WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leadership bashed President Barack Obama’s inaugural speech as “disappointing,” saying his agenda is so liberal that it will worsen the partisan gridlock in Washington.
“One thing was pretty clear from the president’s speech yesterday: The era of liberalism is back,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday.
“If the president pursues that kind of agenda, obviously, it’s not designed to bring us together,” he said. “It’s certainly not designed to deal with the transcendent issue of our era, which is deficit and debt.” (RELATED VIDEO — Krauthammer: Inauguration Day speech was “Obama unbound”)
“We were reminded yesterday that this is a liberal president with a liberal agenda, which is why the words ‘spending’ and ‘debt’ probably weren’t included in that speech,” said South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune.
Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt described the speech as “quite a bit to the left of some of my colleagues in the Senate.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, coming out to speak to reporters shortly after the Republicans delivered their attack, dismissed the criticism.
“A liberal speech? I really don’t know what that means,” Reid said.
“I listened to the speech. It wasn’t as cold as it usually is. Lots of the inaugurations are so cold that I’m just trying to survive, but it was nice yesterday. I thought it was a really good speech. People can criticize President Obama about a lot of things, but not about his ability to communicate. And I think he communicated to the American people a message of hope, a message of action, and I liked it very much,” Reid said.