Reaction mixed to Obama's Arizona visit - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Reaction mixed to Obama's Arizona visit

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President Barack Obama addresses the crowd at Desert Vista High School in Ahwatukee. (Source: CBS 5 News) President Barack Obama addresses the crowd at Desert Vista High School in Ahwatukee. (Source: CBS 5 News)
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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Reaction was mixed in the wake of President Barack Obama's visit to Arizona on Tuesday.

Obama outlined his plans for helping the country's middle class reclaim the American dream of responsible home ownership.

The Republican National Committee spokesman Ryan Mahoney released the following statement about the president's visit:

"President Obama is simply regurgitating and repackaging dated proposals that haven't put the economy back on track. With an economic strategy seemingly based on nothing but empty rhetoric, it's no wonder Americans don't believe he's looking out for the middle class. If President Obama really wants to get the economy moving again, he'd be better off working toward bipartisan solutions rather than giving speeches that offer nothing new."

There wasn't any finger pointing when Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer met Obama this time on the tarmac at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Brewer and the president shook hands after the president stepped off Air Force One.

Brewer famously wagged her index finger at Obama during a contentious runway meeting in January 2012.

After his visit, the governor issued this statement: 

"When I took office in 2009, the Arizona economy was in shambles. Our housing market, in particular, was facing the largest collapse in state history. Today, our market is on the steady rebound, recovering faster in metro Phoenix than anywhere in the country. Statewide, home values are rising at one of the top three swiftest rates in the nation, and foreclosures are on the steady decline. In four years, the Arizona economy has gone from one of the most distressed in the nation to one of the strongest. And while the federal government continues to add to the nation's deficit, Arizona is once again running a surplus.

"These successes are no accident. They are certainly no result of the Obama administration's policies, which favor big government and bureaucracy over limited government and business growth. President Obama and I took office under similar economic circumstances, but have pursued vastly different paths. The Arizona Comeback has been made possible by fostering free-market principles, freezing burdensome government regulations, lowering taxes and allowing businesses to grow and prosper. This is hardly the route President Obama has taken - and it shows. Perhaps that's why, nationwide, homeownership is at an 18-year low while rental prices continue to surge.

"Of course, none of this means our work is done. Too many of our friends and neighbors continue to struggle with unemployment and a fickle economy. But we are on the right track, and our successes are a true testament to our state's responsible policies and quality workforce. Arizonans who have witnessed our turnaround, and continue to work hard to sustain it, should be baffled by today's campaign-style appearance in Phoenix. Instead of trying to share credit for Arizona's successes, President Obama should learn from our example. The nation would benefit from an administration that promotes, rather than stifles, business growth. Our recovery has been made possible in spite of the President's policies - not because of them."

Robert Graham, chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, said Arizona is poised thanks to Republicans in the State House, "not the Democrat in the White House." He issued this statement:

"President Obama is trying to take credit for the good economic news coming out of Arizona, but we all know it's thanks to the economic policies that came out of our Republican Legislature and were signed into law by our Republican Governor Jan Brewer.

"Arizona also has a balanced state budget and a low-tax and business-friendly environment.  We've cut taxes, we've created jobs, and we're very competitive when it comes to bringing new business to Arizona.

"The real news here is that Arizona is showing the signs of an economic recovery, despite the federal government which has done nothing more than create economic instability. Credit should go to our entrepreneurs and business owners, our investors, and to the voters who elected conservative Republicans to lead our state and put us on the road to recovery."

U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar issued the following statement after President Obama's speech:

"Out of touch with Arizona and out of ideas; President Obama missed an opportunity today to acknowledge that his failed economic policies have done little to create jobs and to understand that immigration reform must start with border security. Rather than listen to Arizonans who want the government out of the way of economic growth and immigration reform that secures our border, President Obama used his trip to lecture.

"Jumpstarting this economy and putting people back to work begins with pro-growth policies, not suffocating EPA regulations that increase energy costs or the tax-hike that is Obamacare. I will continue to work hard on behalf of Arizonans who want real economic growth and a secure border."

A key element of the president's strategy includes shutting down the government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac programs and replacing them with a process that would involve private sector companies purchasing mortgages from lenders.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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