Republican leaders wasted little time responding to President Barack Obama’s charge Wednesday that restoring GOP leadership in Washington would send the nation’s economy careening backward, and accused the president of proposing the wrong prescription for a turnaround.
Obama, in a campaign-style address near Cleveland, touted his latest economic plan, which includes $300 billion in small business tax breaks and credits and $50 billion in infrastructure spending. while taking aim at House Minority Leader John Boehner, who is in line to become Speaker should Republicans win control of the House on Nov. 2. The Ohio Republican immediately responded with a prepared statement that criticized the president’s economic policies.
“If the president is serious about finally focusing on jobs, a good start would be taking the advice of his recently departed budget director and freezing all tax rates, coupled with cutting federal spending to where it was before all the bailouts, government takeovers, and stimulus’ spending sprees,” Boehner said, referencing former Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag’s recommendation that the Bush administration tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 be temporarily extended for all income brackets.
Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, was tougher in his criticism, essentially calling Obama’s job-creation agenda a failure.
“The administration is now doubling down on a bad bet — that higher taxes and more government spending will help grow the economy and create private-sector jobs. But Americans know that the administration’s stimulus was anything but stimulating,” The Texas Republican said in a prepared statement. “President Obama promised the American people that his trillion-dollar stimulus would create 4 million new jobs and keep unemployment under 8 percent, but it failed miserably by their own standard. Now with Election Day just around the corner, the president is asking for a mulligan.”
Obama’s speech, given at a community college in the greater Cleveland area, comes two weeks after Boehner delivered a speech on the economy at the City Club of Cleveland.