Potential Republican presidential candidates attacked President Obama’s speech on Wednesday, calling it a poor substitute for what they say is necessary to deal with the country’s fiscal problems.
“Today’s speech was nothing more than window dressing,” said Tim Pawlenty in a statement. “President Obama’s lack of seriousness on deficit reduction is crystal clear when you look at the budget deal he insisted on to avoid a government shutdown. The more we learn about the budget deal the worse it looks. When you consider that the federal deficit in February alone was over $222 billion, to have actual cuts less than the $38 billion originally advertised is just not serious.”
“President Obama’s proposals are too little, too late,” said Mitt Romney. “Instead of supporting spending cuts that lead to real deficit reduction and true reform of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, the President dug deep into his liberal playbook for ‘solutions’ highlighted by higher taxes. With over 20 million people who are unemployed or who have stopped looking for work, the last thing we should be doing is raising taxes on job-creators, entrepreneurs, and small business owners across America.”
Haley Barbour kept it short and sweet, taking to Twitter to say: “President Obama doesn’t get it: The fear of higher taxes tomorrow hurts job creation today.”
Herman Cain issued a scathing statement about the speech. “President Obama’s address proved yet again that he values ideology over basic economics and leadership,” Cain said, accusing the President of employing “class warfare,” and “shifting blame.”
“Indeed,” Cain concluded, “since President Obama just filed his re-election candidacy papers, Americans today got their first televised campaign speech for 2012: all talk, no leadership.”
“Obama speech in a nutshell: We’ll cut deficit by raising taxes & cutting spending w/o rly cutting anything,” tweeted Gary Johnson. “Don’t think that’s going 2 work.”
Newt Gingrich released a lengthy statement a few hours after the speech. “President Obama’s speech today shows he has learned nothing about how to win the future,” Gingrich said, throwing Obama’s own words back at him. Gingrich touted his record as Speaker of the House, and outlined six steps “To win the future today,” focusing primarily on the economy, energy policy, and repealing Obama’s health care bill.