With no official Republican rebuttal to President Obama’s jobs speech Thursday night, Rep. Michele Bachmann, who is running for president, filled the void with a press conference in which she ripped the president’s plan to pieces.
“Tonight, the president under the veil of one of the most sacred, deliberative forms -- a joint session of Congress -- delivered yet one more political speech where he doubled down on more of the same policies that are killing the United States economy,” she said, later calling the president “politically paralyzed” and “philosophically incapable of doing what needs to be done.”
Bachmann, whose presidential campaign has stalled since the entry of Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the race, is one of two Republican presidential candidates who is also a member of Congress. Rep. Ron Paul is the other.
Obama unveiled a nearly $450 billion jobs plan Thursday night that he says will give an array of tax cuts to small businesses that hire while reforming the corporate tax code and investing in infrastructure projects. He also proposed increasing and extending a cut in the payroll tax from workers that goes to Social Security, while providing the tax cut to employers too.
But Bachmann said the plan was more of the same and called on Congress to reject it.
“Mr. President, what among your proposals was new?” she said. “What hasn’t already been tried and failed before? “
Perry, who has vaulted to the top of the GOP presidential field since joining it a few weeks ago, said Obama’s plan is “guided by his mistaken belief that we can spend our way to prosperity.”
“Like the president’s earlier $800 billion stimulus program, this proposal offers little hope for millions of Americans who have lost jobs on his watch and taxpayers who are rightly concerned that their children will inherit a mountain of debt,” he said. “America needs jobs, smaller government, less spending and a president with the courage to offer more than yet another speech.”
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who trails only Perry in the polls, released a web video titled “960 Days” that highlights what his campaign calls Obama's three years of failure to turn around the economy.
The video shows a clip of the president’s speech Thursday on the 961th day.
“Mr. President. You are 960 days late,” the narrator says.
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who worked in the Obama administration as ambassador to China until earlier this year, said Americans are “tired of President Obama’s empty rhetoric and failed policies; they’re desperately searching for leadership and, above all, results.”
“Tonight’s list of regurgitated half-measures demonstrates that President Obama fundamentally doesn’t understand how to turn our economy around,” he said.
“I suspect I am not the only American asking, if a trillion dollars’ worth of stimulus didn’t work, why will another $450 billion do the trick?” he said.