TPM News

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) delivered the Republican response to President Barack Obama's 2010 State of the Union address. Below is the text of McDonnell's prepared remarks:

Good evening. I'm Bob McDonnell. Eleven days ago I was honored to be sworn in as the 71st governor of Virginia.

I'm standing in the historic House Chamber of Virginia's Capitol, a building designed by Virginia's second governor, Thomas Jefferson.

It's not easy to follow the President of the United States. And my twin 18-year old boys have added to the pressure, by giving me exactly ten minutes to finish before they leave to go watch SportsCenter.

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President Barack Obama had some harsh words for the Supreme Court's recent decision to strike down a key campaign-finance provision during his State of the Union address tonight, and Justice Samuel Alito looked none too pleased.

"With all due deference to separation of powers," the president said, "last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections."

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President Barack Obama struck a somber tone in his inaugural State of the Union address tonight and called for Democrats and Republicans to work together to start addressing the very real problems that America is facing.

In a wide ranging speech that covered everything from terrorism to bank bailouts to the environment, Obama began with historical references to D-Day, the 1929 stock market crash and the fight for civil rights. But he quickly moved to bashing the highly unpopular bank bailout, saying it's the one thing that can unify people from all political stripes.

"I hated it. You hated it. It was about as popular as a root canal," he said to applause. He defended the bailout, saying it was necessary to shore up the banks lest our entire economy grind to a screeching halt.

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During his first State of the Union address tonight, Obama poked some fun at the much maligned bank bailout.

"I hated it. You hated it. It was about as popular as a root canal," the president said to applause.

Obama also said that if there was one thing that could unite Democrats, Republicans and everyone in between, it is the common dislike of the $700 billion bailout that Congress passed at the end of 2008 to help prop up the banks.

Watch the video after the jump.

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President Obama says Democrats need to get some perspective: Despite the fact that they lost a Senate seat in Massachusetts last week, they still have a huge majority to work with to get things done. But he also acknowledges that Republicans are filibustering everything, and puts it to them to...not be so mean.

"I will not give up on changing the tone of our politics," says Obama in his prepared State of the Union remarks.

I know it's an election year. And after last week, it is clear that campaign fever has come even earlier than usual. But we still need to govern. To Democrats, I would remind you that we still have the largest majority in decades, and the people expect us to solve some problems, not run for the hills. And if the Republican leadership is going to insist that sixty votes in the Senate are required to do any business at all in this town, then the responsibility to govern is now yours as well. Just saying no to everything may be good short-term politics, but it's not leadership. We were sent here to serve our citizens, not our ambitions. So let's show the American people that we can do it together. This week, I'll be addressing a meeting of the House Republicans. And I would like to begin monthly meetings with both the Democratic and Republican leadership. I know you can't wait.


That should do the trick.

Some progressives had hoped that President Obama would make a bold statement about the ban on homosexuals serving openly in the military in his State Of The Union address tonight. Obama touched on the topic briefly, but didn't offer a detailed plan to end the ban many on the left were hoping for.

"This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are," Obama said, in the one sentence he devoted to the topic in the speech.

Obama made the mention while talking about his administration's Civil Rights division and praising the passage of the landmark hate crimes law in October.

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President Obama will acknowledge in his speech tonight that his health care reform push has become politically damaging--a fact he blames on misinformation and a complicated political process. But, hailing the reform's salutary effects on the federal budget, and the good it will do for the uninsured, he will implore Congress to finish the job.

I did not choose to tackle this issue to get some legislative victory under my belt," read Obama's prepared remarks. "And by now it should be fairly obvious that I didn't take on health care because it was good politics."

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The following is the full text of President Obama's 2010 State of the Union address, as prepared for delivery and released by the White House:



Madame Speaker, Vice President Biden, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:



Our Constitution declares that from time to time, the President shall give to Congress information about the state of our union. For two hundred and twenty years, our leaders have fulfilled this duty. They have done so during periods of prosperity and tranquility. And they have done so in the midst of war and depression; at moments of great strife and great struggle.



It's tempting to look back on these moments and assume that our progress was inevitable - that America was always destined to succeed. But when the Union was turned back at Bull Run and the Allies first landed at Omaha Beach, victory was very much in doubt. When the market crashed on Black Tuesday and civil rights marchers were beaten on Bloody Sunday, the future was anything but certain. These were times that tested the courage of our convictions, and the strength of our union. And despite all our divisions and disagreements; our hesitations and our fears; America prevailed because we chose to move forward as one nation, and one people.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid isn't the only party leader on Capitol Hill with a target on his back this year. According to CQ, NRCC chair and conservative darling Pete Sessions (R-TX) has now been targeted for defeat by national Democrats.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer will be among the guests at a fundraiser for the Democratic nominee running against Sessions, lawyer Grier Raggio. A DCCC source told CQ that the stop isn't just a formality -- the organization has put Sessions on its list of potentially targeted races this year and has been hammering him in press releases.

Even with the backing of the national party, however, Raggio faces an uphill climb against the well-funded and even more well-connected Sessions, who's a fixture on the national scene. But Sessions faces a slew of tea party-inspired conservative opponents on the right before the general election, which DCCC officials have called a sign that Sessions position is weakening.

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