Politics & Government

Mississippi's senators don't see the same Union as Obama

Cochran AP

Though President Barack Obama in his final State of the Union address asked for Congress to work with him to solve problems and achieve goals during his last year in the White House, it appears Mississippi's Republican senators are ready to move on -- and in a different direction.

"A new poll found that 70 percent of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track," Sen. Roger Wicker said in an emailed statement. "They have a good reason to feel that way. Under this Administration, the economy has crawled along at a snail's pace of 2 percent, not ever reaching a growth rate of 3 percent -- the slowest recovery after a recession in the country's history."

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Sen. Thad Cochran said Obama's policies haven't done enough to help Mississippi.

"The President has delivered his valedictory speech to the nation, and now Congress will resume efforts to promote economic growth and protect the nation's interests in an increasingly unstable world," he said in an emailed statement. "Unacceptable unemployment rates in many states are an indication that better policies and ideas are needed to provide more good-paying jobs for families in Mississippi and throughout the country.

"I will continue to work toward those goals to make the United States a stronger, more secure nation."

Wicker also said the world isn't as safe as the president described in his speech.

Obama said any assertion America is weak is "political hot air."

"The United States of America is the most powerful nation in the world," he said. "Period. Period. It's not even close."

Wicker, though, sees the world as much more dangerous.

"The world is aflame," he wrote. "Americans are increasingly worried that the President isn't up to the task of defeating ISIS and that he has abandoned his leadership role in the world. We wish the president had done better by the American people during his stewardship."

Later, in a telephone conference with the state's press, Wicker said Obama should have denounced Iran for seizing two U.S. Navy boats and 10 American sailors earlier in the day.

"I'm astounded the president didn't mention that," he said. "This will be subject of serious and substantive inquiries. The Iranian version could not possibly be accurate."

Wicker did agree with the president's call to end the rancor in Washington.

"He's put his finger on something we could probably work on," he said "Voters are rightly frustrated at the lack of economic growth and they see our standing in the world as diminished. But the president does make a point that we can disagree without rancor."

Rep. Steven Palazzo did not immediately respond to a request for his views on the speech.

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