Morning Read: ‘I Was Shocked’

President Barack Obama giving that speech yesterday. (Photo: Larry Downing/Getty)

President Barack Obama giving that speech yesterday. (Photo: Larry Downing/Getty)

Headline of the Day: “What You Missed in the State of the Union Speech.”

The New York Post caught up with Congressman Michael Grimm after his confrontation with an NY1 reporter last night. When asked about the balcony-throwing threat, Mr. Grimm would not deny it. “I was angry and I had every right to be,” he said. “He blew it out of proportion.” A former staffer told the paper, “This is not the first time he’s tried to intimidate a reporter.”

The Post also looked at the month’s homicide rate thus far and found an uptick over the same period last year. An anonymous law-enforcement source blamed Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This is the residual effect of de Blasio’s backlash against stop-and-frisk,’’ the source said. “Cops aren’t stopping people and taking guns off the street, which emboldens the criminals.”

Capital New York talked to Councilman Brad Lander about his new, specially-created role at as deputy leader for policy, which allows him to “essentially roam among the Council’s numerous committees, a privilege previously reserved for the speaker, the public advocate, and leaders of the majority and minority conferences.”

The publication also noted that allies of Mr. de Blasio’s push for universal pre-K heralded President Barack Obama‘s State of the Union speech last night. “But while Congress bickers, New York City can make universal pre-K a reality if Albany passes the City’s plan,” said Nancy Wackstein, a member of Mr. de Blasio’s “UPKNYC” coalition.

In his own statement, Gov. Andrew Cuomo cheered the remarks as well. “I was proud to hear President Obama express his support for states prioritizing early education and I look forward to making New York the 4th state in the nation to offer quality full day pre-K for every child statewide,” he said.

And here’s Mr Grimm’s actual response to Mr. Obama’s address:

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R,C-NY) issued the following statement in reaction to President Obama’s State of the Union Address:

“Tonight, the American people looked to their President for bold and decisive leadership, and a credible plan of action to finally address the needs of the millions of struggling and frustrated Americans. Unfortunately, what they received instead was yet another stark reminder that the President’s stubbornness and lack of touch with reality precludes him from being able to effectively address the myriad of challenges facing our great nation.” Rep. Grimm said.

“I was shocked to see the President exhibit such a troubling disregard for the role of Congress as the instrument of the people’s will.” Rep. Grimm continued. “Considering the President’s abysmal record on everything from reforming our healthcare system, creating jobs and lowering unemployment, to keeping our economy competitive, further centralization of authority in the President does not bode well for our nation.” Rep. Grimm maintained.

“In reality, we know his policies have abandoned the coal and nuclear industries, allowed nations like China to undermine our trade and manufacturing primacy, realized the lowest American workforce participation in 35-years, permitted the U.S. to drop further in global student performance rankings and unleashed a failed Common Core Curriculum to wreak havoc on students, parents, and teachers in states like New York. All in all, the President’s policies have seen more and more Americans struggling to make ends meet and own a home.”

“Did the American people hear a plan of action to address the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, which is already causing rising premiums, dropped coverage, and unprecedented uncertainty and complexity in the medical care of countless Americans, particularly those in my district? Did we hear a plan to keep our economy robust and competitive with the rise of industrial powers in Asia and South America for the millions of American manufacturing employees and trade union workers?” Rep. Grimm asked.

“If President Obama wanted to hold a pep rally for himself despite his administration’s abject failures, that is his prerogative. But I do not intend to let the President’s lack of touch to set a precedent for me or my colleagues’ work in Congress.” Rep. Grimm assured. “I want my constituents in Staten Island and Brooklyn to rest assured that I will continue to work tirelessly with members from both sides of the aisle so we can achieve the reforms that so many are counting on. Foremost among them: continuing to ensure that our communities have the resources they need to recover from Superstorm Sandy, leading the charge to pass much needed flood insurance reform to prevent outrageous rate increases, and supporting a growing economy that creates new jobs, provides pathways to new careers, and revitalizes our middle class.”

Rep. Grimm concluded, “The people of this country, and the hardworking men and women of Staten Island and Brooklyn deserve nothing less and they will get nothing less as long as I have the pride and privilege of serving as their voice in Congress.”

Congressman Michael G. Grimm, a Marine combat veteran of the First Gulf War and former FBI Special Agent with over a decade of service, represents the people of Staten Island and Brooklyn in U.S. House of Representatives and serves on the House Committee on Financial Services