Text of Republican response to Gov. Nixon's State of State

Here is the prepared text of Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder’s Republican response to Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s State of the State address Wednesday, as provided by the Republican Party.

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Good evening. I’m honored to have this opportunity to speak with you — and all of the Missourians watching at home.

One year ago, Governor Nixon stood at the same podium he was at moments ago and delivered a speech filled with hopeful rhetoric. He spoke of “seizing opportunities,” “outfox(ing) our rivals,” and “leading this nation to recovery.”

But here we are, one year later — and little has changed.

Here are the facts: Our state’s unemployment rate is higher than the national average, too many Missourians can’t find work, and the state is facing yet another round of severe budget cuts and reductions in basic services.

We haven’t “seized opportunities.” We haven’t “outfoxed our rivals.” And we are certainly not “leading this nation to recovery.”

In fact, a recent report by Creighton University in Omaha found that Missouri is lagging behind the national average in job growth.

This is unacceptable — and it’s time for the governor himself to take responsibility.

The time for fancy speeches is over.

You see: Governor Nixon has been AWOL on the issues that matter most to you and your family.

Sure, he loves the perks of the job — the ribbon cuttings, the prime seats at sporting events, the taxpayer-funded airplane — but he’s nowhere to be found on the troubles facing our state.

It’s become such a problem that a well-known St. Louis columnist recently asked, “How quiet can a governor be?”

At a time like this, remaining silent is not the answer.

But that’s exactly what Governor Nixon has done. In fact, in 2009, he even refused to fight against the job-killing legislation making its way through Congress because he’s, quote, “not the lobbyist for the state.”

I believe that being governor means being Missouri’s loudest advocate. Our biggest promoter — our strongest lobbyist. It means fighting for new jobs every day, not just when the cameras are rolling.

Most importantly, being governor means listening to Missourians.

I want you to know that Republicans are listening.

So instead of another speech, I want to spend time talking about the issues that matter to you.

Over the past week, I took to Facebook and Twitter and asked for questions from Missourians just like you. I asked you what issues mattered most, what topics you wanted to hear the governor address — and you responded.

We received responses from across the state, and one thing is clear: Missourians are concerned — concerned about the direction of the state, and worried about the future of our country.

Many of you asked about jobs and taxes and the economy. Others about health care, education or spending.

You proposed solutions, too: changes to our income tax, rooting out fraud and waste, and new ways to bring jobs back to Missouri.

Tonight, I would like to answer a few of the real questions asked by real Missourians.

Thank you to everyone who submitted questions on Facebook and Twitter.

I hope this is a conversation that we continue throughout the year between all Missourians and your elected representatives.

Last year, Missourians went to the ballot box and sent a clear message. You sent conservatives to Jefferson City and Washington — and now, Republicans hold historic margins in both chambers of the Missouri General Assembly.

You demanded an end to the federal government’s infringement on our sovereignty. You said you wanted smaller, more effective government. And you told us to live within our means — just like families across our state do every day.

Tonight, we ask one thing of Governor Nixon; live up to the rhetoric in the speech you gave just a few minutes ago.

Enough of the silence. Enough of the unnecessary trips on the state plane. Enough of the showboating and grandstanding. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

It’s time to lobby for our state. Time to promote Missouri and our workers. Time to protect our citizens from job-killing federal overreach.

Republicans have already started the process of making the tough calls in state government — it is our hope that the governor will do more than just be a spectator in the luxury boxes.

Missourians have tasked all of us with the responsibility of leading our state out of this economic stalemate — and we must work together.

So I ask that every elected official, Republican and Democrat, to follow the example set by so many resilient Missourians across this state, who are determined to use this opportunity to build a brighter, more prosperous future for their families, their communities, and their state — a future brimming with opportunity and filled with hope.

I thank you for listening this evening.

May God bless you, and may God bless the great state of Missouri.

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