Immigration, clean energy, addressing climate change and education topped the to do list for President Barack Obama and there was some agreement to seemingly bi-partisan policy initiatives presented by the president. But conservatives said the president’s track record gives them little faith it can be accomplished with a balanced approach.
Smith County Republican Club President David Stein said he didn’t expect any seismic shift by the president but was hoping Obama would present a case for Congress to work together. Stein said the president did present that case but that he believes the president’s plans will come down to execution and production.
“The overall sense was empty rhetoric,” he said. “When you talk about something and have a vision but no path it becomes empty words.”
Stein asked how the president plans to pay for “investments” in technology, infrastructure and education when the nation faces a debt crisis, which he noted was not mentioned.
Smith County Democratic Party Chairman David Henderson said Obama touched on policy initiatives where the government has succeeded in the past and is more of a centrist than Republicans allow.
He called Obama’s immigration policy a “rationalization” rather than reform.
“Something will come out of it,” he said. “The sausage making will be complicated and the result will likely be daunting for immigrants but it will be a new, better pathway for future immigrants.”
Grassroots America — We the People Vice President Ernie Clark said he agreed with the president’s concept on immigration but that the proof will be in the details.
Clark said the president’s plans revolve around the government’s ability to solve problems but that government is the problem. He said Obama sounded like a “political Santa Claus.
“He wants to give everything to everyone,” he said. “It’s the same rhetoric but he’s not capable of getting it done.”