that will invest in manufacturing, infrastructure, clean energy, and education - while not adding to our national deficit. Over the past three years the manufacturing sector has added nearly 50,000 jobs, and I am certain that number will continue to grow with the President's plan. In northeastern Ohio, we are already making the investments necessary for a 21st century economy as the Tech Belt and the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Youngstown create new wealth and new jobs.
"I applaud the President's call to promptly deal with approaching fiscal deadlines through balanced solutions that includes both tax and entitlement reform. We cannot reduce our nation's debt and deficit solely on the backs of our seniors and the middle class. Congressional Republicans need to join us at the table and help find realistic solutions to our nation's problems."
Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett:
"The President proved again tonight that talk is not cheap. He continues to spend money that our children will have to pay back and now -- for the lack of a reasoned plan -- he will give us random layoffs of government employees in Dayton, Cleveland, Mansfield and other Ohio communities. All this because he won't accept a Republican plan and neither he nor his fellow Democrats in the Senate will pass a competing plan. Democrat slogans on more taxes won't solve America's spending problem."
Senator Rob Portman:
"This isn't the first time we have heard from President Obama about plans to create jobs and rejuvenate the economy. Unfortunately, his first term showed that speeches alone do not equate to meaningful action, and he has yet to lead and reach across the aisle to develop a serious plan to rebuild our economy and stem Washington's out-of-control debt. Rather than laying out a pro-growth plan to spur our economy, he promoted the same big-government policies that have failed to get our economy up and running again. Instead of addressing the need to reduce Washington's massive deficits by reforming important yet unsustainable entitlements, he proposed more taxes on job creators.
"For years, the President said that he would have 'more flexibility' to address our nation's problems following his reelection. The election is over, there are no more excuses, and it's time for him to get to work on actually governing. To do that, he needs to step forward, reach across the aisle, and work with Republicans to find common ground on policies that will reform our antiquated tax code and give our economy a shot in the arm."
Senator Sherrod Brown:
"Tonight's speech provided an important blueprint to grow our economy by growing the middle class," Brown said. "My guest at tonight's State of the Union Address was Ms. Cookie Hall, a Cleveland steelworker who knows that American workers are the most productive in the world. President Obama outlined a plan to ensure that American manufacturers -- and the middle-class jobs they support -- are not only the most productive in the world, but also the most innovative."
"Today it is a privilege to be here in Washington D.C. for the first time in my life. If I get a chance to meet President Obama, I'll tell him my greatest pride is in our 2012 production record at Cleveland Works," Ms. Hall said, "Last Year, we achieved one-man-hour-per-ton-of-steel in steelworker productivity and produced 2.8 million tons of steel -- with 600,000 tons of that being flat-roll products dedicated to automotive customers like the Chevrolet Cruze made in Ohio. We're the most productive steelworkers in the world. In Cleveland, we are truly world class competitive in the global marketplace."
"I'm working on legislation to establish a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation to create regional public-private partnerships for manufacturers to improve innovation and create new jobs," Brown continued. "This sort of investment in the middle class is how we can continue to create jobs and get our economy back on track."