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Brown, Wilson criticize address

Staff Report

WASHINGTON, D.C. —As would be expected President Bush’s final state of the union address drew reaction split by party lines and Ohio was no exception.

Democrats Sen. Sherrod Brown and U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson faulted the Bush speech for what they called its lack of a new platform.

“The president’s state of the union was more of the same. But we need change. We need a change in our economic policy … our trade policy,” Brown said in a press release. “I invite the president to sit at the kitchen tables of middle class families in Ohio and hear what they have to say.”

Wilson took a comparable tack in his response to the Monday night prime time speech stating despite the country’s economic woes and the Iraqi war, the president failed to offer any innovative solutions, the congressman stated in a release.

“The economy is the number one issue right now,” he said. “We all want to hear a plan from the White House for an American economy that works for everyone. We need a real plan to lower health care costs and insure 10 million children.”

However Wilson did commend the president for his bipartisan work in developing a economic stimulus package that the House will vote on today.

“I’m proud we have a bipartisan plan to give relief to the families who need it most,” Wilson said. “I hope both parties can continue to reach across the aisle and work together to put working families first.”

Wilson also commended the president for his wanting to end foreign oil dependence by using coal, an abundant resource in the congressman’s district.

On the other side of the political fence was Republican Sen. George Voinovich who said in a Web site audio that overall he was pleased with the president’s swan song, particularly with his economic stimulus package.

He also said he “ was greatly impressed he has a new initiative for victims of the foreclosure crisis.”

The senator also praised the president for what he called Bush’s plans to reform the health care program and to lower the country’s dependence on foreign oil.