Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) crafted a response to Barack Obama’s quasi-SOTU speech last night immediately after its delivery. Price, the chair of the Republican Study Committee, made the case for Republican policies as the cure for the nation’s ills. I’ve added the transcript, as the sound quality may make it a little difficult to follow at times:
Hello, I’m Tom Price, representative of the Sixth District of Georgia and Chairman of the Republican Study Committee.
Tonight, we heard President Barack Obama lay out his agenda and plans for a nation in need of strong leadership. The President was direct about his ideas, but now as chairman of the caucus of conservatives in the House of Representatives, I would like to speak about a principled vision for America’s future and the solutions we must pursue.
The President and conservatives share a sincere concern about the challenges we face and largely agree on the issues which we must address immediately. We are suffering from a crisis of confidence and capital – and the two are unquestionably linked. Yet, to ensure America is revitalized in a meaningful, lasting manner that preserves the character of the nation we all love, we must embrace principled solutions that will provide real economic growth and inspire renewed confidence.
It was encouraging to hear a slightly more positive tone tonight. In the few short weeks since the President entered office, his administration has chosen to employ scare tactics and alarmist rhetoric to advance an agenda.
Rather than playing on people’s fears, we must tap into that American spirit of optimism and perseverance. What has provided us the standing we enjoy today has been a faith that our people can overcome any challenge.
It is an understanding that our people, not our government, will lead the way to prosperity and stability.
Sadly, the President and congressional Democrats have chosen to use American taxpayers as the tool to spend our way into prosperity. Recently passing the largest borrowing-and-spending bill in history, they have cost American taxpayers and future generations more than one trillion dollars. And later this week Congress will pass a budget with the second-largest increase in spending since the Carter administration.
The American people know that this is not a solution.
As the President begins to unroll his agenda, we must rally around an approach that makes economic freedom a top priority once again. Fiscal restraint must be more than just a talking point. This means controlling – and cutting – the spending coming out of Washington. And instead of placing an even larger debt burden on our children and grandchildren, let’s put more money back into people’s pockets
As the government takes over more of the private sector and asks future generations to foot the bill for the priorities of today’s politicians, the foundation of our economic system is being increasingly threatened. In a crisis, we must embrace our valued principles, not abandon them.
American families want a government that understands tax dollars belong to those who earned them. They want a government that respects the American ingenuity and ensures that future generations will have opportunities for prosperity.
Tonight, the President also outlined his vision for an expansive government-run health care system. Again, conservatives and the President agree that our healthcare system is in need of fundamental reform. However, the system pursued by the President would place the most personal decisions families make – medical decisions – in the hands of bureaucrats and politicians, instead of patients and doctors.
As a physician, I know that the top priority of health reform must be increasing access to patient-centered health care, not government-run medicine. Our focus should be making care more affordable and accessible so all Americans can own and control the health care that best meets the needs of their family.
Throughout his speech, the president expressed his intent to pursue a range of additional ideas, some that will challenge our American ideals. For each, we will contrast it to our principles. Where we can find common ground with the President we will be happy to stand for economic freedom and individual liberty. But where presidential policy and American principles diverge, we will offer our solutions and wage a battle of ideas.
These are uncertain times. Our unsettled economy has forced the American people to make tough choices and question their understanding of our powerful economic system. Now, is the time for Washington to renew the confidence of our people, renew the prosperity of our people, and empower this generation to ensure a better life for future ones.
It is my hope that you will be inspired to engage in the issues that define our times. Please visit our website at rsc.price.house.gov and join us as we fight to ensure America’s enduring greatness.
These will be defining times and we are honored to stand with you.
God bless you and God bless America.
It’s a good response, and the GOP needs to follow this template in the next two years. Express personal support for the President, but pledge to fight bad policy. Given the short time between the SOTU speech and this response, Price didn’t have the opportunity to rebut Obama at length, but he did have a good philosophical response.
The US needs to see that the Republican Party can be a responsible party of loyal opposition. The Price and Jindal responses do well in establishing that.