Idaho's congressional delegation wasted little time before panning President Barack Obama's State of the Union message Tuesday night. In the address, Obama struck a populist tone with themes revolving around the nation's middle class.
"We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by," said Obama. "Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. What's at stake are not Democratic values or Republican values, but American values."
Idaho freshman Congressman Raul Labrador said Obama's "rhetoric doesn't match up to reality."
"President Obama would like Americans to forget that he has been president for the past three years," said Labrador. "He'd rather them recall his lofty speeches and empty promises, instead of his failed policies and the continued absence of results."
Labrador's GOP House colleague, Idaho senior Congressman Mike Simpson, continued the criticism.
"[Obama] hasn't given us hope of anything better this year, further convincing the American people that their government cannot solve problems," said Simpson.
Idaho senior U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo focused his critique on Obama's call for tax reform.
"Tonight, the president proposed once again raising taxes on some Americans, while temporarily cutting taxes on others," said Crapo. "Instead, we need fundamental tax reform focused on growth through lowering rates for all Americans and dramatically reducing compliance costs."
And junior Sen. Jim Risch criticized the SOTU as a "campaign mode" speech.
"Unfortunately, his words did not match the policies he has put forth over the past three years when we have seen record debt, unemployment and layers of new regulation."