Nightly News   |  January 28, 2014

Americans Sound Off on the State of the Union

For many in the U.S., the state of the union has everything to do with the state of the economy.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> a speech in washington to tell them how things are going in their lives. just ask, and they'll tell you what they think about the state of the union . harry smith spent a few days on the road listening.

>> reporter: california shop owner wonders what happened to president obama 's promise of hope?

>> i was so hopeful at first, i had hoped he would pull everybody together. i find that the country is more divisive now than ever.

>> reporter: while colorado architect tim van meter wonders why we can't just get along.

>> i'm pretty disappointed in our country, you know, the issue of this deadlock of extreme ideology on all sides, that's not who we are about.

>> even after a year when we saw the stock market go up, and unemployment go down, americans are frustrated in this winter of disconte discontent.

>> it's the united states of america , it's not blue versus red.

>> instead of healthy debates, we have stalemates.

>> washington is okay, congress sucks.

>> reporter: christina wonders why some problems take so long to solve?

>> there's a significant group of people that in order for them to really be able to move forward and to achieve what we call the american dream , there needs to be immigration reform .

>> jeanette hall wonders if the dream is even achievable.

>> i'm at the age where i should see everything that i've invested in my education and profession multiply and give me a return so i can retire on that. yet i feel like i'm working hard and just standing still.

>> reporter: in houston, vincent wonders how it got this way.

>> there's a lot of people out there hurting. and it doesn't have to be that way, it really doesn't.

>> and robin forsythe wonders why the richest country in the world can't afford to care for its own.

>> there's so many people that are struggling to keep their homes and to keep their families together. and put food on the table, yes, it does affect me, when my community suffers, i suffer as well.

>> reporter: the state of the union is unsettled, and the people wonder if washington hears them. harry smith , nbc news, denver.