If there is one inevitability in delivering a State of the Union address, it is that criticism will follow swiftly from all sides, and this may well be the predicament that U.S. President Barack Obama found himself in, on Tuesday night.

The Republican response to his speech was given by Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington State, who critiqued the President’s reiteration of support for his landmark healthcare reform law.

Citing examples of citizens from her home state who had reported that their insurance premiums had shot up after the Affordable Care Act came into force this month, she said, “We shouldn’t go back to the way things were, but the President’s health care law is not working. Republicans believe health care choices should be yours, not the government’s.”

Similarly House Speaker John Boehner did not appear to take kindly to Mr. Obama’s proposal to rely on an Executive Action, bypassing Congress, to raise the federal government minimum wage rate from $7.25 to $10.10, saying, “We have a Constitution. We abide by it. If he tries to ignore it, he’s going to run into a brick wall.”

Liberals too unhappy

Yet on the flip side, Mr. Obama was equally criticised by liberals for downsizing his political proposals for the remainder of his second term to “low-yield initiatives with limited reach.”

The limited mentions of immigration reform and gun control in the address suggested that White House may have given up on the prospect of bringing these subjects back to the table in a stalemated Congress.

Human rights groups said the speech “obscured the fact that he has both the power to close Guantánamo Bay and a duty to do so as soon as possible.”

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