President Obama addressed the nation last night in his third State of the Union speech. Just 10 months away from the election, Barack Obama focused on tax reform, jobs, alternative energy, education, and military triumphs in what The Baltimore Sun calls his first big campaign speech of 2012.
Meanwhile, it’s been an interesting few days in the polls for the Republican presidential candidates. According to a Gallup daily tracking poll, Newt Gingrich is not only leading in the Florida polls, but is also ranked nationally above Romney, 31% to 27%. A Rasmussen poll confirms Gingrich’s lead over Romney, projecting him to receive 35% of the likely GOP vote, compared to Romney’s 28%. Rick Santorum’s and Ron Paul’s numbers in the polls have not changed significantly, with former Pennsylvania Senator Santorum’s support at 16% and Texas Congressman Paul’s support at 10%.
On the campaign trail…
Newt Gingrich (Republican): Recently, former House Speaker Gingrich has made headlines for releasing his second contract with Freddie Mac, revealing that Gingrich would “serve as adviser to Freddie Man in the areas of strategic planning and public policy,” with a section excluding lobbying services. Gingrich is also under question about a recent accusation from House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who claims she knows “something” that would block Gingrich from presidency.
Tax Reform: As noted in yesterday’s Presidential Update, Obama extended an invitation to Warren Buffet’s secretary, who reportedly paid more in taxes than her billionaire boss. On the issue on income inequality, he proposed that tax reform should follow the Buffet rule: “If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes.”
Jobs: Obama spent a large portion of his time discussing the need for job creation in America, mentioning the word “job” over forty times throughout his speech. Obama offered a simple message to business leaders: “Ask yourselves what you can do to bring jobs back to your country.” He also proposed training “two million Americans with skills that will lead directly to a job.
Alternative Energy: In his Address, he vowed to expand offshore drilling by “directing [his] administration to open more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources.” He warned that although we rely less on foreign oil than we have in sixteen years, America has “only two percent of the world’s oil reserves,” concluding that, “oil isn’t enough.
Education: The president not only addressed the lack of funding for schools by deeming higher education an economic imperative, but also demanded state laws that “require all students to stay in high school until they graduate or turn eighteen.”
Military Triumphs: Obama did not pass on the opportunity to highlight some of his victories abroad. He mentioned the successful removal of Libyan dictator Gaddafi, the Assad regime in Syria, and Osama bin Laden. Obama accredited these victories to the trust each member had for one another, a message that carried him into the closing of his speech.
Ron Paul (Republican): While the Texas Congressman is faltering between third and fourth place in the polls, Baltimore Sun reporter Luke Broadwater writes this morning that Ron Paul is sweeping the GOP youth vote. In Iowa, for example, 48 percent of the under-30 voters cast a vote for Paul, a phenomena that IVN author W.E. Messamore believes makes him electable. In Messamore’s opinion, Ron Paul’s appeal to the youth and independent voters, groups that helped Obama win the 2008 Presidential Election, makes him the biggest competition to Barack Obama, despite what the media says.
Mitt Romney (Republican): Since Saturday’s loss in the South Carolina primary and the release of his federal tax returns yesterday morning, Mitt Romney is now suffering in the national polls. The former Massachusetts governor is not just losing support from his party members, but a recent Post-ABC News poll shows his favorability ratings dropping among Independents and Democrats as well. Among Independents, “Romney’s unfavorable ratings now top 50 percent,” and among Democrats, negative ratings are up 10 percent. A new Univision survey, however, shows Romney holding a sizeable advantage over his Republican opponents with Latino voters in Florida, a demographic that CNN predicts will be a factor in the primary.
Rick Santorum (Republican): Following Romney’s lead, Rick Santorum announced today that he too would release details of his tax returns for public viewing. When asked about the expected reaction, “Santorum raised his hand to his mouth and let out a fake yawn.” He will not expose what years he is planning on releasing or when, but he plans to go home to Pennsylvania Saturday to prepare his tax documents.
*All quotes from Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address come directly from the text of his speech, which can be found at CBS News.
Read it for yourself…
State of the Union, or State of the Campaign, Baltimore Sun, Jan. 24, 2012
Mitt Romney’s disastrous week ends with collapse in national polls, Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 24, 2012
Election 2012 Republican Presidential Primary, Rasmussen Report, Jan. 24, 2012
Environment: President Walks a Tightrope on Fossil Fuels, National Journal, Jan. 24, 2012
Public sours on Romney in January, Washington Post, Jan. 24, 2012
Romney leads among Latino voters in Florida, Poll finds, Fox News Latino, Jan. 25, 2012
Florida’s Latino voters will be a factor in the primary, CNN Politics, Jan. 24, 2012
Ron Paul is sweeping the GOP youth vote, The Baltimore Sun, Jan. 25, 2012
Despite media claims, the numbers reveal Ron Paul is electable, Independent Voter Network, Jan. 25, 2012