Washington (CNN) - Sen. John Thune. R-South Dakota, took to the Senate floor Tuesday to defend the agreement reached between Republicans and President Obama on extending Bush-era tax cuts. And Thune used his speech to take a veiled shot at potential rivals for the GOP presidential nomination who have criticized the deal.
"It is easy to stand on the sidelines and criticize this deal," Thune said. "And it would perhaps be politically expedient to stand on the sideline and criticize this tax deal. But to advocate against this tax deal is to advocate for a tax increase."
Thune, who is considering a run for president, emphasized that if no deal had been reached, then taxes for Americans would have increased next month.
His speech came on the same day that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney published a column in USA Today titled, "Tax deal, bad deal". Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, another possible presidential candidate, posted a critical comment on her Twitter account about the deal last week.
"Obviously Obama is so very, very wrong on the economy & spins GOP tax cut goals; so fiscal conservatives: we expect you to fight for us &... America's solvency," she wrote.
Unlike previous years, the race for the GOP presidential nomination is getting off to a slow start. Republican presidential hopefuls are not expected to start officially declaring their candidacies until well into 2011.
A spokesman for Thune's office offered no further comment regarding the senator's remarks.
–Follow Mark Preston on Twitter: @PrestonCNN
Gary Johnson for President. I don't think Mr. Johnson is too totally a tool of corporate America like our Congress is today. Money rules America don't forget. How many millionaires are in Congress? Will you EVER see a common man in office? No, you won't. I like President Obama but he is just Bush lite. There will be no change until we revolt in a violent way against the !% who rule America including the media, so please you will have to censor this.
It's refreshing to hear a Republican speak from the perspective of what's best for our country, versus what's best for his own political ambitions. Independents are waiting for a Republican to step up, speak out against his own party from time to time, and admit that Sarah Palin is in no way qualified to be president. She makes for a decent reality TV star, but nothing more.
1.) What is so bad about multiculturalism- it's what America is and what we were founded on.
2.) Obama is not "cold" or "distant"- haven't you seen him dance on Ellen, ask the guys on MythBusters to go back to one of their old experiments, and look cute on the beach in Hawaii? I'm not arguing any of those mean he's Presidential (though I like him as my President), but they certainly don't make me think "cold and distant".
3.) You want elitist? The "Huckabee Builds Million Dollar Home" article has been up for days. And I for one consider any successful businessperson with an MBA and "steely good looks" to likely be an elitist.