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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 January 2007, 07:51 GMT
In quotes: State of Union reaction
US lawmakers from both sides of the political divide have been swift to react to President Bush's State of the Union address. Here are some of the early comments:

Joint statement by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrats)

"Unfortunately, tonight the President demonstrated he has not listened to Americans' single greatest concern: the war in Iraq. The overwhelming majority of Americans, military leaders, and a bipartisan coalition in Congress oppose the President's plan to escalate the war."

Senator Mitch McConnell, Senate minority leader (Republican)

"Americans want to see success in Iraq. We are not a country that shies from challenges. I think the president should be given a chance to carry out his plan for a secure Iraq."

Senator John Kerry (Democrat)

"The president missed a golden opportunity tonight to admit that he made a mistake in Iraq and to share with the American people a plan for gradually removing our troops and allowing the Iraqis to solve the political crisis in Iraq."

Senator Barack Obama (Democrat)

"The president offered some serious proposals tonight on two issues - energy and health care - that we all agree must be addressed. But the last election proved that politics-by-slogan and poll-tested sound bites aren't going to cut it with the American people any more, and that's why the real test of leadership is not what the president said to Congress tonight, but how he works with Congress to find real solutions to the problems we face."

Congressman Duncan Hunter (Republican)

"I thought the president made the point on the Iraq situation... and I think that's appropriate, because that's on everybody mind. But the point was, we're already deploying soldiers in Iraq... The first elements of the 82nd Airborne [Division] have now crossed the line from Kuwait into Iraq. And the president asked us to get behind him. This programme is being implemented. The time for debate is over. We've got soldiers in the field and a shooting war. Now is the time for us to support the reinforcements that are coming across, and not to have a fractured debate among Democrats and Republicans that rehash the plan."

Robert Lieber, Professor of International Affairs at George Washington University

"I thought it was a civil and sober speech in which the president made the case for his Iraq policy as an integral part of a 'generational struggle'."

Jon Alterman, director of Middle East programme, CSIS

"Where I saw something new was on the domestic side, rather than on the foreign policy side. On the foreign policy side he fell into the familiar pattern of 'al-Qaeda wants it, it must be bad, and if we want it, then al-Qaeda must not want it'. I don't think that's how the world works. Part of the problem is that the president doesn't seem to recognize that some of what alienates people is what we do, and it doesn't just alienate extremists but it alienates people in the middle.

Ken Warren, St Louis political science professor

"Generally I think that he did a pretty good job under the circumstances but his circumstances are so pathetic. He didn't say anything to rally anyone or turn the numbers around for him with the American people. It was old hat stuff. We've heard it all before ... with a Congress not really behind anything he said."




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Clip from President Bush's State of the Union address



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