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America’s Governors: President Obama Offers a Clear Path Forward

Governors share their thoughts on the President's State of the Union address.

After President Obama’s State of the Union address, governors from across the country voiced their support for the President’s vision of an America built to last.

Governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper

“The President tonight hit a tone about working together that is familiar to Coloradans. People here know that partisanship is a significant roadblock to partnership. We must use collaboration as a means to finding solutions to keep pushing our state and our country closer to full economic recovery. We join the President in the pursuit of unnecessary regulations that handcuff aspiring entrepreneurs, and we applaud his support of great teachers and our nation’s military. We were also encouraged to hear the President talk so much about clean energy, as Colorado is leading the nation when it comes to renewable energy research and development. Many of the new jobs the President talked for this industry will be created in Colorado – and we are ready.”

Governor of Connecticut, Dannel Malloy

“The President is right, now is the time to rebuild our nation’s aging infrastructure.  Now is the time to restore the United States as the best nation in the world for advanced and precision manufacturing.  Now is the time to once again make our education system the envy of the world through long overdue reforms.  Now is the time to restore our bargain with our citizens, that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can make it in America.  This President has challenged Washington to get it done.  We can’t wait.  We shouldn’t have to wait.  The time is now.”

Governor of Delaware, Jack Markell

“The President made clear that our nation’s most compelling need is to keep making progress on jobs and he offered clear a path forward.  We can – and do – focus every day on getting people back to work, but the economic health of our states, our cities and our small towns depend a good deal on the direction of the national economy. The President made clear that while there’s been some real signs of progress, we can’t afford to stop fighting.  The stakes are too high to let divisions get in the way of progress.”

Governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn

“We in Illinois applaud President Obama for the vision he laid out in tonight’s State of the Union. The President put forth a blueprint for a growing economy that gives all Americans equal access to the success through hard work that has always made this nation great. We agree with the President that we can’t wait – we need to keep pushing to restore our economy and the American middle class… And as the President said, an America built to last calls for responsibility from each of us and fairness for all. We commend the President on his vision, and look forward”

Governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley

"Because of the President's commitment to creating jobs and expanding opportunity now, over the past 22 months our businesses have created 3.2 million private sector jobs. American manufacturing is creating jobs for the first time since the late 1990s. And in Maryland we have been able to put our families back to work, creating 30,300 new jobs in our best year of job creation since 2005 and recovering 45 percent of the jobs we lost during the recession.

"The President's optimistic vision presents a stark contrast to the bleak view offered by Republican leaders in Congress, Republican candidates for President, and even Republican governors like Mitch Daniels, who gave the Republican response to the President's speech. Governor Daniels' decision to push anti-worker legislation at the expense of job creation is symptomatic of the partisan overreach we're seeing from Republican governors in state houses from Indiana to Ohio to Wisconsin. It's the reason why we're seeing such a strong backlash from people who want their governors to focus on creating jobs and expanding opportunity, not on attacking political opponents."

Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick

“President Obama's State of the Union address was both powerful and inspiring. These are challenging times for so many of us and tonight, before the Congress and the American people, the President showed that he is willing to fight to keep the American dream within reach for all. The President is right that we are making progress, and it is not by accident. Our economy is turning the corner, and our troops are coming home. Quality health care is now accessible to all Americans, and we are safer from our enemies abroad. And despite these exceptional achievements, the President and the American people know there is more to do. But to do that, the Congress must give him the tools he needs to finish the job. Here in Massachusetts, we continue to lead the nation in job creation, student achievement and health care because I have a legislature that works alongside me, not against me. If only our President, at this critical time for our nation, could say the same. We will remember at the ballot box those who stand in the way of this President and the vital work he will do in the days ahead, and we will deliver him a new majority in the Congress in 2012.”

Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo

“The President is right to put private sector growth at the center of his agenda to create jobs, and his address laid out specific steps to build our country's economy not just for today but for future generations as well.

Here in New York State we have seen the effectiveness of public-private partnerships at jumpstarting economic growth. I applaud the President's proposal to work with private industries to rebuild America's manufacturing sector and his call for tapping into alternative energy sources to power our economic recovery. As we in New York work to transform our state's education system, I welcome President Obama's call for a renewed focus on making sure all students receive the education and training they need to be successful in today and tomorrow's economy."

Governor of Vermont,  Peter Shumlin

“I am proud to stand by a President who fights for the middle class. In tonight’s State of the Union address, President Obama made it clear that jobs are his top priority and he is committed to strengthening an economy where everyone plays by the same rules and everyone gets a fair shot. President Obama has worked hard to put Americans back to work and we are already seeing signs of growth, with 3.2 million private sector jobs added over the past 22 months. We have work left to do, but I am confident that President Obama understands what we know here in Vermont, that if we focus on education, lead through innovation and work together, we can accomplish great things”

Governor of Washington, Christine Gregoire

“The President delivered a speech tonight with exactly the right tone – that we must put America back to work, while we continue to celebrate the success stories that are helping us move forward and pull out of the national recession. Most administrations are dealt one crisis at a time. This administration has handled some of the most difficult challenges of our time and has done so with determination, effectiveness, and clarity.

“I’m pleased that President Obama, like me and my gubernatorial colleagues, has put a strong emphasis on rebuilding our middle class and preserving jobs that our citizens deserve. He knows no challenge is more urgent. We must rebuild a nation where every citizen has the opportunity to succeed, where our middle class is secure and where the American dream is still within reach. The President recognizes that we can’t stop until this economy is growing again, and thanks to his leadership and the policies he has pursued, the economy has added a total of 3.2 million private sector jobs over the last 22 months. “

Find out more about the President's State of the Union Address: