Rep. Peter King: Obama Inaugural Speech Was A "Campaign Type Of Address"
REP. PETER KING (R-NEW YORK): Well, you know, the president won the election, so he's certainly entitled to pursue his agenda.
I thought it would have been more effective, though, if he had spoken more in thematic terms. By being as precise as he was, he was really laying out a liberal agenda which is usually what's done in a State of the Union.
You know, going back to Ronald Reagan's first address, he was saying that, you know, government is not the solution; it's the problem. Those are general statements.
I thought the way he got specific yesterday made it more of a, again, almost campaign type of address. I mean, parts of it were very good. He's an excellent speaker, obviously.
But even, for instance, the way he was sort of distinguishing the issues, implying that Democrats care more about disabled kids than Republicans do or he's not going to turn his back on the sick elderly.
Well, you know, no one wants to do any of those things, so I thought he could have found some way to be more constructive. Maybe he felt that the time for that is gone, but, you know, he's going to have a State of the Union speech coming up on February 12th. That's where he can really lay out his agenda.
I thought last night -- yesterday, he missed an opportunity. I'm not as critical as some of the others may be. I think it would have been better for him if he had tried to reach out a bit more.
KING: I think he should have done more to say there's honest disagreement. There's honest disagreement. We have strong views. Let's try to find more of a common ground.
He didn't really acknowledge the honest disagreement. It was, somehow, there's the voice of reason and there's the shrill cries on the other side. So, I think he should have gone more to say, hey, there's people who honestly disagree with me.
Now, there's some people who are never going to agree with him, but I think he would have made more progress if he had acknowledged, again, the honest disagreements, if he had even perhaps mentioned John Boehner's name or Mitch McConnell's name the way President George H. W. Bush did with Speaker Jim Wright back in 1989.
It's just a gesture honoring day which is more of a unifying day. You can still make the case, but do it in a more magnanimous way.
But, again, he won the election.