President Obama gave his annual State of the Union address Tuesday to congress and guests gathered at the U.S. Capitol building, focusing his speech on the issues of job creation, immigration reform, and gun control USA Today reports.
In the address, Obama spoke on the issue of job creation, stating that the creating new jobs for the middle class is necessary for full economic recovery. He also stated that immigration laws must be overhauled, in order to give a viable path to citizenship to more than 11 million illegal immigrants.
Obama's push for stricter gun control struck an emotional chord for many in the audience, the Chicago Tribune reports. Among those gathered at the Capitol were the parents of Hadiya Pendleton, a Chicago teen who died as a result of gun violence days after performing at President Obama's inauguration. Many present in the audience also wore green ribbons, in memory for those who died in December school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
The Republican response to the State of the Union address came from Florida Senator Marco Rubio. In his response, given in both Spanish and English, Rubio shared his experiences as the middle-class child of immigrants while addressing Obama's plans for economic recovery and the debt that has accumulated since Obama took office in 2008.
Rubio's response put him in the spotlight in a position that many consider a precursor to running for President, Politico reports. Rubio is among one of the strongest GOP candidates for the next presidential election, with a quick rise to political fame similar to Obama's that leads many to believe he will run in 2016.