IN HIS FIRST STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS, PRESIDENT OBAMA PROMISED MORE FOCUS ON JOBS, BUT HE POINTED A FINGER AT REPUBLICANS AND ADMITTED HES INSPIRED DOUBT AMONG THOSE WHO TRUSTED HIM TO CHANGE WASHINGTON. UNITED STATES SENATORS MARY LANDRIEU AND DAVID VITTER BOTH COMMENTED ON THE ADDRESS. Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu had this to say: WASHINGTON – United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today released a statement following President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress. Sen. Landrieu said: “Middle class families and small businesses across the country have been hit hard by the recession squeezing America. Tonight, President Obama set out a plan to spur job creation and to breathe life into our struggling economy. I look forward to working with the President and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass a sensible jobs bill that will give relief to small business owners and put people back to work. “I applaud the commitment the President made to fiscal responsibility tonight. When hard-working Louisianians from Shreveport to Houma sit down and plan out their budget, they have to find a way to make ends meet. The federal government needs to do the same. We can’t continue to heap trillions of dollars of debt onto our children and grandchildren, without suffering severe consequences. “This problem was not created by the current Administration. President Obama inherited a financial crisis the likes of which we have not seen for decades. But, it is up to all of us who have been sent to Washington to work together in a bipartisan fashion to get the Federal Government’s fiscal house in order. “The President also unveiled his plans to make America more energy efficient. Developing common sense solutions to our nation’s energy problems, such as increasing domestic production, is one of my strongest priorities. I applaud the President for promoting safe, clean nuclear power and being open to offshore exploration. Any energy bill must make the most of America’s own natural resources, including oil and natural gas supplies in Louisiana, and our unmatched skill and innovation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. This approach will pump money into our own economy and create jobs here in Louisiana and across America, while reducing the amount of money we send to countries that aren’t environmental stewards like America. “Tonight, the President reiterated his support for passing comprehensive health care reform. We spent much of 2009 crafting a bill that reduces costs for Louisiana families, small businesses and the government. And, after several months of working through the legislative process, each chamber passed health care reform bills. While we clearly have hit an impasse, we have come too far to walk away from the promise we made to the American people. The bill we passed in the Senate isn’t perfect, but it is significantly better than continuing down the road of out-of-control health care costs and more and more Americans losing their coverage altogether. I am committed to doing everything I can to see that the Senate health care bill becomes law, so that everyone in Louisiana can get quality, affordable health insurance choices like those of us in Congress have. “President Obama set forth a challenge tonight for all of us, and we must be prepared to rise up and meet it. We cannot afford to let 2010 fall victim to the same petty, partisan squabbles that plagued us much of the past year. The challenges facing our country are too big and the consequences of failure too great to allow these deep divisions to stand in our way.” Louisiana Republican David Vitters response: (Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Sen. David Vitter tonight released the following statement in reaction to the president’s State of the Union address: “Well like I said before, we all know that the president is a great speaker, but I was looking forward to see if he was also a good listener. And after his speech I walked away with some positive and some negative impressions. “On the positive side he talked about attacking spending and debt, which I agree we need to focus on but I believe he needs to go further. On the other side, I’m a bit concerned that he hasn’t been totally listening to the American people as tonight he continued to defend the very same policies that had been strongly rejected by them. “He defended the bailouts and actually spoke of continuing the bailout program for new purposes rather than ending it and returning that money to the taxpayer. He also defended the stimulus bill even though a year later we are at 10 percent unemployment as a nation and Louisiana has experienced some of the fastest growing unemployment in the country. And he even defended his government-run health care reform proposal and didn’t offer any fresh alternative, which many were hoping for in this speech. “I will continue to look in a bipartisan way for new approaches because the message from people across America has been clear and consistent. They don’t want higher taxes, they don’t want more deficits or more bailouts and they don’t want a government takeover of our health care system. “Washington needs to outline common-sense proposals to control government spending and spur businesses to create jobs. I’ve been advocating for this approach all along with proposals like my No Cost Stimulus plan, which would tap our vast domestic energy supplies while creating jobs, reducing the deficit and promoting continued research for renewable and alternative fuels,” said Vitter.