Marco Rubio was the voice behind the Republican response to the president’s State of the Union address. He began his reply with a thank you to the men and women in the Armed Forces which was a nice touch. However, the middle and the end left a lot of people scratching their heads as to whether this was the right response to increase the party base.

Although he touched on a number of subjects, there were no clear-cut answers or policies shared. It was more of a personal agenda to verbally attack the president and not basic policies and views.

Republicans are “regular” people

Rubio began with a biography of his poor parents, a bartender and a maid by trade. This was to set the stage he was as American as they come. He was a second generation immigrant with a poor upbringing. The party would like to move away from the biased élite status people view them as since losing the election to gain more members. This was a step in that direction not missed by a lot of reporters.


He admitted both his mother and father did take advantage of Medicare and reinforced Republicans don’t want to cut it. They did not share any answers to the issue of rising costs and a deficit related to the Medicare program. Though, he wanted to point out it is in horrible shape because of the president’s leadership.

The economy

He did spend a lot of time on the economic woes of the country. The president took an optimistic approach to it and the response in the reply was more pessimistic. Where Obama believes the downturn was initiated by a government too small, Rubio believes one being too large caused our economic woes.

According to Rubio, Obama has added more than 2 trillion to the deficit since his first term and pointed out we need to let business take us out of a bad economy, not our government. Granting it is definitely getting better, not where the president would like to see it at this time according to his particular speech, he admitted the Republicans believe we still have a long way to go. Both admitted we need to get the economy in better shape.

He referred to the economy shrinking over the last quarter of 2012 and Obama has no realistic tax increase to help the deficit. He stated no matter what he does will help the situation. He remarked on the president‘s obsession (the word he used) with increasing taxes, but cited no specific examples of this obsession.

One point stressed was the fact a vibrant free economy makes a difference in everyone’s lives. This was also in agreement with several points made during the State of the Union address.

Reckless policies from it being too big produced the housing crisis, will limit educational opportunities and creates uncertainty with consumers and businesses as well as hurting middle class families was an opinion shared after the president spoke. Basically he has a viewpoint this enormous entity will be harmful to everyone no matter who they are and where they live in the country. No answers to resolve this matter shared at this time.

The State of the Union spent a lot of time on  big business and what they are doing to hurt the country and the economy. Rubio believes simplifying the tax code will help the middle class by allowing small businesses to grow. Lower tax rates will make overseas jobs come back home and the wrong thing to do is limiting big business and their conduct.

The government

Several points were in reference to the government in general and included; it hurts middle class families, costs seniors their Medicare and social security, it will be the end of it all and there are too many policies and rules to follow at this time. This was more of a series of statements without answers.

His views were hard-working middle class people do not need a plan to grow it, but make it smaller to make more money.

The speaker talked about companies not hiring because of bigger government with more regulations, rules and taxes. He believes the president and his “cronies” are attacking the motives of anyone who disagrees with him. Obama will punish anyone that doesn’t agree him was another quote declared. Defining who his cronies were and who anyone is was not shared. This appeared to be a broad viewpoint with no names or situations discussed.

Although the State of the Union shared infrastructure job creation there was no reply given on this particular issue.

Energy and oil

He pointed out the fact America should open up more federal lands and use our natural energy resources we already have in place such as coal and gas to resolve the energy dependency issues we have. One point made which had a lot of viewers scratching their heads was the opinion that our president should have spent more time discussing his budget specifics tonight. There wasn’t a lot of talk on this specific comment during the dialogue which pointed out exactly where his time would have been better spent.

Strange moments

Several strange moments occurred during the response. One was reaching for a glass of water in the middle of his speech which changed the tempo and decreased some of the sting in his words. Did he need to calm himself down? He leaned over and out of the screen for a moment to take a drink. It was awkward and never seen during the reply to the State of the Union address.

Another was the fact he mentioned he had over $100,000 in student loans he just finished paying off.  If he wanted to create the working man persona for his politics, mentioning the fact he paid off student loans in excess of $100,000 on a senators salary at his age, leaves one to wonder where the money came from. There are not a lot of poor second generation immigrants with parents on Medicare and social security who have the resources to pay off these types of debt at his age.

He did mention going to school on government student loans. However, when addressing how to help this generation find ways to pay for higher education he indicated we should give them more knowledge about student loans before they receive them. This left a lot of people wondering how knowing more about a student loan will help pay for higher education or pay them off.

In conclusion

Most of the critics who viewed the exchange were critical of the personal nature and tone used. Instead of addressing the policy he pounced on the person/individual or our president. Many reporters admitted this discussion had the ring of a high school debate speech more than a party response to the State of the Union.

Republicans are attempting to change the face of their party and American’s views on who they are. This very edgy speech was compared to what was given after losing the election. Everyone is focusing on his drink of water during the dialogue and really not on what substance was left with viewers. This was a very personalized reply directed at the president instead of a general policy speech for the country.

He blamed the president for everything, including bad weather. Most people feel the opposition Party missed out on a great opportunity. It wont broadened with these narrow-minded attack views when provided with this enormous opportunity to reach so many people. A better use of time would would have been spent sharing policies instead of discussing the“cronies” and attack mode of our pres for anyone that doesn't agree with him .

The reply to the State of the Union address from the Republican Party was a little different