In a searing criticism, South Dakota Sen. John Thune likened the Obama administration to a science project gone wrong as he used the Republicans' weekly radio address to urge voters to back a new kind of change this November.
"The Obama experiment has failed," Thune said in the address.
With both parties shaping their closing arguments ahead of the midterm elections, Thune charged Saturday that the health care changes and financial regulations and stimulus spending backed by Washington Democrats have not turned the economy around.
"One of the Democrats' main responsibilities over the past two years was to improve the economy. Instead, they decided to try an experiment to grow government, raise taxes, and take over health care," he said. Thune said the approach ended up "openly hostile" toward business, contributing to the weak economic recovery.
"The Democrats have controlled the White House and both chambers of Congress for nearly two years, and have proven that more government is not the answer," he said, calling for a "new direction."
But President Obama, in his weekly address, said those very policies must stay in place in order to protect the economy and consumers. He warned that Republican calls for rolling back his achievements pose a threat to economic progress.
"Top Republicans in Congress are now beating the drum to repeal all of these reforms and consumer protections," Obama said. "I think that would be a terrible mistake. Our economy depends on a financial system in which everyone competes on a level playing field, and everyone is held to the same rules -- whether you're a big bank, a small business owner, or a family looking to buy a house or open a credit card."
Obama cited the recent housing mess in which banks are being investigated for using flawed paperwork to process foreclosures.
"This is only one more piece of evidence as to why Wall Street Reform is so necessary," he said.
The dueling addresses came just 10 days before midterm elections in which Republicans have a good chance of taking over the House of Representatives, if not the Senate. The financial regulation measure hasn't been a central campaign issue.
House Republican leader John Boehner has called for the repeal of the measure, as have top Senate Republicans. But that's unlikely even if the Republicans should take control of Congress since Obama would still wield a veto pen.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.