A sampling of reaction to the President's State of the Union address from New Jersey politicians.

Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ)

Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) greeted Matt Gross (R), a Montclair native who was shot in the head in 1997 during a shooting attack on the observation deck of the Empire State Building, and his brother Dan Gross (center), President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) greeted Matt Gross (R), a Montclair native who was shot in the head in 1997 during a shooting attack on the observation deck of the Empire State Building, and his brother Dan Gross (center), President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (Office of Senator Lautenberg)

“The President showed tremendous leadership and a progressive vision for our nation. He made clear that a strong middle class will be the driver of our economy, and I am ready to get to work leveling the playing field so our middle class can thrive again.

“As the President highlighted tonight, we can strengthen our nation by making important federal investments in education, infrastructure, and manufacturing. The investment choices that we make today will create jobs and enable America to maintain its leadership around the globe. In New Jersey, investments in our rails, tunnels, roadways, and bridges will grow the state's economy and strengthen transportation access for the region.

“President Obama's call to pass gun safety legislation, including my effort to keep super-sized ammunition magazines out of our neighborhoods, was an especially important, timely message. Gun violence survivors seated in the House Chamber, including my State of the Union guest Matt Gross, brought a human face to the scourge of gun violence, and we must act now to stop the bloodshed. With the President’s strong commitment and the American people’s clear support behind us, I am confident that we can pass common-sense reforms that reduce gun violence and protect our families.”

 U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)

Senator Robert Menendez
Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) (Stacy Proebstle, Townsquare Media NJ)

“Tonight, the President underscored America’s renewed leadership on global issues including climate change and his firm, clear response to North Korea’s nuclear threat. He renewed our shared commitment to reducing nuclear arsenals and securing nuclear materials, as well as our commitment to strengthening our non-proliferation regime. The President’s emphasis on counter-terrorism rather than counter-insurgency, which requires boots on the ground and continued deployment of American troops, is a policy I have long supported,” said Senator Menendez.

“On the domestic side, I share the President’s commitment common sense gun laws and background checks to help prevent senseless massacres of the innocent. An emphasis on job creation to continue to spur our economic recovery is critical. The President’s call for comprehensive immigration reform will move the ball forward on our efforts in the Gang of 8 to bring 11 million people out of the shadows and on a pathway to productive citizenship.

Tonight, the President put words to the music we heard in his inaugural address, and laid out an agenda that continues the progress we’ve made toward robust economic recovery at home and strengthening America’s leadership role abroad.”

Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09)

"This evening the President made his priorities for the next four years abundantly clear - to stimulate our economy, create good jobs and expand our middle class," said Rep. Pascrell. "I know folks in my district are struggling to pay for a quality education for their children and to put fuel in their tanks. These are hard working Americans that simply want the dignity of a good job that can support their family. I spent my entire public career fighting on behalf of New Jersey's middle class to make sure they have that opportunity. Unfortunately, the Republican Party has little interest in working with us to build a stronger America. Even after the election, it’s still my way or the highway.

"While job creation is a top priority, New Jersey is still suffering from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Moonachie and Little Ferry need every resource available to help residents rebuild their lives. Now that a Sandy aid bill as been passed, I will fight to ensure to that New Jerseyans get every dime they have coming to them so infrastructure can be rebuilt and businesses can be reopened.

"The President has an enormous agenda in front of him that he can't accomplish on his own. He needs the full bipartisan support of Congress to make these changes. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both side of the aisle to expand New Jersey's middle class, reform our nation's broken immigration system, rebuild a stronger Garden State in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and pass common sense gun safety reforms that keep our children and communities safe."

 Congressman Jon Runyan (R-NJ-03)

Congressman Jon Runyan (R) and his State of the Union guest Tyler Burt from Lacey
Congressman Jon Runyan (L) and his State of the Union guest Tyler Burt from Lacey (Facebook)

“Tonight, President Barack Obama had a great opportunity to unify Americans around a plan to address the biggest fiscal challenges facing the United States of America. Unfortunately, the President continued to focus on increasing taxes and spending while ignoring the nation’s debt and deficit crisis. Let us not forget that just last month the House and Senate passed a compromise piece of legislation, which the President strongly advocated for publically, to avert the fiscal cliff by increasing revenue. Now is the time to focus on our debt and deficit and get the federal government’s spending problem under control, which is the only way to grow our struggling economy and get America back to work.”

 Senate President Steve Sweeney (D)

"Tonight, President Obama delivered a strong argument for growing this country's middle class and providing greater opportunities for working people. It was exactly the kind of honest, straightforward message we needed. He also made clear that it is time for the radical elements in Congress to stop blocking his efforts for progress for political reasons, and start working to get things done for the American people.

"There is little doubt that the national economy will continue to grow and improve under the plans laid out by the president. We hope to imitate that model here in New Jersey. The jobs package the Legislature has assembled and sent to the governor is a good start and we hope he will work with us to bring down the state's abnormally high unemployment rate."

State Senator and Gubernatorial candidate, Barbara Buono

Barbara Buono
Barbara Buono (Facebook)

"Tonight, President Obama outlined a vision to build a 21st century economy. Here in New Jersey, we must follow the same path in order to compete in a more globalized world. However, our current governor prefers showmanship to solutions for our working and middle class.

"Right now, we have an unemployment rate hovering at two points above the national average, the highest property taxes in the nation and crippling tuition increases. We need a Governor who will step up to the challenges our state faces rather than kowtowing to the right wing of the Republican party or taking a three day fundraising trip in California. It's time that we work with the federal government on projects to rebuild our crumbling roads, reduce the cost of higher education, raise the minimum wage so that parents can provide for their families and protect our children from the threat of gun violence.

"As your governor, I promise to put New Jersey first and make sure that our economy works for all of New Jersey."

 Newark Mayor Cory Booker

(via Twitter) Our President did an excellent job tonight.



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