A Democrat and a Republican React to Inaugural Address

As you might expect, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown had positive things to say about President Obama’s 2nd inaugural speech. Brown, a Democrat, said he liked the President’s call for a modern economy that focuses on infrastructure, R&D and education. And he’s hopeful for more progress on expanding the middle class.

Brown: “I think the President’s understanding that you grow the economy not from the top down, you grow it from the middle class out, and I think that’s what the president’s inaugural address was about and I think that’s the way he wants to move the country.”

Brown says President Obama is in a lot better position going into his 2nd term than he was 4 years ago, and the substance of his inaugural address reflects that. Brown says the president struck a lot of right chords.

Brown: “I liked what he said about a modern economy requiring railroads and highways and improved infrastructure, that a free market economy has great dynamism but needs rules to ensure competition and fair play. He talked a lot about opportunity and equality, and what makes us great as a country. I think that’s inspiring and uplifting, and I think it will take us forward.”

Brown believes the president feels emboldened by his - and the Democrats’ - win in November. He says he hopes Republicans will be more willing to follow the President’s lead in his 2nd term.

Ohio’s new 14th district Congressman David Joyce also weighed in. A Republican, Joyce says the nation’s debt and deficit are his number one concern, and that it will take a concerted effort by the President to work with Republicans to bring them down.

Joyce: “We’ve all talk about working together. Now obviously, the proof is in the pudding as we start moving into the 113th Congress. But the idea is… I don’t think there’s a good Democrat bill or Republican bill. If the bill is good to help put people to work and if it’s good to help serve the hardworking taxpayers of America… I’m all for it.”

Joyce replaces Steve LaTourette, who served 18 years in the House. LaTourette was one of a dwindling number of moderate Republicans in Washington, and many are waiting to see if Joyce will follow his example. Joyce says while he didn’t support Obama as a candidate, now that he’s re-elected he’s hopeful progress can be made in a second term.

Joyce:: “I’m glad to hear him talk about how we have to do things to ensure future generations - our children and grandchildren - can live and prosper in the best America possible, and we face many difficult challenges in the coming weeks. But I look forward to working with him toward those things. Obviously the biggest problem I see is that our spending is out of control, and we need to get that back in order.”

Joyce says the debt and deficit soared in the president’s first term. He says he hopes Obama’s wisdom and words with action.

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