WASHINGTON, D.C. - Freshman Congressman Doug Collins of Gainesville witnessed his first State of the Union address as an elected representative Tuesday night, and his opinions of the event were mixed.
"From an American perspective, it was a really encouraging event, a neat event to be a part of," said Collins. "Of course, from my perspective, a little disappointed in the actual message part of it."
The Republican representative was a guest on the Wednesday edition of WDUN's Morning Talk.
Collins said while President Barack Obama focused on generating jobs and enhancing education, as well as rallying the audience around his call for stricter gun control, he was more concerned about what the President did not say Tuesday night.
"What I was amazed at last night was what was not mentioned, and what was not mentioned was the four lives lost in Benghazi," said Collins.
He said he understood the President's comments about the tragedy of the school shooting in Newtown in December, but Collins said he missed an opportunity to show support for those who serve in dangerous areas on foreign soil.
"When you have lost an ambassador in the last four or five months and you don't even make a comment about our people serving overseas, how we're going to protect our embassies so this never happens again...to me, that was a glaring omission."
Collins also said he was not impressed by President Obama's outline of plans to increase employment, save energy and improve education. For one thing, he said, the plans did not offer specific solutions.
"And, this is the fourth time he's said 'none of what I've said will add a dime to the deficit,' but yet he doesn't say how he's going to do that. We know from four years of history now that's just not true," said Collins.
By the way, President Obama is traveling to three states promoting the ideas he outlined in his State of the Union address. He will be in Georgia Thursday, visiting a state-funded pre-K in Decatur.