Last updated: August 24. 2013 10:11PM - 308 Views

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WASHINGTON D.C. — President Barack Obama drove many points in his annual State of the Union address, which included proposals to raise the federal minimum wage to $9, end the war in Afghanistan in 2014, address gun control and lower the federal deficit.

Here's what local leaders and experts had to say:

“Overall, I saw this speech as something less like his previous state of the union addresses. First, instead, this seemed to be a more confident Obama — one who was quick to use the term “we” rather than “I” and didn’t gloat too much about his victory in November.”

Robert Alexander, Ohio Northern University political science professor

“(The president’s) speech provided an important blueprint to grow our economy by growing the middle class.”


Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio

“You’re looking at a huge problem that the president didn’t really address tonight and what that really comes back to is we already owe countries over $5 trillion.”


“Is the Department of Justice enforcing the (gun control) laws on the books right now? It’s something that should be looked into, as well as being sure that background checks to obtain firearms are being properly filed.”

Rep. Bob Latta,R-Ohio

“The President and his big spending allies in Congress have gone on an unprecedented spending spree over the past four years, and the message in (his) speech is no different. Washington’s borrowing and spending has pushed our nation to the brink of bankruptcy, but has failed to create the jobs needed to get our economy moving again. More of the same is not the answer. To put people back to work, we need bold new ideas like ending the out-of-control borrowing, scrapping the tax code, and repealing Obama Care.”

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana

“As a former educator, education, early preschools. I mean, we’ve gone that way before, but him bringing it up again I thought was important. I agree with that. Along with the $9-an-hour wages. Wages have to be higher.”

Bev McCoy, Allen County Democrats chairwoman

“Any time you raise minimum wage, you also raise the cost of everything else. I think Obama must have missed his economic class in school.”

“Given the rancor over gun control. By personalizing the issue and moving to more of a political rally type speech, the president did an effective job of putting the issue before Congress.”

“We have the second amendment billed into our constitution for a reason… I don’t think we have to blame it on the guns as much as the rest of society.”

Keith Cheney, Allen County Republicans chairman

“During the very emotional moment toward the end of the speech where he called for action on gun control legislation, the President emphasized the need to have a vote on such legislation while acknowledging the rights of opponents of gun control to resist it.”

William Angel, The Ohio State University-Lima political science professor

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