McConnell blasts 'liberal boilerplate' speech

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate's top Republican says last night's State of the Union address could have been "an opportunity to bring together the country." But instead, Mitch McConnell says, it "became another retread of lip service and liberalism."

Speaking today on the Senate floor, McConnell said President Barack Obama had offered little more than "gimmicks and tax hikes."

He described the speech as "a pedestrian liberal boilerplate that any Democratic lawmaker could have given at any time in recent history."

Obama used the speech to call for action on a sweeping agenda that included the economy, guns, immigration, taxes and climate change.

There were new initiatives to improve preschool programs and voting, boost manufacturing and research and development, raise the minimum wage and lower energy use.

In the formal Republican response to Obama's address, Sen. Marco Rubio said, "More government isn't going to help you get ahead. It's going to hold you back."

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APPHOTO DCMC104: Senate Republican Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) (12 Feb 2013)

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