Republican response: A preview of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's speech
Republicans chose a new political face to deliver a traditional message of small government that fosters a market approach as the party’s official response to Republicans chose a new political face to deliver a traditional message of small government that fosters a market approach as the party’s official response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is one of a trio of Republicans to win important races in Obama’s first year in office. The GOP captured the New Jersey governor’s mansion and scored an upset in the Senate race in Massachusetts.
“Republicans know that government cannot guarantee individual outcomes, but we strongly believe that it must guarantee equality of opportunity for all,” McDonnell will say, according to excerpts of his speech. “That opportunity exists best in a democracy which promotes free enterprise, economic growth, strong families and individual achievement.”
Like Obama, McDonnell will emphasize job creation, though he will have a different approach and will oppose a large government role or new regulation.
“Good government policy should spur economic growth, and strengthen the private sector’s ability to create new jobs. We must enact policies that promote entrepreneurship and innovation, so America can better compete with the world. What government should not do is pile on more taxation, regulation and litigation that kill jobs and hurt the middle class,” he plans to say.
“The circumstances of our time demand that we reconsider and restore the proper, limited role of government at every level,” he will add.
On healthcare, McDonnell will explain the position that Senate Republicans argued during the long debate at the end of last year.
“All Americans agree, we need a healthcare system that is affordable, accessible and high-quality. But most Americans do not want to turn over the best medical care system in the world to the federal government.”
McDonnell is expected to agree with Obama on the need for better education. He too, will back charter schools “and rewarding teachers for excellent performance,” saying, “More school choices for parents and students mean more accountability and greater achievement.”
-- Michael Muskal
Photo: Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, talks with Communications Director, Tucker Martin, right, during a practice speech before delivering the Republican Response to the State of the Union in the Virginia House of Delegates chambers at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. Credit: Associated Press