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Article posted: 2/17/2013 5:00 AM

GOP response needs a live audience

I have a suggestion for the next State of the Union speech. I just finished listening to the president speak, albeit casually while doing chores. It seemed like a good speech; it got plenty of applause. Tomorrow I'll review it to see if anything significant was omitted, but I heard no facts I could challenge, and none the audience seemed to challenge, either.

I also listened to Republican Sen. Marco Rubio speak afterward. Within just a few minutes, I found I had to turn away (several times), it made me so mad. Such lies, such political deception, such arrogance for him to presume to speak about what "the president believes" (which, of course, was almost entirely wrong). Why didn't he just tell us what he believes instead?

The president spoke before a joint session of Congress, where the audience reacted to every word. There could be no deception, or his audience would have jeered; instead they applauded (Democrats) or else sometimes kept silent (Republicans). Sen. Rubio spoke to a TV camera in an empty room, where he (apparently) felt he could say anything he wanted, true or not, and the more political spin the better. His speech was almost entirely political, deceptive and dishonest. Another fact-challenged political diatribe with very little substance.

So here's my suggestion. Let's put Sen. Rubio in front of an audience, too, so he would have some obligation to speak the truth and stop all the political spin, or else he would be jeered. Let him speak before the same joint session, 20 minutes after the president. Maybe then he would feel some obligation to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and curb all the political hyperbole.

Phil Graf

Rolling Meadows

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