President Barack Obama’s seventh and final State of the Union address Tuesday night had some glaring omissions about national security, yet was filled with repetition reminiscent of past addresses, said Congressman Rick Allen, R-Ga., 12th District.
“It is the same old rhetoric we heard the last seven years,” Allen told the Statesboro Herald on Wednesday.
Obama did not address plans to battle terrorism, misled the American public regarding the economy and “has no clue how to lead,” he said.
The president repeated his trademark mantra of “hope and change” throughout Tuesday’s address, but Allen said that catchphrase is out of date.
“We’ve tried that,” he said. “The American people don’t agree. He is totally out of touch. Folks in the 12th District do not believe” Obama’s touted plans for change will work.
In a statement released Tuesday evening after Obama’s address, Allen said, “Americans, myself included, are tired of words. Words will not secure our border, words will not create jobs or grow the economy, and they definitely will not protect our nation and defend our citizens. It has been an incredibly frustrating seven years, and after tonight, it is evident that year eight will be no different.”
During the address, Obama said the United States economy has improved and unemployment is down. The Statesboro Herald asked Allen how he felt about the president’s comments.
“Where did he get these numbers?” Allen asked. “We have 90 million people who are not looking for work.”
Immigration system “broken”
Allen agreed with the president’s comment that the country’s immigration system is broken, but he placed the blame at Obama’s feet.
“It is broken because we are not enforcing the laws on the books now,” Allen said. “What the president needs to do is abide by the laws. We need to secure the borders. Our national security is at risk, and we need to put a pause button on refugees until we can figure out a way to vet these people.”
The congressman went on to say that he felt the president’s speech was an effort to influence voters to vote for a Democratic candidate in the upcoming presidential election, and he blamed the president for the “rancor” between the Republican and Democratic parties mentioned by Obama in his address.
“It is absolutely Obama’s fault,” Allen told the erald.HeralHerald. “He admitted this was one of his failures. His policies have failed the American people. The president will not listen to the American people, and they are sick of it. That is the cause of the division. This president has no clue how to lead. You listen and develop an agenda based on the will of the people.”
“He needs to understand people are angry,” he continued. “He refuses to work with us. Our (Republicans’) agenda is the American people’s agenda.”
In his statement Tuesday evening, Allen said, “The American people want the Keystone Pipeline, but this administration formally rejected it. The American people are concerned about their security and supporting our troops, yet this president vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act. The American people are crying out because of the cost of their healthcare plans, yet the president continues to choose his political legacy over the middle class. And yet tonight, the president bragged about his climate change agreement, reinventing our energy sector and creating more government programs in the name of growing an economy that works better for everybody. This only further proves how out-of-touch this president is and remains.”
Lack of strategy against terrorism
On Wednesday, Allen told the Herald that one of the most obvious omissions from Obama’s address was the lack of a specific plan to fight against terrorism, adding that he feels the president’s approach is passive.
“He doesn’t have a strategy, and he is one of few presidents who have vetoed a military spending bill,” Allen said. “National security is number one on the minds of the American people.”
In his statement Tuesday evening, Allen said, “While I hoped the president would take this time to finally provide the country with a strategy on combatting ISIS, one of the most pressing issues facing our country, he again failed to do so. Not only that, but his continued effort to try and shut down Guantanamo Bay jeopardizes the safety of our country. “
Allen said he holds no hope that Obama’s last year in office will be any different than the previous seven.
“Refusing to admit failure, President Obama will stay the course, championing his political legacy over each and every American,” Allen said in his statement. “Thus it is blatantly evident that the best way to end gridlock in Washington is with a new president.”
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.