After President Barack Obama delivered a speech to a joint session of Congress on a new plan from his administration to create jobs, it didn't take long for Republicans running for their party's presidential nomination to react to the address.
Obama outlined his proposal to get Americans back to work as the nation's unemployment rate sits at 9.1 percent. Job creation and the state of the country's economy have been central issues for the field of GOP contenders vying for a chance to run against the president in 2012.
Below, a slideshow highlighting reaction from the Republican presidential candidates to Obama's speech. (Note: We will update this post with additional reaction as it is released.)
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney responded to the president's speech by releasing a web video after the address. The Republican contender's message: "Mr. President, you are 960 days late." A note posted on the Romney campaign website along with the clip reads: "Under President Obama, America has lost more than two-and-a-half million jobs. Nearly 25 million Americans are out of work, underemployed, or have stopped looking for work. As of September 1, the national debt was an estimated $14.6 trillion. Obama Isn't Working." Click here to watch the ad.
Texas Governor Rick Perry issued the following statement on the president's speech: "President Obama's call for nearly a half-trillion dollars in more government stimulus when America has more than $14 trillion in debt 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. "America needs jobs, smaller government, less spending and a president with the courage to offer more than yet another speech."
Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman issued the following statement on Obama's address and proposal on job creation. The American people 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. Last week, I detailed specific and comprehensive solutions to create jobs and revive our flailing economy - a plan immediately endorsed by the Wall Street Journal and described as "the most pro-growth proposal ever offered by a US presidential candidate." Rather than tinker with a broken and outdated tax system, I propose bold reform which eliminates loopholes, special interest carve-outs and subsidies, while lowering rates across the board to make our tax code flatter, fairer, simpler and more conducive to growth. My plan also eliminates burdensome regulations like Obamacare, promotes energy independence, and opens more global markets for American products by expanding free trade. In stark contrast to my fellow candidates, my economic plan is built upon a proven record of success. It draws heavily from my experience as governor of Utah, where we enacted similar reforms which made our state number one in job-creation and our economy grow at triple the national rate. President Obama has failed. It's time for America to compete again. We did it in Utah and we can do it for America.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) did not attend Obama's speech on Thursday night, but still had something to say on what the president said and his job creation plan. The AP reports that Bachmann predicted the president's proposal will fail, even if it is ultimately approved by Congress. She suggested the initiative amounts to "failed gimmicks." According to CNN, the GOP contender said of the president's speech, "Clearly what we saw was just a sequel of all of the failed policies that the president has put forward in the ." Below, full text of what Bachmann had to say at a press conference as released by her office. Unfortunately, it seems, every time the President speaks, his policies have cost the American people jobs and future prosperity. Tonight the President under the veil of one of the most sacred deliberative forums, a joint session of Congress, delivered another political speech where he doubled down on more of the same policies that are killing the economy. Mr. President, what among your proposals was new? What here hasn't already been tried and failed before? While the President's speech comes on the heels of a trillion dollars of failed stimulus, bailouts, and temporary gimmicks aimed at creating jobs, the President continued to cling to the idea that government is the solution to creating jobs. My conservative colleagues and I have been fighting over the last two and half years for pro growth policies. I stand here tonight to say to the President, not only should Congress not pass your plan, I say, "stop; your last plan hasn't worked, it's hurting the American economy." Instead of temporary fixes, do what has proved to work in the past, permanent pro growth policies that are driven by the free market." Today, unemployment is 9.1 percent. Job creation has literally been zeroed out with the worst jobs report in 66 years this last month. Since the President's failed trillion dollar stimulus we have lost over 2.5 million jobs while adding 416,000 government jobs. One in six Americans is now on food stamps, and the average time unemployed Americans are out of work is greater than 40 weeks. Housing values have fallen 19% from 2008 to the first quarter of this year. GDP growth was an anemic .4% in the first quarter and at 1% in the last and the dollar has lost 12 percent of its value. These are not good times for the American people. Our patience for speeches, gimmicks and excuses has run out. The only remedies the President knows are temporary, government directed fixes. And even if the President's plan passes, we already know it will fail. In practice, we haven't paid for his last trillion dollar jobs program and now his latest plan would have us embrace potentially over $400 billion in new government spending! Spending taxpayer dollars on extending unemployment benefits has proved to add only 25 cents to GDP for every dollar we spend. Even the President's new economic advisor agrees that extending unemployment benefits discourages future employment. Spending taxpayer dollars on extending the payroll tax holiday will reduce over 111 billion dollars to the Social Security trust fund this year and continuation of this policy will put social security checks to seniors at even greater risk. Spending taxpayer dollars on more infrastructure projects failed to create lasting jobs in the last stimulus. And, looming on the horizon is the full scale implementation of Obamacare that, according the Congressional Budget Office, will kill 800,000 jobs and steal over 500 billion from Medicare. Candidate Obama promised to wipe out deficits and the debt. Instead the President has increased the debt by over 6 trillion dollars, and what do we have to show for it? Permanent increases in the size of government, spending and debt, with a greater dependency on government. Four years ago President Bush's deficit was around 160 billion dollars; today, President Obama's is nearly ten times that amount. The President and Vice-President's plan to spend us to prosperity has failed. And worse, they have stolen from a generation of Americans yet unborn, the consequences of which mean a near certainty of reduced choices and a dramatically downsized lifestyle for future generations from what we enjoy today. Generational theft is a moral and ethical issue, and I care deeply about both the present generation and generations to come. The President is politically paralyzed and philosophically incapable of doing what needs to be done. I do agree, the President should take immediate action. But it is the nine following steps that will put us on a path to economic growth and put Americans back to work; 1) Repatriate American business dollars earned from overseas, 2) Massively cut spending and the size of government, 3) Repeal Obamacare, which is the government takeover of America's healthcare system, 4) Cut taxes, including corporate taxes, 5) Repeal Dodd-Frank, 6) Repeal job killing regulations, 7) Increase exports by finalizing free trade agreements, 8) Spur new investment in America, inspire innovation, 9) Provide job creating energy solutions, including decreased regulations on developing new energy supplies from our abundant domestic energy resources. The way forward needs to be based on permanent solutions grounded in the private sector. That is how we will once again restore economic prosperity to our country. God Bless the United States of America.
Former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain responded to Obama's speech by saying, "We waited 30 months for this?"
Just ahead of halftime in the NFL season opener in which the New Orleans Saints were taking on the Green Bay Packers, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich wrote in a tweet, "1 min til halftime call. Join me @ 712-432-0900 and passcode 856495. We'll discuss my #jobs plan and your reaction to the president's speech." Check back here for an update on what Gingrich had to say.
Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum responded to Obama's speech with the following statement: "Many say the President is a failure, but I disagree - he'd have to improve a whole lot to even be considered a failure. The President's speech tonight was more of the same failed policies and empty rhetoric that got him elected and got us in this mess. Sadly, the President seems to have forgotten his own charge that our country should come before party or his own even re-election. Instead President Obama kicked off his campaign for reelection in the most disingenuous way possible - by using the Congress as a his political toy. His failed plan to spend over $400 billion more that we do not have, create further tax instability for workers and employers alike, and use federal tax dollars to prop up government is only made worse by the political theater we saw tonight. Regardless of what he says, the President is guilty of political malfeasance that was no clearer seen than by his campaign's email fundraising appeal sent shortly before his address this evening." President Obama and the national Democrats used tonight's address to raise money through an email solicitation just over an hour before the President entered the House Chamber. In his email to supporters, President Obama says that he is "about to head to the Capitol to ask Congress to ask on [his] plan to put Americans back to work" and that it is up to his supporters to "pressure Congress to act - or hold them accountable if they do not." This was not a policy speech to the nation, but a political speech using the Chamber of the House of Representatives as the backdrop. Senator Santorum's jobs plan, which was released on July 5th in the Mississippi River manufacturing town of Burlington, IA, focuses on reinvigorating the "great middle of America" that has been lost over the past several decades - specifically the manufacturing sector. Rather than focusing on further extending unemployment benefits or government aid, Senator Santorum focuses on actually putting people back to work and not furthering the numbing dependency on government. Among the many initiatives in the Santorum jobs plan are: · Cutting the corporate tax rate for domestic manufacturers from 35% to 0%; · Repatriating foreign income at a 5% tax rate rather than the current 35% to bring those revenues home to be investing in America; · Increasing the R&D Tax Credit from 14% to 20% and making it permanent; · Reducing the regulatory burden currently stifling American innovation, including complete repeals of ObamaCare, Sarbanes-Oxley, and Dodd-Frank; and, · Expanding domestic energy exploration to lower energy costs for manufacturers and create good paying manufacturing jobs.
Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson released the following statement following the president's speech: "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? Whether it be jobs created with borrowed and newly-printed dollars, temporary extensions of tax cuts, or sending money to the states to postpone layoffs, none of the President's proposals will remove the real obstacles to job creation. Government cannot create jobs. Businesses, entrepreneurs and investors can create jobs, and right now, they are simply afraid to do so. And they should be. They are looking at a national debt that is consuming the private economy, more deficit spending with no end in sight, and a regulatory environment that promises only new and costly surprises every day. "Instead of nibbling around the edges of a job-killing tax code, we need to throw it out. Eliminate income, business and payroll taxes altogether, and replace them with a FAIR tax (FairTax.org) that will result in millions of jobs. Instead of spending more, balance the budget now. Get the burden of government spending and borrowing off the economy, and it will flourish. And as the government's chief executive, the President needs to get federal agencies out of the business of managing the economy, and into the business of establishing regulatory certainty. Do those things, and the U.S. will become the job magnet of the world. "Government is absolutely a big part of the jobs problem, but it is not the solution -- other than by getting out of the way. Congress and the Administration have almost helped us to death. What we heard tonight is that they are going to help us some more. Please, please, just stop."
Former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer issued the following response to Obama's speech: "The President's jobs plan will certainly create jobs - jobs in China. Another $450 billion government stimulus is not the answer. The President's job-killing economic policies have decimated domestic manufacturing, shipped thousands of good American jobs overseas and saddled future generations with an historic level of debt they may likely never be able to escape." Governor Roemer enacted sweeping reforms that cut unemployment by half in Louisiana during his four-year tenure by reducing the regulatory and tax burdens on families and small businesses. He has proposed a job creation plan that eliminates the tax incentives for companies that export American jobs and ends unfair trade practices that undercut the competitiveness of American goods and services. Governor Roemer has also called for the repeal of Obamacare, the reimplementation of Glass-Stegal banking principles and a commitment to energy independence. "We must end unfair trade practices, enact real tax reforms by closing special interest loopholes and restart the idle engines of job growth in our private sector now. Mr. President, get passionate about creating jobs here at home and start standing-up for 'Made in America' again."
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