The Republican response: ‘Small, squeaky, and spiteful’

Updated
House Speaker Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks to the media about the fiscal cliff at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012.
House Speaker Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks to the media about the fiscal cliff at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Has the GOP learned nothing?

Republican leaders are showing disdain toward Obama’s State of the Union speech, ripping him on kitchen table issues including raising the minimum wage, early childhood education and gun control.

In response to Obama declaring the minimum wage should be $9 an hour, House Speaker John Boehner told reporters he’s been dealing with the issue for 28 years. “When you raise the price of employment, guess what happens? You get less of it. At a time when American people are asking where are the jobs, why would we want to make it harder for small employers to hire people?”

On Obama’s push for universal preschool, Boehner said the federal government getting involved in early childhood education is a “good way to screw it up.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the floor Wednesday that Obama’s speech was full of recycled liberal talking points. “An opportunity to bring the country together instead became another retread of lip service and liberalism. For a Democratic president entering his second term, it was simply unequal to the moment. Following four years of this president’s unwillingness to challenge liberal dogma, we got more of the same,” he said.

Hardball’s Chris Matthews said on Wednesday that the right was coming across as “small, squeaky and spiteful,” adding, “Talk about smoking out your adversaries! Nothing states the obvious—the failure of serious opposition, like today’s puny, close-to-pathetic reaction from the other side.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn) told Matthews she wasn’t surprised by the GOP’s reaction and called the speech of the best State of the Union speeches ever. “He addressed what people are talking about at the dinner table” she said, like paying for college, buying a home and paying back loans.

Chuck Todd, NBC’s chief White House correspondent and political director, said Republicans are “going to end up looking on the wrong side” of the issues Americans care most about if they keep criticizing initiatives like raising the minimum wage.

“Where’s the middle of the country? I think we learned in 2012,” he said.

The Republican response: 'Small, squeaky, and spiteful'

Updated