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Illinois congressman exits Obama speech

Sept. 11, 2009 at 11:11 AM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- A Republican representative from Illinois walked out during President Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress, a spokesman for the congressman confirmed.

Steven Tomaszewski said Rep. John Shimkus left minutes before the president finished speaking because Shimkus was frustrated nothing new had been offered, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

"Regardless of the words the president used, the tone did not bring Republicans on board," Tomaszewski said.

Shimkus, a West Point graduate and former high school teacher, was first elected to Congress in 1996 from Collinsville, Ill.

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