tv State of the Union CNN January 25, 2011 10:00pm-11:00pm EST
we've also taken the fight to al qaeda and their allies abroad. in afghanistan, our troops have taken taliban strong holds and trained afghan security forces. our purpose is clear -- by preventing the taliban from reestablishing a strangle hold over the afghan people, we will deny al qaeda the safe haven that served as a launching pad for 9/11. thanks to our heroic troops and civilians, fewer afghans are under the control of the insurgency. there will be tough fighting ahead, and the afghan government will need to deliver better governance. but we are strengthening the capacity of the after gaen people and building an enduring partnership with them. this year we will work with nearly 50 countries to begin a transition to an afghan leader, and this july we will begin to bring our troops home. [ applause ]
in pakistan, al qaeda's leadership is under more pressure than at any point since 2001. their leaders and operatives are being removed from the battlefield. their safe halvens are shrinking, and we sent a message to all parts of the globe, we will not relent, we will not waver, and we will defeat you. [ applause ] american leadership can also be seen in the effort to secure the worst weapons of war. because republicans and democrats approved the new
s.t.a.r.t. treatment, far few launchers and weapons will be deployed. because we rallied the world, nuclear materiels are being locked down on every continent so they never fall into the hands of terrorists. because of a diplomatic efforts insist that iran meet its obligations, the iranian government now faces tougher sanctions, tighter sanctions than ever before. and on the korean peninsula, we stand with our ally south korea and insist north korea keeps its commitment to abandon nuclear weapons. [ applause ] this is just a part of how we're shaping a world that favors peace and prosperity. but our european allies, we've revitalized nato and increased our cooperationen everything from counterterrorism to missile
defense. we reset our relationship with russia, strengthened asian alliances, built new partnerships with nations like india. this march i will travel to brazil, chile and el salvador to forge new alliances across the americas. around the globe, we're standing with those who take responsibility, helping farmers grow more food. supporting doctors who care for the sick. and combatting the corruption that can rot a society and rob people of opportunity. recent events have shown us that what sets us apart must not just be our power, it must also be the purpose behind it. in south sudan, with our assistance, the people were finally able to vote for independence after years of war. thousands lined up before dawn -- [ applause ] people danced in the streets.
one man who lost four of his brothers at war summed up the scene around him, "this was a battlefield for most of my life," he says. "now we want to be free." [ applause ] when we saw that same desire to be free in tunisia where the will of the people proved more powerful than the writ of a dictator. let us be clear, the united states of america stands behind the people of tunisia and supports the democratic aspirations of all people. [ applause ] we must ever forget that the things we've struggled for and fought for live in the hearts of people everywhere.
our troops and their families. let us serve them as well as they served us by providing them with the care and benefits that they have earned and by using our veterans in building our own nation. our troops come from every corner of this country. they're black, white, latino, asian, native american, they are christian and hindu, jewish and muslim. and yes, we know that some of them are gay. starting this year, no american will be forbidden from serving the country they love because of who they love. [ applause ] and with that change, i call on
all our college campuses to open their doors to our military recruiters and rotc. it is time to leave behind the distant battles of the past. it is time to move forward as one nation. [ applause ] we should have no illusions about the work ahead of us. reforming our schools, changing the way we use energy, reducing our deficit. none of this will be easy. all of it will take time. and it will be harder because we will argue about everything. the costs, the details, the letter of every law.
of course, some countries don't have this problem. if the central government wants a railroad, they build a railroad. no matter how many homes get bulldozed. if they don't want a bad story in the newspaper, it doesn't get written. and yet, as contentious and frustrating and messy as our democracy can sometimes be, i know there isn't a person here who would trade places with any other nation on earth. [ applause ] >> we may have differences in
policy, but we all believe in the rights enshrined in our constitution. we may have different opinions, but we believe in the same promise that says this is a place where you can make it if you try. we may have different backgrounds, but we believe in the same dream that says this is a country where anything is possible, no matter who you are. no matter where you come from. that dream is why i can stand here before you tonight. that dream is why a working class kid from scranton can sit behind me. [ applause ] that dream is why someone who began by sweeping the floors of his father's cincinnati bar can preside as speaker of the house in the greatest nation on earth.
[ applause ] that dream, that american dream, is what drove the allen brothers to reinvent the roofing company for a new era. it's what drove those students at forsythe tech to work for the future. and that dream is the story of a small business owner named brandon fisher. brandon started a company in berlin, pennsylvania, that specializes in a new kind of drilling technology. one day last summer, he saw the news that halfway across the world, 33 men were trapped in a chilean mine, and no one knew how to save them.
but brandon thought his company could help. so he designed a rescue that would come to be known as plan b. his employees worked around the clock to manufacture the necessary drilling equipment, and brandon left for chile. along with others, he began drilling a 2,000 foot hole into the ground, working three or four days at a time without any sleep. 37 days later, plan b succeeded, and the miners were rescued. [ applause ] but because he didn't want all the attention, brandon wasn't there when the miners emerged. he had already gone back home, back to work on his next project. and later, one of his employees said of the rescue, we proved
that it's a little company, but we do big things. [ applause ] we do big things. from the earliest day of our founding, america has been the story of ordinary people who dared to dream. that's how we win the future. we're a nation that says i might not have a lot of money, but i have this great idea for a new company. i might not come from a family of college graduates, but lyou will be the first to get my degree. i might not know those people in trouble, but i think i can help them and i need to try. i'm not sure how we'll reach that better place beyond the horizon, but i know we'll get there. i know we will. we do big things.
the idea of america endures. our destiny remains our choice. and tonight more than two centuries later, it's because of our people that our future is hopeful, our journey goes forward, and the state of our union is strong. thank you. god bless you. and may god bless the united states of america. [ applause ] [ applause continues ] >> and so the president of the united states wrapping up his state of the union address to the nation, speaking as expected, just a little bit more
than one hour, the president making the case for some serious budget cuts. the economy, issue number one clearly throughout the speech. the creation of jobs, jobs, jobs. he's going to walk through and get some well wishes now from members of the house, the senate, members of his cabinet, other guests who are on the floor of the house. john king is standing by. this is basically what we thought it was going to be. i didn't hear any huge surprises, john, did you? >> no, wolf, not a very exciting speech, but a very calculated political speech by the president. almost all members are wearing those ribbons, those are in honor of congresswoman gabrielle giffords and the other victims of the shooting. the president gave you the reason near the end where he said we are going to argue about everything. but throughout the speech, the president tried to be the person you want to be in a big
argument, the reasonable person in the middle. yes, i'm open to some changes in my health care, but i'm not giving the power back to the insurance companies. i'm going to have regulations about worker safety. yes, i just repealed don't ask, don't tell, gays can serve in the military. so let's put the rotc back on campuses. the president trying to present himself somebody in the middle of all the big fights, a very calculated political statement for a president of the united states. who knows, with new divided government in washington, he is in for a long, tough year. he wants the america people to think he's the reasonable voice in the center. >> it was interesting, candy crowley. at one point we wondered if this would happen, it did happen. republicans stood up and applauded and democrats sat on their hands. that's when the president spoke of health care changes and medical malpractice lawsuits. he said we need to do something about that. >> he's said that before, but
it's nice to do that in front of a big crowd. i actually thought one of his most effective lines was about health care when he said let's not relitigate these past two years. let's fix what's wrong and move on. i thought that encome passed what he wanted to say, which was hey, i'm a reasonable guy, let's fix some stuff but keep going. also thought it was interesting that usually we wait till about the second -- at the end, the future is hopeful, but not because it's strong right this second. >> the president is signing autographs on the programs. let's eavesdrop a little bit and see what he's saying. [ inaudible ]
>> you got three, huh? >> i do. >> elliott needs his, too. bipartisan, right? >> absolutely. >> i think possibly because of the way people were sitting, the first half of the speech was excellent. this was the first president i think who has made the secretary of education the most important member of his cabinet during a speech. he -- the second half went downhill a bit and was particularly disapointing. i thought superficially and without boldness. he let an opportunity pass by. i don't think he came through with the deficits. >> yeah. i want to remind our viewers, once he leaves the house chamber, the republican response, the republican address to the nation as it's called, paul ryan, the congressman from
wisconsin, the republican congressman from wisconsin will speak. gloria borger watched and listened. what did you think, gloria? >> i think the president set the right tone here, wolf. he talked about sustaining the american dream, and he said look, there are things you're going to agree on and things we're going to disagree on, and let's not start all over again with health care reform. let's just make it a better bill. but i do think it was not a transformational speech, the kind of speech that people in the white house may have been hoping for. because what they wanted to do was essentially challenge the country to not stand still. and i'm not quite sure that in the end, by not dealing with the deficit issues, by not talking
more about jobs, jobs, jobs today, that the president made that connection for the american people. so overall, i would say that it had the right tone. it was inspirational in parts, it made us feel good about who we are in america. but there were some things that needed to be said about the future of our country, particularly regarding what we're going to do about these deficits in the future that can cripple us. >> i want to show our viewers a picture we just received. there's mark kelly, the husband of congresswoman gabrielle giffords. he's wearing that ribbon in honor of the victims. he's holding her hand. we're told that he together with the congresswoman, there at that hospital in houston, texas, they watched the president's state of the union address, a very, very moving moment. dana bash is inside the house chamber.
dana, this was unusual in that we had these democrats and republicans sitting next to each other as opposed to different sides of the aisle. >> that's right. there was a question about whether or not when the president said something that was worthy of applause from the democrat's point of view, they would stand up and republicans would feel comfortable sitting down. the answer was no. there were so many times, even times where the president wasn't giving overt divisive comments, republicans felt very comfortable not standing up. it wasn't a sea saw effect, but you could definitely see the differences here even though they were sitting together in the chamber. >> the president has now left the floor of the house of representatives. so five minutes from now we'll hear the official republican response from paul ryan, the
congressman from wisconsin. after that, we'll get the tea party response from congresswoman michele bachmann. let's bring in some of our other analysts and contribute tors. piers morgan, what did you think? >> it was historic. john boehner didn't cry, he nearly did. the key was it massn't massive on substance but big on rhetoric and i thought i understood better what president obama wants to get from his country and his presidency and that in itself i think is impressive and notable. >> what does he want to get? >> he wants to get america back to work, pumping again, he wants to get aggressive and competitive. he wants to be here and acorrode. if i was an american, i would think we've got to stop moaning about the past, we're in a hole.
we have to come together. in a way the imagery of having republicans and democrats side by side applauding in the way that they did on occasion, collectively, was impressive. i've been watching again saying yes, we need to fight together. this is not about partisan politics but coming together as a country and getting back to work. if that's the message, it's effective. >> >>eric, a lot of points designed to bring the republicans in. >> i'm struck as a conservative that this is a president who wants to return us to '50 style governmental private partnerships. alexander graham bell, the wright brothers, steve jobs, bill gates, they just did it without the government getting in the way. the one thing he cited, the transcontinual railroad nearly
ended by derailing grant's presidency. there was very little tailored toward the entrepreneurial class. >> roland, did you like it, not like it? >> first of all, he mentioned facebook and google. he cited specific images even in the audience who are entrepreneurs, business owners. so i think he clearly spoke to those individuals. what also jumped out when you talk about the challenge of the american people, the issue of look, the world has changed. we spend so much time talking about the loss of manufacturing jobs and how it used to be. when he said look, it used to take a thousand, now it takes a hundred. that was a way of saying wake the hell up. we're not going back to those days. you're going to have to accept the fact we're operating in a global economy.
what also stood out, not one mention of the poor in this speech. not even a mention of the middle class in this speech. that stands out when you look at the number of children who are on food stamps and in poverty, not to even mention the poor is a failure of the president in any state of the union speech. >> another subject he didn't raise, he could have, but guns. a sensitive subject, especially after what happened in tucson, although we're told he will deliver a speech in the coming weeks specifically on guns. let's just review where we stand right now. coming up, the republican response to the president's address. paul ryan, the republican congressman from wisconsin, he is now in the house budget committee room. he's the new chairman of that committee. he's only 40 years old, but already a clear rising star in the republican party. he will be delivering the official republican response.
that will be followed by michele bachmann, the republican congresswoman from minnesota who will be delivering the tea party response to the president. maybe a tea party response to the official republican response, as well. we're going to carry both of those responses. we have the advanced techs. they're not very long, certainly not as long as the president's address. these will be relatively brief remarks. so let's get ready to listen to congressman paul ryan, getting
ready to speak right now from the house budget committee. here he is, paul ryan. >> president obama just addressed a chamber. one face we didn't see there tonight was congresswoman gabrielle giffords of arizona. we all miss gabby and her cheerful spirit and we're
praying for her to return to the house chamber. earlier this month, president obama spoke movingly at a memorial event for the six people who died on that violent morning in tucson. still, there are no words that can lift the sorrow that now engulfs the family and friends of the fallen. what we can do is assure them that the nation is praying for them, that in the words of the psalmist, the lord heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds and over time, grace will replace grief. as gabby continues to make progress, we must keep her and the others in our thoughts and we attend to the work before us. tonight, the president focussed a lot of attention on our economy in general, and on our deficit and debt in particular. he was right to do so. and some of his words were reassuring. as chairman of the house budget committee, i assure you that we want to work with the president to restrain federal spending. in one of our first acts in the new majority, house republicans
voted to cut congress' own budget and just today, the house voted to restore the spending discipline that washington sorely needs. the
reason is simple, a few years ago, reducing spending was important. today, it's imperative. here's why. we face a crushing burden of debt. the debt will soon eclipse our entire economy and grow to catastrophic levels in years ahead. on this current path, when my three children who are now 6, 7 and 8 years old, are raising their own children, the federal government will double in size and so will the taxes they pay. no economy can sustain such high levels of debt and taxation. the next generation will inherit a diminished country. frankly, it's one of my greatest concerns as a parent. our debt is a product of acts by many presidents and many congresses over many years. no one person or party is
responsible for it. there's no doubt the president came into office facing a severe fiscal and economic situation. unfortunately, instead of restoring the fundamentals of economic growth, he engauged in a stimulus spending spree
that not only failed to deliver on his promise to create jobs but plunged us deeper into debt. the facts are clear, since taking office, president obama has signed into law spending increases of nearly 25% for domestic government agencies. and 84% increase when you include the failed stimulus. all of this new government spending was sold as investment. yet after two years, the unemployment rate remains above 9% and government has added over $3 trillion to our debt. then the president and his party made matters even worse by creating a new open ended health care entitlement. what we already know about the president's health care law is
this, costs are going up. premiums are rising. and millions of people will lose the coverage they currently have. job creation is being stifled by the taxes, penalties, mandates and fees. businesses and unions from around the country are asking the obama administration for waivers from the mandates. washington should not be in the business of picking winners and losers. the president mentioned the need for regulatory reform to ease the burden on american businesses. we agree and we think this health care law would be a great place to start. last week, house republicans voted for a full repeal of this law, as we pledged to do.
and we will work to replace it with fiscally responsible, patient centered reforms that actually reduce costs and expand coverage. health care spending is driving the explosive growth of our debt and the president's law is accelerating our country towards bankruptcy. our debt is out of control.
what was a fiscal challenge is now a fiscal crisis. we cannot deny it. instead we must, as americans, confront it responsibly. and that is exactly what republicans pledge to do. americans are skeptical of both political parties, and that skepticism is justified, especially when it comes to spending. so hold all of us accountable. in this very room, the house will produce debate and advance a budget. last year, in an unprecedented failure, congress chose not to pass or even propose a budget. the spending spree continued up checked. we owe you a better choice and a different vision. our forthcoming budget is our obligation to you, to show you how we would do things differently, how we will cut spending to get the debt down, help create jobs and prosperity and reform government programs. if we act soon and act responsibly, people in and near retirement will be protected.
these budget debates are not just about the programs of government, they're also about the purpose of government. so i would like to share with you the principles that guide us. they are anchored in the wisdom of the founders. in the spirit of the declaration of independence and the words of the american constitution. they have to do with the importance of limited government and the blessing of self-government. we believe government's role is vital and limited to defend the nation from attack and provide for the common defense. to secure our boarders. to protect innocent life. to uphold our laws and constitutional rights, to ensure domestic tranquility and equal opportunity. and to provide a safety net for those who cannot provide for themselves. we believe that the government has an important role to create the conditions that promote entrepreneurship, upward mobility, and individual responsibility. we believe as our founders did
that the pursuit of happiness depends on individual liberty, and individual liberty requires
limited government. limited government also means effective government. when government takes on too many tasks, it usually doesn't do any of them very well. it's no coincidence that trust in government is at an all-time low now that the size of government is at an all-time high. the president and the democratic leadership have shown by their actions that they believe government needs to increase its size and its reach. its price tag and its power. whether sold as stimulus or repackaged as "investment," their actions show they spend too much and tax too much to do too much. during the last two years, that's exactly what we've gotten, along with record deficits and debt. to the point where the president is urging congress to increase the debt limit.
we believe the days of business as usual must come to an end. we hold to a couple of simple convictions. endless borrowing is not a strategy. spending cuts have to come first. our nation is approaching a tipping point. we're at a moment many, if government growth is left up checked and unchallenged, america's best century will be considered our past century. this is a future in which we will transform our social safety net into a hammock, depending on bureaucracy to foster innovation and wise consumer choices has never worked and it won't work now. we need to chart a new course. speaking candidly as one citizen to another, we still have time, but not much time. if we continue down our current path, we know what our future will be.
just take a look at what's happening to greece, ireland, the united kingdom, and other nations in europe. they didn't act soon enough, and now their governments have been forced to impose large benefit cuts to seniors and huge tax increases on everybody. their day of reckoning has arrived. ours is around the corner. that is why we have to act now. some people will back away from this challenge. but i see this challenge as an opportunity to rebuild what lincoln called the central ideas of the republic. we believe a renewed commitment to limited government will unshackle our economy and create millions of new jobs and opportunities for all people of every background to succeed and prosper. under this approach, the spirit of initiative, not political clout, determines who succeeds. millions of families have fallen on hard times, not because of our ideals of free enterprise,
but because our leaders failed to live up to those ideals. because of poor decisions made in washington and wall street that caused a financial crisis, squandered our savings, broke our trust and tripled our economy. today, a similar kind offer responsibility threatens not only our livelihoods but way of life. we need to reclaim our american system of limited government, reasonable regulations, low taxes and sound money, which has blessed us with unprecedented prosperity and done more to help the poor than any other economic system ever designed. that's the real secret to job creation, not borrowing and spending more in washington. limited government and free enterprise have helped make america the greatest nation on earth. these are not easy times, but america is an exceptional nation. in all the chapters of human history, there's never been anything quite like america.
the american story has been cherished, advanced, and defended over the centuries. and it now falls to this generation to pass onto our children a nation that is stronger, more vibrant, more decent and better than the one we inherited. thank you and good night. >>
republican congressman paul ryan of wisconsin delivering the official republican response to the president's state of the union address, saying the united states right now is approaching a tipping point unless there is massive budget cutting, cutting and spending, then the country could face the same kinds of economic disasters as greece, ireland and other countries in europe right now. one more address coming up. this one from the tea party activist. congresswoman michele bachmann, this is extraordinary, a third speech tonight that we will bring you live only here on cnn, right after this.
>> man: diving to 4,000 meters. >> boy: go down, down, down. down. straight. go straight. no, to the right. to the right. >> go to the right, go to the right. >> whoa! >> whoa! >> what is that? >> man: well, that's a, uh... i don't know. >> whoa. >> can we call him blinky? >> woman: expert teaching. deeper learning. together, we are the human network. cisco. ♪ [ rock ballad ] ♪ ahh-ah-ah-ahh
[ announcer ] only one car has the highest resale value in its class. presenting the one. the 34-mile-per-gallon accord. from honda. normally there's an official response from the opposition party. this particular case, the republican party we just heard paul ryan of wisconsin. now the tea party movement, they have another response to the president's state of the union address. we'll carry michele bachmann's response live. let's just discuss what we
heard. piers, you heard paul ryan if the united states doesn't take action now, we will face the same economic disaster that greece, ireland, the united kingdom, other european countries pace. does he have a point there? >> he has a good point, but here's the big problem for the republicaning. we now await a second response from the tea party. you've got president obama, who since i've been in new york, has gone from 42% in the polls to 55% in his personal rating, which is a huge significant jump. at the precise moment when you would expect the republicans to come up against him, they seem to be more split than ever. i don't know how that's going to play out, but if i was a republican, i would be worried that i've now got two speeches responding to a pumped up confident president and i would think this isn't going to work for us. >> david, we're going to dissect
the official republican response as opposed to michele bachmann's unofficial tea party response. >> they could get two bites of the apple. >> but do you think that would be effective come a proper election against obama? >> i think the more they make their case, ryan gives a short speech, she gives a short speech, i thought his speech was lofty, it was pretty darn good. i think she'll come back in and go for the gusto. >> it's a lot harder, eric, to just look into a camera with no audience and no standing ovations to just read a speech. >> particularly when there's no one in the room with you, but at
least the -- what we could say about him is he wasn't bobby jindal from last year, which was the low bar from last year. i like her speech a lot more. >> why? >> it's shorter, to the point and deals with the nuts and bolts issues. >> and look, we're the only ones broadcasting her speech, so there fore, validating that response. so what will folks remember going forward? you're going to see the tea party republican party, they're not a party, continue to push the gop. they're not on the democratic side in terms of pushing them. on the point about paul ryan's speech, the change i believe in terms of on the deficit will take place on the city, county and state level. because when you begin to have folks declaring bankruptcy, that's going to force the american people to realize they
cannot keep asking for everything. the benefit of this financial crisis we've been in has forced americans to realize you can't keep buying houses and boats and cars if you don't have the money. that to me is what is going to happen. when the cities start saying -- we started in new jersey. that's going to force congress to say they're doing it locally, now we have to do it nationally. >> which programs are you going to cut? >> they don't get to those specifics until they see who is going to come with them. you don't want to get out there and be a big target. paul ryan doesn't want to do it, the president didn't want to do it. take the michele bachmanns and people who are out there, you know, to say here are my specifics. let me just say, listen, it's
true, we will no longer remember what anybody says here tonight, but optics remember. and for the republican party, ryan did them a lot of good tonight. the republicans have usually had a little trouble getting their act together with people who don't come across with as now we're going to take all the money out of your grandmother's social security. paul ryan did a good job, moving it away from the bush era into something else. it's a start. >> john king is up on capital hill. john, paul ryan is one of the smartest republicans up there, one of the smartest members of the house of representatives. even some of his views that he's put forward over the past year in terms of what to cut, a lot of republicans aren't necessarily jumping on that bandwagon right now. >> no, they're not, because as candy notes, we're early in the debate. so many republicans want to be careful, too. we're just out of an election where many of the new republicans, some have said if
i'm only here two years or four years, that's fine. i'm willing to cut very deep in the federal budget. many of the people who have been here longer, especially those who might have a more difficult next cycle, many of them say whoa, let's wait. paul ryan wants to go back to allow you the option, the option, not mandatory, to invest some of your social security money into private accounts. he wants to turn the medicare program, over time, again, if you're 55, it would not affect you, but for younger americans, he would like to turn medicare eventually into a voucher program. you would get a payment from the government and use it to buy private health insurance, not a medicare program. >> i'm going to go to gloria in a moment. but we're awaiting michele bachmann to deliver the tea party movement's official response to the president's state of the union address. stand by, we'll have it live right here after this.
michele bachmann the congresswoman from minnesota, she's about to deliver the tea party movement's response to the president's state of the union address. we're going to bring that to you live as we've brought the official republican response, as well from paul ryan. then we'll have more analysis. anderson cooper has now joined us. anderson, as we await michele bachmann, this is one of those nights when we get to see a wide spectrum of thought, a lot of lofty comments. but not a whole lot of specifics. >> actually, in past state of the union speeches, i think the
difficulty for speech writers is it often does become a laundry list of items. i think president obama made an effort to try to paint in broader strokes throughout the speech. i'm interested in hearing what congresswoman michele bachmann has to say. how do most republicans feel the fact that she's even doing this? >> most republicans are upset she's doing this. they're upset with cnn covering it. >> hold on a second. >> i'm michele bachmann from minnesota. i want to thank the tea party express and tea party hd for inviting me her to speak this evening. the tea party is a dynamic force for good in our national conversation, and it's an honor for me to speak with you. two years ago when barack obama became our president, unemployment was 7.8% and our national debt stood at what
seemed like a staggering $10.6 trillion. we wondered whether the president would reduce the deficit and implement real job creating policies. unfortunately, the president's strategy for recovery was to spend a trillion dollars on a failed stimulus program, fueled by borrowed money. the white house promised us all the spending would keep unemployment under 8%. not only did that fail to deliver, but within three months, the national jobless rate spiked to 9.4%. it hasn't been lower for 20 straight months. while the government grew, we lost more than 2 million jobs. let me show you a chart. here unemployment rates over the past ten years. in october of 2001, our national unemployment rate was at 5.3%. in 2008, it was at 6.6%. but just eight months after president obama promised lower
unemployment, that spiked to a staggering 10.1%. today, unemployment is at 9.4% with about 400,000 new claims every week. after the $700 billion bailout and the massive budget bill with over 9,000 earmarks, many of you implored washington to please stop spending money we don't have. but instead of cutting, we saw an unprecedented explosion of government spending and debt. it was unlike anything we've seen before in the his through of the country. well, deficits were unacceptably high under president bush. but they exploded under president obama's direction. growing the national debt by an astounding $3.1 trillion. what did we buy? instead of a leaner, smarter government, we bought a bureaucracy that now tells us
which lightbulbs to buy and may put 16,500 irs agents in charge of policing the health care bill. obama care mandates and penalties may cause employers to to be offering health care coverage all together. in the end, unless we repeal obama care, a nation that enjoys the world's finest health care might be forced to rely on government-run coverage. that could have a devastating impact on our national debt for even generations to come. for two years, president obama made promises, just like the ones from this evening. yet still we have high unemployment, devalued housing prices and the cost of gasoline is skyrocketing. here's a few suggestions for fixing our economy.
the president could stop the epa from imposing a job destroying cap and trade system. the president could support a balanced budget amendment. the president could agree to an energy policy that increases american energy production and reduces our dependence on foreign oil. the president could also turn back some of the 132 regulations put in place in the last two years. many of which will cost our economy $100 million or more. and the president should repeal obama care and support free market solutions like medical malpractice reform and allowing all americans to buy any health care policy they like anywhere in the united states. we need to start making things again in this country, and we can do that by reducing the tax and regulatory burden on job creators. america will have the highest
corporate tax rates in the world. think about that. look no further to see why jobs are moving overseas. but thanks to you, there's reason for all of us to have hope that real spending cuts are coming. because last november, you went to the polls and you voted out the big spending politicians and you put in their place great men and women with a commitment to follow our constitution and cut the size of government. i believe that we're in the very early days of a history making turn in america. please know how important your calls, visits and letters are to the maintenance of our liberties. because of you, congress is responding and we're just beginning to start to undo the damage that's been done the last few years. because we believe in lower taxes. we believe in a limited view of go. and exceptionalism in america. and i believe america is the
indispensable nation of the world. just the creation of this nation itself was a miracle. who can say we won't see a miracle again? the perilous battle that was fought during world war ii in the pacific at iwo jima was a battle against all odds, yet this picture immortalizes the victory of young gis against the japanese. these six young men raising the flag came to symbolize all of america coming together to beat back a totalitarian regime. we need all of us to pull together. but we can do this. that's our hope. we will push forward. we will proclaim liberty throughout the land. and we will do so because we, the people, will never give up on this great nation. so god bless you and god bless the united states of america.
>> all right, congresswoman michele bachmann speaking on behalf of the tea party movement. she's the chair of the tea party caucus in the house of representatives, making the case -- we're going to dissect what she said. i want to go to john king up on capital hill. give us a thought on this extraordinary development. usually we just get one official response. today we got two. >> well, wolf, she said right at the top, it was not a competition with the official republican response, but in many ways it was. in tone it was very different. you heard the president of the united states, especially talk about health care saying let's not relitigate the last two years, let's look forward and fight about other issues. well, that tea party address from michele bachmann was a relitigation of the last two years. she used obama care over and over again. she said repeal obama care. her tone was a bit more alarmist. you heard mr. paul ryan say i
would like to work with the president. his tone was much more conciliatory. that was a very much a tea party message of fighting president obama and the challenge, wolf, it's not just for the president but how does the republican new house majority manage that energy, that confrontational spirit from the tea party members at a time when it too is on trial with the american people. the president has a lot to prove, but the tea party's presence makes speaker boehner's job a tough one. >> she wanted to be in the republican leadership, the guys said no to her. is this her way of responding to that? >> i don't think so. having seen this speech now and read through the transcript, for several days since this was announced, the narrative that's been built up is this is going to be in opposition to what paul ryan said, but it seems to reflect it. we build up these narratives in anticipation before we know what we're going to get. here we're talking about how
this is combative towards republicans. this played well off the paul ryan speech and got to the nuts and bolts. when you listen to these political addresses, you wish they would get to the point. that's what she did. >> paul ryan said our debt is the product of many presidents and congresses. yet when you hear she speech, she said we wondered whether the president would cut spending and implement real job creating policies. was she talking about president obama or president bush? republicans taking some form of responsibility is they say deficits were high under president bush. to sit here and somehow suggest that all of a sudden things were
great prior to president obama coming in, clearly that mistakes the reality of where this country was in 2008. >> because david gergen, the national debt doubled during the eight years of the bush administration, six of those years republicans also controlled the congress. >> and president obama in his state of the union laid the blame for the deficits and the debt squarely on george w. bush. two wars that weren't paid for, prescription drugs that weren't paid for, tax cuts that weren't paid for. each side wants to make its partisan points on this. i agree with eric, she reinforced what ryan said. she came at it a different way but provided a lot of facts and figures. >> candy, it's one of these nights we have to absorb a lot and sometimes it will take days to fully appreciate what happened here. >> listening to michele bachmann here, it is what it is, and i think that's about right. >> this has been an amazing night, i must say, one that i've