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San Diegans React to the President's State of the Union Address

President Bush delivered his State of the Union Address last night. The president focused on a few specific policy areas including the war in Iraq, energy, healthcare, and immigration. It was his firs

President Bush delivered his State of the Union Address last night. The president focused on a few specific policy areas including the war in Iraq, energy, healthcare, and immigration. It was his first time addressing a democratic-led Congress, and he took note of the shift.

President Bush: Congress has changed, but our responsibilities have not. Each of us is guided by our own convictions - and to these we must stay faithful. Yet we are all held to the same standards, and called to serve the same good purposes: To extend this Nation's prosperity, to spend the people's money wisely, to solve problems, not leave them to future generations, to guard America against all evil, and to keep faith with those we have sent forth to defend us.

Full Focus reporter Heather Hill went downtown for some local reaction to the president’s message.

Of the policy areas mentioned, the San Diegans we talked to were most interested in the president’s plans for Iraq. Republicans and democrats alike said they wished the president had offered more details about his plan to send 20,000 additional troops to Iraq. 

Bulich: I think probably just really trying to reassure Americans about sending more troops. I think that's going to be a big issue and you know, a lot of people are against him on that. So, he really needs to spell out a little more clearly how that's going to ultimately help us get out of Iraq."

Owen: He's voiced the same request about four different times and four different times his Iraq policies have failed, and now he wonders why American people won't trust him now or he asks that they do. That just doesn't make any sense to me.

Shanks: I think he should have gone into more detail of why there is so much opposition to the war and gone into a little more historic detail about how war is never popular. And how we have to bite the bullet and just do not assume that this is going to be a short war and as soon as we hear about body bags, we have to cut and run."

President Bush also proposed expanding health care coverage by offering new health tax deductions and counting employer-paid health benefits as taxable income. Local reactions to this reform were mixed.

Dehaan: I think it’s a splendid idea. I have said for many years, being a self-employed individual myself and having to provide my own health insurance, I've always wondered why there weren't tax deductions available for health insurance premiums for the people that were caught in the middle -- too much money to get public care and too little money to have the best private care. I'm one of those middle people.

Olsen: Well, i looked into it a little bit more this morning. And i think it is more of a tax increase. It depends on the people you talk to. Those that are employed and have good careers are going to pay more money. And i think each person needs to look at how it's going to affect them individually."

Among the people we talked to, those who tuned in last night had a lot to say about the president’s plan for the coming year. But twice as many said they didn’t watch or listen to the speech.