WASHINGTON -- After spending the past six years laying the blame for most of the nation's ills on President Barack Obama and his policies, Republicans sure weren't happy that he offered some new proposals and claimed some credit for the country's rebounding economy Tuesday night in his State of the Union address.
Obama touted millions of new jobs added on his watch, an economy that's finally growing and a deficit that's shrinking.
But Republicans did not want to hear about the successes of what they've derided for years as the "Obama economy."
Even before the president spoke, potential 2016 GOP candidate Carly Fiorina declared in an interview that Obama deserves only blame, not credit.
"He will apparently declare victory on the economy tonight, but of course, whatever life there is in the economy is not due to his policies, it's in spite of his policies," the former Hewlett-Packard head honcho told Newsmax.
Not longer after, another possible 2016 contender, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), went even further, telling reporters that Obama not only should not have claimed success, but should have blamed himself for what Cruz sees as failure.
"The president could’ve come out tonight and told the American people that he hurt them, that we would change paths," Cruz said. "But instead the president doubled down, more and more taxes, more and more spending, more and more debt. My conclusion tonight is that the president refuses to lead, refuses to listen to the American people."
It's not the first time prominent Republicans have looked at the improving mood and prospects of the nation recently, and sought to divert any accolades from the person they used to blame for lofty gas prices, the soaring deficit and high unemployment. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said earlier this month that the recent uptick was because Americans were excited by the prospect of the GOP's takeover of the Senate.
McConnell's colleagues continued the drumbeat on the Senate floor Wednesday.
"The state of our union is strong," Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said. "But President Obama mistakenly took credit for that strength. He implied that it was because of his policies, because of his actions. On that point, this president could not have gotten it more wrong."
Barrasso and Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn both declared that what Obama really was doing was offering up more empty proposals that would require new taxes and rules of the sort that they contend has held America back.
"There's the president's disquieting tendency to take credit for things that other people have done, and for his own failures, to blame them on somebody else," Cornyn said. "It's really disturbing."
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Sabrina Siddiqui, Maxwell Tani, Julia Craven and Jesse Rifkin contributed reporting.