MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesotans are weighing in on President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night. Some say they want to hear the president give solutions, not just bring up issues.
“I want to hear how he’s going to address certain solutions and not just raise issues,” said John Tsumura as he waited for a light rail train. “Of course he can raise issues. But I want to hear how he’s going to go about solving the issues.”
One of the issues Tsumura wants addressed is violence and gun control, especially after the shooting in Tucson that killed six and injured Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.
“I think that’s going to be a big issue, I’m for gun control. I think this is a great opportunity for him to address that issue. I just don’t think handguns have a place in our society anymore and I would hope he would do something to solve that problem,” said Tsumura.
Another issue close to many Minnesotans is unemployment and job creation for millions of out of work Americans.
“I would like to hear him talk about his plan on how he’s going to work with the new Republican House on fixing the economy,” said Bob Brown on his way to work.
Brown was unemployed for 11 months after the economy tanked.
“I’ve got a wife and kids and 11 months of no income. It’s not because I’m not out there beating the streets looking for a job,” he said.
The speech is getting much attention because of the seating chart. Republicans and Democrats will sit together instead of their usual separation.
“I think it’s finally a good idea,” said Tammy Mehren, near the Government Plaza station. “Maybe they’re starting to finally realize they have to work together. Because, with them not working together it’s pulling this country apart.”
Mehren is a former service member and says she was taught to work as a team.
“A team, that’s the only way we’re going to win the war,” said Mehren.
Bob Brown said watching the Republicans sit on one side and Democrats on another would remind him of a football game.
“It’s like going to a football game and watching your favorite team cheering and booing. This is a more solemn occasion. All that cheering, clapping and hissing shouldn’t have any part in this,” said Brown.
Tsumura said tonight’s mix of seats shows Democrats and Republicans can work together.
“But I’d rather see them meet with each other behind closed doors and get things done. Than just doing this for camera appearances,” said Tsumura.