King: Obama’s Inaugural Address Was Almost Like a Campaign Speech

'I think it would have been better for him if he had tried to reach out a bit more'


Rep. Peter King (R., N.Y.) said he was disappointed with the tone and specificity of President Obama’s inaugural address Tuesday morning on CNN:

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD: Pete King, I was going to say I like your picture but don’t give up your day job. You’re a fine congressman, I’m not so sure about photography. Let me get to the business here. There were a couple of things that were said after the president’s speech. Some people called this a very forceful and liberal inaugural address and some of your fellow Republicans said this, I’m going to start with John McCain. He said he would have liked to hear more outreach while Ohio Republican Rob Portman tweeted this: “My disappointment was in the speech, I think the president missed an opportunity to talk about where we can find common ground.” And then Steve King tweeted this: “awesome and shockingly liberal address, an epic realignment.” So some people said not at all, other people said what I just read. What’s your take?

PETER KING: Well, you know, the president won the election so he’s certainly entitled to pursue his agenda. I thought it would have been more effective though if he had spoken more in thematic terms. By being as precise as he was really laying out a liberal agenda which is what’s usually done in a State of the Union. In going back to Ronald Reagan’s address, “government is not the solution, government is not the problem.” Those are general statements. I thought the way he got specific yesterday made it more of a, again, almost campaign type of address. He’s an excellent speaker. Even how he was distinguishing the issues, implying that Democrats care more about disabled kids than Republicans do, he’s “not going to turn his back on the sick elderly.” No one wants to do any of those things. I thought he could have found some way to be more constructive. Maybe he felt that the time for that is gone, but, you know, he’s got a State of the Union speech coming up February 12th. That’s where he can really lay out his agenda. I thought yesterday he missed an opportunity. I’m not as critical as some of the others may be. I think it would have been better for him if he had tried to reach out a bit more.