Perry, others criticize Obama's State of the Union speech

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Jan 12, 2016 11:35 PM

(Washington, DC) -- Much of the midstate's congressional delegation is criticizing President Obama's State of the Union speech from last night.

Republican Representative Scott Perry says the president can brag - the State of the Union is his moment, and unemployment has fallen since he took office.

But that's about the only compliment Perry was willing to pay President Obama.

Perry, who represents Adams County and portions of York, Dauphin and Cumberland counties, says while unemployment is down, many of the jobs are in retail - low-paying and tough work.

He also says Obama struck a positive note on foreign policy.

"But I didn't hear any plan to make things better. And I heard some things that frustrated me. Nobody wants America to be the world's policeman but I also think it's disingenous to say that we want to nation-build everywhere we go," says Perry.

But Perry says Republicans and Democrats could work together to address the heroin epidemic, which got a surprise mention early in the State of the Union.

"I think it could be an area where there is some common ground. And I know it continues to be a growing concern, and most people that aren't in that culture don't realize maybe how pervasive it has become."

Perry wasn't the only midstate representative to criticize Obama's State of the Union - Republicans Lou Bartletta and Bill Shuster also issued strong statements against it.

The state's two U.S. senators split on it, predictably.

Republican Pat Toomey says it didn't offer any meaningful plans.

Democrat Bob Casey says it struck an optimistic tone, and highlighted Obama's achievements.

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