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Republicans Accuse Obama of Divisive Tactics, Call for 'Pro-growth' Policies

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels delivers the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union speech, Jan 24, 2012
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels delivers the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union speech, Jan 24, 2012

A two-time Republican governor says U.S. President Barack Obama has resorted to "extremism" with what he called anti-growth policies and a plan to divide Americans rather than unite them.

In Tuesday's Republican response to the president's State of the Union Address, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels said the Obama administration has sought to win favor with some Americans by castigating others.

He said the president's policies stifle the development of homegrown energy and have canceled plans for what he called a "perfectly sane pipeline", the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from western Canada to the Gulf Coast of Texas, that supporters say would employ tens of thousands of workers.

Mr. Obama has refused approval for the pipeline through the U.S. at least temporarily, while pursuing policies aimed at reducing pollution and climate change.

Daniels also said the move will raise consumer utility bills and fail to improve human health or stabilize world temperatures, calling it a "pro-poverty policy.'

He said Republicans prefer a pro-growth approach that supports private sector jobs that will restore opportunity for all and generate public revenues to pay the nation's bills. He said that during Mr. Obama's three years in office, an "explosion of spending" has added trillions to the national debt. He said the president has put the nation on a course to make things radically worse in the years ahead.

Daniels said Republicans do not accept the view that the nation will be one of "haves and have-nots." Instead, he said, Republicans want a nation of "haves and soon-to-haves." He called for "a dramatically simpler" tax system of fewer loopholes and lower rates. He said the nation should maximize new domestic energy technologies, which he called "the best break our economy has gotten in years."

Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain delivered a response for the conservative Tea Party movement operating within the Republican party. He called Mr. Obama's speech " a hodgepodge [collection] of little ideas" and said what the country needs is more comprehensive reform. He criticized the country's rising national debt and called for a balanced budget and a simpler, fairer tax code.

Concluding, he said Washington has forgotten that it works for for the American people and added that the people, in his words, "want our power back."