January 25th, 2011
07:58 PM ET

Evening Buzz: State of the Union & State of Unity?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/01/25/c1main.obama.promises.02.gi.jpg caption="Pres. Obama gives the State of the Union address at 9 p.m. ET tonight." width=300 height=169]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight during the State of the Union address Pres. Obama will rally lawmakers on Capitol Hill to help improve the U.S. economy.

"At stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in this country, or somewhere else. It's whether the hard work and industry of our people is rewarded," the President is expected to say according to prepared remarks released from the White House.

Pres. Obama will strike a positive tone about conditions on Wall Street and Main Street.

"We are poised for progress. Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing again," Mr. Obama will say the released excerpts show.

Don't miss the State of the Union address at 9 p.m. ET on CNN, followed by the GOP and Tea Party Express responses.

Republicans are calling on Pres. Obama to cut more spending to reduce the federal deficit.

"We look forward to tonight's State of the Union, but if history is our guide, most Republicans will probably agree... with 80 percent of what the President says," said Rep. Jeb Hernsaling, R-Texas, during a news conference on Capitol Hill this afternoon.

Despite the partisan issues, there will be a show of unity tonight. More than two dozen legislators will break from the traditional seating along party lines. Instead some Republicans and Democrats will sit next to each other.

The move comes after the shootings in Tuscon, Arizona that killed six people and wounded several others, including Democrat Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. In a symbolic move, the Arizona delegation will sit together but leave her seat empty.

Rep. Giffords intern Daniel Hernandez who rushed to help her after she was shot, and Dr. Peter Rhee, the trauma chief at University Medical Center where Giffords was treated will be among the special guests sitting with First Lady Michelle Obama.

During the GOP response, we've learned Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, will also talk about the Tucson tragedy.

"President Obama just addressed a Congressional chamber filled with many new faces. One face we did not see tonight was that of our friend and colleague, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona. We all miss Gabby and her cheerful spirit; and we are praying for her return to the House Chamber," Rep. Ryan's released excerpts show.

Ryan will also tackle the fiscal challenges ahead.

"Our nation is approaching a tipping point. We are at a moment, where if government's growth is left unchecked and

unchallenged, America's best century will be considered our past century."

Tea Party supporter Rep. Michele Bachmann is expected to take aim at Pres. Obama's fiscal moves during her response.

"After the $700 billion bailout, the trillion-dollar stimulus, and the massive budget bill with over 9,000 earmarks that the President signed, 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 at President Obama's direction; unlike anything we have seen in the history of our country," Rep. Bachmann will say according to her prepared remarks.

As you watch the speeches let us know what you think of the messages. Share your thoughts below. And, we'll see you at 11 p.m. ET for complete analysis and an update on Rep. Giffords condition.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. Lela

    Do the people being currently layed-off, and the military people returning keep or raise the unemployment rate? If so, why is The President constantly being being blamed for these fluctuating percentages as him not fixing the problem?

    January 25, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
  2. Patricia M. Sclafani

    I think President Obama presented a vision in which he enlisted everyone to participate and debate. Mr. Ryan expressed differences in approach. However, Ms. Bauchmann remains irritating as she rarely has accurate information. Additionally, I think she is misinformed if she thinks that the Tea Party is a mainstream thought process. "We the People" will vote everyone out again in two years, Republican or Democrat, if these elected officials don't come together for the good of the country and the people. "We the People" are tired of arguing that does accomplish anything. Tea Party members of the Republican Party are not immune to the anger of the public and can look forward to being voted out if they act in a way that grid locks legislative progress.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
  3. Jennifer Geraghty

    I want to say that everyone is saying that the unemployment rate is 9% but considering that the people whom are 99 weeks and beyond are not being counted the rate is far higher!!! I really wish that those people would be counted in the numbers they are real people too!!!!

    January 25, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
  4. Ray

    It unfortunate that this country is very divided, while Obama is making every effort to bring everyone together. His policies may not re-elect him to a 2nd term but if his policies succeed it may. Both parties know that they have join forces but worried about who will get the credit.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
  5. James

    Thanks for having Ari Fleischer on tonight. I always appreciate his comments and find him very intelligent. Also it's always good to see David Gergen on the program. His vast experience and knowledge is much appreciated.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
  6. Jimmy Collins

    Congress woman Michelle Buchman, I have no real comment, other than, she seemed like a high school cheer leading captain trashing the opposing team at a pep rally> She did the republican party no justice what so ever.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
  7. Aaron

    Republicans will say that we must make sacrifices in order to cut the debt.
    But they are not ever willing to make the sacrifices–Let's say that we do not give tax cuts to the rich (I.E.: A Sacrifice).–Then we use that money to pay teachers and fund education to compete with China, India, etc.
    But nay, they say, we want to sacrifice spending, thereby sacrificing our children, our future?
    But nay, they say, we will sacrifice our children, not our wallets. What is that verse? Love of money is the greatest evil? Something like that at least. I thought human sacrifice was outlawed.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
  8. lynn

    Very good job by the president The speech wasn't partisan and incredibly uplifting. I also think the congressional members got a kick out of sitting with members on the opposite side of the political spectrum. They seemed to have fun with it. 😀 Michelle Bachmann's response was a bit strange. She seemed lost.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
  9. KAIRY

    I do not believe dems or republicans will ever work together as long as the other parties president is in power.If the republicans work with democrats and things start to get better Obama gets two terms. Republicans cant afford to work with guy on that reason alone.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
  10. Kenneth; from Wedowee AL

    The address was on point and much needed. The president has set the tone and readiness to right thing for this country for the right reasons. Our president has yet again initiated the need for unity and compromise in moving this country forward. I'm a combat vet and our motto is 'One Team-One Fight.' As far as Bachman's reply or rebut – not needed and not heard.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
  11. Jimmy Collins

    Good evening,
    I thought the president gave a moving speech and seemed to have a true concern for realy fixing our country. Then Paul Ryan says that evrything the president has promised or done is to blame for where we are now. When everyone knows that 9 out of 10 of those finacial lending giants and any of the lenders who made illegal loans, were republican. Why aren't those guys in jail or being forced to pay back the billions of dollars they made of off illegal prowess. I know these things are in the past but when are these policians going to stop talking at the american people sideways and just give us the plain truth. I have come up with a favorite saying, "If someone could show me an honest politician I woill bring Jesus himself to dinner"! I have always tried to avoid political discussions but I am fed up with every single politician making unheard of promises and almost never delivering. So why should we belive that any of them really want to fix the economy.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
  12. Jerry Dicherson

    When you look at jobs the numbers are not true because there are those that cant get any more unemployment and they don,t count them why because we would know just how bad the job growth is and job growth does not ex-est we are losing jobs to over seas you worried about the money we owe how about collecting some of the trillions owed to us by countries that we sold stuff to 50 year is long enough to be owed

    January 25, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
  13. Greg

    My problem with the goverment is that if we send your troops over to another country to fight for their rights and freedom,why don't they foot the bill.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  14. amara

    i think the president's speech tonight paid the way for his re-election. the speech was non political; he made is great decision when it comes t the choice of words.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  15. boris karapetyan NY, NY

    This party wars will not work:

    Non of them simply did not Identify the problems
    Jobs are living this country, why? The labor is to expensive: make it less expensive, by open legal emigration, lowering the taxes, creating free economic zones. This country always attract Emigrants, there were always was import of labor and brains. The export of jobs, Must be stop.

    Deficit, what to do with it? If there will be more people working, there will be more people paying taxes

    Taxes one of the largest in the world: because a half of the population, pays nothing, NOTHING. This is crazy.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  16. John Brown

    Companies want to make as much as they can however the Top 10% of the executives want to take it all. They want to hire only part-time worker and pay them no benefits or pension while they take home Millons of dollars. Ask Rick Scott the Governor of Florida who took home over $350 million dollars from a company he was forced to resign from. His company stole billions of dollars from taxpayers. One man took over 300 millons dollars. What did the workers get when they left.

    I come to work for you for a decent wage so that I can provide for my family. I don't want to burden you with a lot problems but I will work hard and give my all. All I ask for is a chance to make a living. This is the American way. Decent wage for a decent days work.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  17. Patricia Salgado

    Our President is doing better than most before him, given the position we were in before he came into office. I think he has done a great job. and I will vote for him again!
    I am avery hard working mother of two and proud of it.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  18. Gail

    okay, I'm giving Gergen a better pass since he took on Ari F. w/ direct question on whether Repubs rather give tax breaks to rich than pay good science and math teachers. Repub response predictable...no...always tax breaks for rich over everything.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
  19. Val

    Tell Ari to put a pie in that hole and stop chattering like a magpie, interrupting rudely and being a dingle berry. Thank you.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
  20. collins


    Am amazed that Bush's WH spin machine has the face to seat and bring his poisonous comments. We need to move forward and find a common ground. We have enough problems in our families but we now want people to come together

    January 25, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
  21. Ron Lefebvre

    I think that Prseident Obama is on the right rack,But with the Rebuplican's in Control of the House it will be hard, and to see the unity of both partys sitting together is a goodthing.
    The Deffict is D.O.A.,and Beinging (mysalf)handicapped and on SSI,is not what I Had pland for mysalf @ My Age rightnow.
    It is going to take both side to work in it.& that is what the mid-term Election's where about..
    Not the Aurguing going on with your commentator's.................................. Thank you

    January 25, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
  22. Marshall

    Hi Anderson, Well, the politicl pundants do not get it. Nobody has stated to really create jobs, we need to levy a 100% tax on every good produced outside the U.S.A. by an "American" company. You can't buy a shirt made in U.S.A. or tennis shoes made in U.S.A and the last incandescent bulb factory just closed here and guess what, the new bulbs are produced outside the U.S.A. What the stimulus package should have done was create jobs, but big business saw this as a "manna from heaven!" It is clear to those of us here listening to both Republican responses that they are out of touch with the middle-class and don't know crap or care about the poor. I think we need another party in this country, the "Beer Party" because they all spend like "Drunken Sailors!" (You can quote me)

    January 25, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
  23. nicole

    I felt inspired and hopeful after the president's speech. His format set the tone for unification. My optimism was shot down by the Republican response. The negativity was a stark contrast and I felt the urgency to shower after Ryan's slimy speech.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
  24. SimmieRay Dinkins

    Great Speech!! President Obama never fails to move America to work jointly, which may not be a bad Idea since we all have to live here together. The GOP, as usual fail to give hope he sound a bit empty and when someone is empty people rearly follow them. However, The Tea Party I feel responded with passion but fail to realize that 8 months after the era Bush we still were fighting the effects of the GOP. In Short, LONG LIVE PRESIDENT OBAMA! ! !

    January 25, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
  25. Angel

    It seems republicans forgot that president Bush duplicate the debt and create the worst deficit of all times.
    They are creating division between Americans putting first the Party than America.
    I have never seen in my life an America so divide with political crimes motivation. That is a result of hate speeches...
    At the end, America loose and they do not care because what they want is power to obtain not a smaller State but a State that gives money to their partisans friends they did in 2008 while the rest of americans are fighting to find jobs.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
  26. Peggy James

    As long as there's the age-old tug-of-war that politicians engage in to play to a base rather than show genuine effort to solve problems, there will be no progress.

    It should be clear to all Americans that the president cannot implement his policies alone. There has to be general cooperation with the agreed upon premise that it can work.

    Perhaps congress doesn't care what happens to the American people. After all, they're not the ones struggling from pay check to pay check.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
  27. Ky

    Even if President Obama were a magician or a miracle worker the likes of Michell Bachman and, yes, David Gergen will still fault anything Obama does or says. I'm particularly disappointed in Gergen's continued systemic criticism of Obama. I'm being forced to come to the conclusion now that David Gergen is indirectly seeking a job with the White house. Gergen should realize that just because he had worked for 4 past president does not automatically qualify him to worknin Obama's white house. But I digress. Michell Bachman is a strange incarnate of Sarah Palin and we should all be prepared for reall drama from this duo come 2012.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
  28. val

    It would be nice to hear an honest discussion of the real unemployment numbers. How many exhausted benifits and are no longer counted? My guess is 18% is a more realistic number. We needed jobs yesterday, Americans can't wait any longer.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
  29. Dave, Kansas

    Having Ari Fleischer discuss an administration's failed economic policy makes sense. He had a front row seat to witness an administration's failed economic policy. Does he have amnesia, or is he just hoping all of us do?

    January 25, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
  30. Michelle Morrisey

    Well, I think that Michele Bachmann's response is going to make a great skit on SNL...

    January 25, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
  31. Chris S.


    One part of the President's speech that floored me was how in one breath he talks about the need to create jobs, but in another breath states the need for our country to find a way to keep illegal alien students in this country and encourage foreign college graduates to stay and work here after graduation. Am I missing something here, isnt it the job of our President to promote the success and JOBS of US citizen students first. Having worked on the border, and being a first generation American, I understand the immigration issue but when is someone going to yell from the rooftops and say lets help Americans first.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
  32. Shirley

    As ususal the President delivered an excellent speech covering just about all of the current problems and defining solutions by working together instead of constantly going against every effort made. He has a way with words that touchs the very heart and soul.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
  33. Michael Armstrong Sr. Tx.

    The presidents speech was outstanding and I hope he follows threw with what he says .

    January 25, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
  34. R. Caldwell

    President Obama made the same empty promises. He has done nothing for our country but made it worse. Both parties need to stop talking and start doing!

    January 25, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
  35. duggo1972

    Hey guys can't you all see that the Tea Party is becoming the third party of America?

    January 25, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
  36. Mike H.

    Michele Bachmann mentioned miracles. Well she didn't mention the miracle of avoiding another great depression. I never thought that the unemployment rate would stay below 8%. I believe that the measures Obama took kept the unemployment rate from going to 15-20%.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
  37. Lin

    @ Ryan – Bipartisan action will get it done. The President is one man. One man with many, many rabid you-know-whos lined up against him to deny any commonsense efforts to solve problems.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
  38. Mark

    As usual Obama comes up small in his State of the Union speech. No American should be surprised with his comments. He is was we all knew he was when he ran as a candidate. A far left wing Socialist who thinks the Federal government is the solution to every problem and who could care less what his progams cost or how we will pay for them. He obviously has'nt been paying attention to real issues American's care about . . . . Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! The Titanic is sinking and he and his cronnies instead of saving the ship and people are rearranging the deck chairs! Don't worry America we only have to put up with him for 23 more months. He won't be able to shed his abbismal record come election time.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  39. Frederick

    For Paul Ryan to call to warn of the safety net becoming a hammock blames people who are unemployed or losing their businesses as if they want to be there. In the words of Hall & Oates, "Out of Touch."

    January 25, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  40. Dwight Miller

    Protecting American jobs is not a focus of our government because we have no national economic strategy.

    1) Encourage industries that create jobs in American
    2) Provide economic incentives that encourage companies to grow and hire Americans
    3) Penalize American companies that move jobs by removing tax breaks
    4) Educate Americans to work in this high growth industries.
    5) Track results

    January 25, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
  41. Doug

    Bachman's rebuttal was like an info commercial with all the glitz but you had to be wary about how she spun the data and facts like a 29.99 blender.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
  42. Derrick Bledsole

    I voted Hillary and then Obama! Now it is HILLARY time!!!

    January 25, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
  43. bree

    great speech from our president,i agreed with him ,do americans want to compete,or whine like girls like republicans{bayner] democrats need a coffee party too,like the republicans.
    the only problem this president should of never do is bail out these republicans corporations.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
  44. Ryan J Roland

    Obama is an actor on the political stage to win votes and secure another 4 years in office. Two things are most important in government; money and power. this is obvious. for the people who really think that Obamas words were engaging and positive, you're right. Will they be put into action? absolutely not. The "President" would have been a fantastic used car salesman. All i want to know is who directed the state of the union address and will he get an award at the oscars this year? Talk minus action = O....and to the public...Do you really think this is a democracy? please...

    January 25, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
  45. Mark from Boston

    @ Emily

    I feel your pain, but maybe you should review the history of protectionism.

    There are other ways to achieve that goal, but they all require the US going through withdrawal or a painful debt rehab. And, that's a political impossibility.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
  46. Peter Dunn

    President Obama's speech was great, and Paul Ryan's Response was inspirational. Now let's see it happen. But the Tea Party response was just outrageous, i think the tea party should be stopped before it gets out of hand. Close minded politics got us here.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:06 pm |

    Notice how Michelle Bachman's description of unemployment changed from her lies shown on AC360 yesterday. In my opinion, she was also lying to-day but it depends on "what you mean by spike".

    January 25, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
  48. Stephen Kempken

    I really think that Michelle Bachman must have prepared her speech before he spoke,, Michelle Bachman seemed to be totally into her own agenda and clearly did not listen to the president. I think he was very effective tonight, and she was certainly out of touch.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
  49. Bernadine Conley-Hetler

    The perfect State of the Union speech. Where we've been, where we are and where we need to go.

    If one stands back to look at President Obama's actions within the last three months, he has shown he is wise, practical and pliable. He has changed an environment where an errant Congressman had the gall to yell at the President "Liar" to the Republicans sitting next to Democrats at the State of the Union.

    January 25, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
  50. Emily

    We continue to hear about small business and how the economy would be better if small busineses would grow. We NEVER hear from either party about the jobs that have gone overseas. I am from Silicon valley and have watched as the high-tech companies have sent most of our work overseas. Almost all of the products that were built here are now being built in Asia, India, Europe, and Mexico with cheap labor.

    We also have many non-Americans working in these companies from China and India as Engineers while American Engineers areout of work; this is growing other countries economies while ours' tank. We can't call a help line without being connected to someone outside our borders. Our comics make jokes about it but our goverment never talks about it. I am not sure if they don't want to make the other countries mad or upset the people that contribute to their campaigns. If we want full employment, if we want to be the leader again, if we want to get out of debt;

    THEN TAKE OUR JOBS BACK! That is the answer.

    There is nothing wrong with companies building their products to make a profit, but why don't we put a super tax on these products. Let's give our big businesses an incentive to bring our jobs home.

    January 25, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
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