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McConnell, Obama Duel Over Bush Tax Cuts, Jobs

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell used the GOP radio address Saturday to criticize Democrats for failing to extend the Bush-era tax cuts — “one of the largest tax hikes in history” — before leaving town to campaign for the midterm elections.

McConnell said Democrats are out of touch, and argued that they haven’t done enough to stimulate job growth as they have tried to advance an agenda of “government-run health care, wasteful spending and debt.”

This is the “main reason most people expect Republicans to do pretty well in the upcoming November elections,” he said.

The Kentucky Republican also accused Democratic leaders of “holding middle-class Americans hostage” by leaving town before taking action to extend the Bush-era tax cuts, which expire at the end of the year.

“Allowing them to happen at a time when so many are struggling makes no sense at all if you want to help the economy — something even the president admitted in the past,” he said.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama touted his record of creating clean energy jobs and accused Republicans of standing in the way of job creation.

Obama talked up his administration’s “historic commitment to promote clean energy technology” that will translate to hundreds of thousands of new jobs by 2012. He pointed to one California company, BrightSource, that benefitted from clean energy incentives and is on track to hire 1,000 people to build a solar power plant.

“We’re putting Americans to work producing clean, home-grown American energy that will help lower our reliance on foreign oil and protect our planet for future generations,” said Obama.

Obama also took aim at Republican leaders for trying to “scrap all the incentives for clean energy projects,” including those under way, and for effectively killing prospects for job creation.

“This doesn’t make sense for our economy. It doesn’t make sense for Americans who are looking for jobs, and it doesn’t make sense for our future,” the president said. “That’s what’s at stake in this debate. We can go back to the failed energy policies that profited the oil companies but weakened our country … or we can go after new jobs in growing industries.”

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