President Obama called repeatedly on Congress to address issues of paramount importance to the country during his State of the Union address Tuesday. But he also made it clear that when Congress fails to act or agree with his policies, he intends to push ahead on his own.
As is traditional for a State of the Union speech, Obama called on Congress to send legislation to his desk addressing not just immigration, gun control and the budget but a range of policy areas including women's rights, industrial policy and relief for homeowners.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio drew on his own humble beginnings and the continuing struggles of his West Miami neighbors — many of them immigrants like his Cuban-born parents — in the Republican response Tuesday to President Obama's State of the Union address.
In a speech delivered from the Speaker's Conference Room in the U.S. Capitol, Rubio strove mightily, and somewhat nervously, to transform the perception — cemented during last year's presidential race — that his party's embrace excludes those who aren't rich and white to one that has middle-class interests at heart.