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GOP leaders not impressed with State of Union speech
President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday evoked only more heckling from Republicans who contend he is leading the nation down the wrong path, but it drew cheers and praise from Democrats for stating what they feel needed to be said.

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-1, whose area of representation includes Glynn and surrounding counties, said simply that actions speak louder than words.

"While this president gives eloquent speeches, we have yet to see from him the kind of leadership our country needs right now," Kingston said. "We need to come together for real action that will foster job creation through private sector expansion, bring down the cost of energy, and reduce our national debt."

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., said while he was pleased Obama mentioned job creation, he was disappointed in the larger message.

"Bigger government and more spending are not the keys to American prosperity," Chambliss said. "To create more jobs and a better quality of life for all Americans, we must tame our debt and deficit while getting our nation's spending under control."

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., also applauded the president for making jobs a priority. However, he added, "I believe that the most important jobs are private sector jobs.

"We have too many government jobs and not enough private sector jobs. If we are serious about turning the economy around, we must focus on this area."

In marked contrast to reaction from Republicans, the Democratic faithful felt the speech and its contents were exactly what the nation needed to hear.

"President Obama showed the clear path that he intends to follow to address the significant problems facing America," said Democratic Party of Georgia Chairman Mike Berlon. "It also showed that he is not afraid to tackle issues that for too long have been considered politically impractical or impossible.

"Improving health care, eliminating tax loopholes, election reform, focusing on pre-school education, developing an energy security policy, reducing the deficit, common sense tax reform and a comprehensive plan for immigration reform are all a path to recapturing the American dream."

Berlon said the president showed he is ready to make the hard and necessary decisions to move the country forward.

"The president made it clear that for far too long, Congress' inability to compromise has prevented measures that would make life better for all Americans."

Now, Berlon said, he has taken the fight directly to the American people and made the case for significant changes in his second term.

"Simply put, the message was clear: It is time to put partisan politics aside and work for the many and not the few," Berlon said.

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