Evoking Thomas Jefferson he said, "a wise and frugal government which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry ….and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned."
"He was right," McDonnell explained, "today, the federal government is simply trying to do too much." (Read the full text here.>)
"Good government policy should spur economic growth, and strengthen the private sector's ability to create new jobs. We must enact policies that promote entrepreneurship and innovation, so America can better compete with the world," the rising Republican star said at the top of his speech. "What government should not do is pile on more taxation, regulation, and litigation that kill jobs and hurt the middle class."
On the federal debt, McDonnell said, "the president's partial freeze on discretionary spending is a laudable step, but a small one."
"Most Americans do not want to turn over the best medical care system in the world to the federal government," he said. "Republicans in Congress have offered legislation to reform health care, without shifting Medicaid costs to the states, without cutting Medicare, and without raising your taxes," he argued.
And on jobs, the primary component of President Obama's State of the Union address, McDonnell quoted the president's campaign promises and said, "last year, we were told that massive new federal spending would create more jobs 'immediately' and hold unemployment below 8%. In the past year, over three million Americans have lost their jobs, yet the Democratic Congress continues deficit spending, adding to the bureaucracy, and increasing the national debt on our children and grandchildren."
Possibly alluding to the recent election of Republican Scott Brown to fill the late Senator Ted Kennedy's senate seat in Massachusetts, McDonnell said, "in recent months, the American people have made clear that they want government leaders to listen and act on the issues most important to them. We want results, not rhetoric. We want cooperation, not partisanship."
He also hit on the length of the Democratic health care bills, saying "our solutions aren't thousand-page bills that no one has fully read, after being crafted behind closed doors with special interests."
McDonnell argued that the administration was standing in the way of Americans capturing natural energy forms by "delaying offshore production, hindering nuclear energy expansion, and seeking to impose job-killing cap and trade energy taxes."
Finally, the Virginia governor attacked the administration's national security policy. "Americans were shocked on Christmas Day to learn of the attempted bombing of a flight to Detroit. This foreign terror suspect was given the same legal rights as a U.S. citizen, and immediately stopped providing critical intelligence."
"As Senator-elect Scott Brown says, we should be spending taxpayer dollars to defeat terrorists, not to protect them," he added again referencing another Republican party superstar.
More Coverage of Obama's State of the Union:
Obama Vows to Fight for Jobs
Full Text of Obama's Speech
Poll: 83% of Viewers Approve of Obama's Plans
Obama Upbeat as He Seeks to Reset Presidency
Dem, GOP Leaders Spar Over Obama's Community Banks Plan
Alito Winces as Obama Slams Supreme Court Ruling
Can Obama's Energy Proposals Please the GOP?
Ohio Voters: Obama Needs More Details on Jobs Plan
Did Obama "Set the Tone" for Bipartisanship?
GOP Response to Obama on Bipartisanship: "Really?"
Leaders Promote Bipartisanship... In Their Wardrobe?