McConnell: Obama address 'pedestrian, liberal boilerplate'

Instead of bringing people together, McConnell said, Obama touted liberal ideas that he knows Republicans would not agree to.

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“An opportunity to bring the country together instead became another retread of lip service and liberalism,” McConnell said.

McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) each offered his own take on the speech, with McConnell saying it emphasized higher taxes and increased government and Reid saying it outlined an agenda that reflected the “core values of this country.”

Reid pointed out that Obama called for lawmakers to avoid the sequester by reducing spending and ending tax loopholes for wealthy taxpayers and corporations without making major cuts to entitlements and education.

“It will mean little unless Congress acts to take care of arbitrary spending cuts,” Reid said on the floor Wednesday morning. “The American people know we can’t cut our way to prosperity. We can’t ask the middle class to bear the burden. … Republicans would rather cut Medicare, education and research than cut a wasteful loophole.”

McConnell on the other hand said Obama missed an opportunity to tell lawmakers what cuts he would be willing to make to avoid the $85 billion of automatic spending cuts that take place next month.

“We won’t get anywhere as a nation if the president refuses to lead,” McConnell said. “Will he lead or will he continue this endless campaign?”