WASHINGTON -- Tea Party leader Sen. Jim DeMint on Sunday dismissed President Barack Obama's jobs speech four days ahead of its scheduled delivery.
"I'm, frankly, very tired of speeches. I don't want to be disrespectful to the president, but what I want to see is something in writing," the South Carolina Republican told ABC's "This Week." "If he'll send a written proposal, I'll give it every chance. But I'm not interested in his speech right now."
Obama's address to a joint session of Congress, in which he will shift his attention to job creation, is anticipated to be one of the most important speeches of his presidency. But Republicans are less than eager to hear it. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) rejected Obama's request to deliver the speech Wednesday, citing scheduling issues, and insisted he come Thursday instead. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), an outspoken House freshman, announced that he is skipping Obama's speech altogether.
DeMint's resistance to Obama's jobs plan goes so far as to include opposition to tax cuts and business tax credits, a remarkable turnaround for a political party that has for decades pushed for exactly that. "The things that have been leaking out of the White House, none of them are like what I've been hearing from businesses all over the country," DeMint said. "You know, extending unemployment [insurance], cutting payroll taxes, offering tax credits when you hire someone, I haven't heard one business say things like this."
Rather, DeMint argued, business want the government to oppose unions and eliminate regulations, which he said would create "certainty."
"What they want is some certainty. They want the regulators off their back. They want the National Labor Relations Board to stop pushing the union agenda and try to help companies that create jobs. So I don't think the president is going to come out with things that are really going to create jobs," DeMint said.
A nationwide survey of small business owners by McClatchy, however, found that most small business owners want no such thing.