Washington (CNN) - Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour used the GOP's weekly address Saturday to argue that Tuesday's GOP victories in New Jersey and Virginia show that voters are more concerned about the economy and the jobs outlook than about health care reform.
Read Barbour's full address after the jump.
“Hi, I’m Haley Barbour, Governor of Mississippi, and I’m pleased to give the weekly Republican address.
“This past week’s been a momentous one in American politics. It marked the first anniversary of President Obama’s election.
“This week also saw the first big elections since this administration and its Democrat Majority in Congress took control of our federal government. The results made clear the American people don’t like where the Democrats are trying to take our country.
“Virginia and New Jersey elected new governors Tuesday, and in both cases, voters chose Republican governors to succeed the Democrats elected four years ago. Both are states that President Obama carried by large margins last year.
“Virginia’s Bob McDonnell, a conservative who focused his campaign on jobs and economic growth – the issues that concern most Virginia voters – won by nearly twenty points, as Republicans swept all statewide offices.
“In New Jersey, moderate Republican Chris Christie defeated incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine, despite several campaign visits by the President. Independents voted overwhelmingly for the Republican in both states.
“Independents, most of whom voted for President Obama only a year ago, are concerned where his policies are taking our country. Don’t take my word for it.
“Representative Jim Cooper, senior Democrat in Tennessee’s congressional delegation, called the election result ‘a wake-up call for Congress. A tidal wave could be coming,’ he said.
“Democratic Congressman Dan Boren of Oklahoma made his views plain, when he told the Wall Street Journal, ‘voters sent a clear message that the administration and the Congress need to focus on the economy. We need to focus on creating jobs right now, and you don’t do that by raising taxes on small businesses.’
“The Washington Post’s David Broder, dean of American political writers, identified a crucial factor in Tuesday’s voting. Broder wrote, ‘the more worried voters were about keeping or finding a job, the more likely they were to vote Republican.’
“Americans think economic growth and job creation are priorities one, two, three and four. Despite all the trillions of dollars in spending by this administration and Congress, voters see little progress on jobs.
“And, these elections came before it was announced that the unemployment rate had risen to 10.2 percent, the highest in 26 years.
“Americans’ concerns are greatly increased because Washington hasn’t been focused on economic growth and creating jobs. Instead, all the talk and attention has been on health care reform.
“And, now that the Democrat leadership has settled on a health care bill, what have Americans learned?
“This health care bill will cost another trillion-plus dollars. The bill will increase your health insurance premiums. It will cut Medicare spending for seniors by $500 billion dollars, and it will clobber small businesses, which creates most new jobs.
“Indeed, the National Federation of Independent Business, the organization of small businesses, projects the health care reform proposal pending in the House will mean 1.6 million fewer jobs – that’s right, it would cost 1.6 million people their jobs.
“Isn’t it easy to see why Americans sent that wake-up call on Tuesday?
“Now, the question is, did Democrats in Washington hear it?
“Will they listen to folks like Democratic Representative Michael Michaud of Maine who said after the elections: ‘People want jobs. We have to start focusing on jobs and the economy’?
“The best time to start’s now. The House Democrats’ health care bill should be withdrawn and reworked. There are many reforms that enjoy overwhelming bipartisan support in both houses of Congress.
“Great improvements can be made without a government-run health care system; without gigantic tax increases that fall primarily on small businesses; without a $500 billion cut in Medicare spending; without higher insurance premiums; and without costing 1.6 million people their jobs.
“Governors, including many Democrats, also realize this Democrat plan will result in tens of billions of dollars of state tax increases because it would greatly expand Medicaid and make state governments pay more than $30 billion that our states don’t have.
“Americans are a whole lot smarter than politicians give them credit for. Americans want and need jobs. Congress has been focused on health and energy legislation that will cost millions of jobs.
“Hopefully, Tuesday’s fire alarm will get Washington’s eye back on the ball: back on job creation and economic growth.
“I’m Governor Haley Barbour. Thanks for listening.”