2012ers react to Obama's speech
April 13th, 2011
06:02 PM ET
3 years ago

2012ers react to Obama's speech

(CNN) - Some of the likely 2012 Republican presidential candidates reacted to President Obama's deficit reduction speech Wednesday. Their responses:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney: "President Obama's proposals are too little, too late. Instead of supporting spending cuts that lead to real deficit reduction and true reform of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, the President dug deep into his liberal playbook for 'solutions' highlighted by higher taxes. With over 20 million people who are unemployed or who have stopped looking for work, the last thing we should be doing is raising taxes on job-creators, entrepreneurs, and small business owners across America."

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty: "Today's speech was nothing more than window dressing. President Obama's lack of seriousness on deficit reduction is crystal clear when you look at the budget deal he insisted on to avoid a government shutdown. The more we learn about the budget deal the worse it looks. When you consider that the federal deficit in February alone was over $222 billion, to have actual cuts less than the $38 billion originally advertised is just not serious. The fact that billions of dollars advertised as cuts were not scheduled to be spent in any case makes this budget wholly unacceptable. It's no surprise that President Obama and Senator Reid forced this budget, but it should be rejected. America deserves better."

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour: "President Obama doesn't get it: The fear of higher taxes tomorrow hurts job creation today."

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich:
"President Obama's speech today shows he has learned nothing about how to win the future. He continues to operate with a left wing worldview that will hurt seniors, kill jobs, raise gas prices, and increase our crushing debt. America needs an honest conversation about saving Medicaid and Medicare by providing citizens with more choices, better care, and more control at lower costs; not emotional demagoguery designed to create a climate of fear and inaction. America needs tax cuts not tax increases to create jobs. Creating jobs and getting back to 4% unemployment is the most important step to a balanced budget. The president's proposal to raise taxes will kill jobs and increase the deficit by putting more people on unemployment, food stamps and welfare. America needs an American Energy Plan that makes full use of all our resources here at home – oil, natural gas, wind, clean coal, nuclear, biofuels, and more.

The president is ideologically wedded to a limited view of America's energy potential that will continue to raise gas prices and further increase our reliance on foreign sources of energy. In his speech, the president lauded the effort of Republicans and Democrats to work together to balance the budget in the 1990s. Yet the solutions he proposed today are precisely the opposite of what we did. When I was Speaker, we passed the first tax cuts in sixteen years to encourage the private sector to create jobs, including what Art Laffer called the largest capital gains cut in history. This led to a drop in unemployment from 5.6% to below 4%. We successfully reformed welfare to lift the poor out of poverty in much the same way Paul Ryan proposes to save Medicaid. We increased defense and intelligence spending to defend freedom. Through those pro-growth measures we balanced the budget and paid off over $405 billion in debt.

To win the future today, I have proposed six steps for the United States to rebuild the economy and rescue the next generation from a dangerous and potentially crushing national debt.

1. Promote stability in the economy by permanently extending the current tax relief. Job creation moved from stagnant to improving in the two months after Congress extended tax relief for two years.

2. Guarantee the United States will continue to be the center of economic activity by making it the most desirable location for new business investment. The United States should match the Chinese capital gains tax rate of zero; dramatically reduce the corporate income tax (the highest in the world) to 12.5%; allow for 100% expensing of new equipment to spur innovation and American manufacturing; and permanently end the death tax.

3. Repeal Sarbanes-Oxley. Remove burdensome financial regulation that is holding companies back from taking risks and making new investments.

4. Implement an American energy policy that creates jobs in the United States versus the Obama plan which borrows money from China to give to Brazil to drill for oil and then sell it to Americans.

5. Enforce the fiscal responsibility Americans deserve, control spending, and implement money saving reforms and replace destructive policies and agencies with new approaches.

6. Repeal and replace Obamacare."

Former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain: "President Obama's address proved yet again that he values ideology over basic economics and leadership. His budget employs his typical class warfare tactics, insisting on taxing America's job creators into oblivion for what he deems "fairness." In doing so, he makes clear his willingness to further cripple our economy in exchange for pushing his wealth redistribution agenda and abandonment of the free enterprise system. President Obama also took the opportunity to blame everyone but his own administration for this economic disaster, shifting blame to the Bush administration, Congressional Republicans and America's highest earners, neglecting his own administration's reckless spending.

Instead of using this speech as an opportunity to preview a budget that could significantly pay down our mounting debt through meaningful spending cuts and entitlement reforms, he again insisted on saddling America's job creators with an even heavier tax burden to pay down the debt. Meanwhile, Congressman Ryan proposed his own budget that reduces the national debt by $6 trillion without raising taxes on a single American family or business. Most importantly, actions speak louder than words. President Obama claims that his budget proposal would cut $4 trillion in just 12 years. Can we really trust a man who vowed time and time again that his administration would cut the budget deficit in half, but instead, brought our budget deficits to record levels in just half a term in the White House? Indeed, since President Obama just filed his re-election candidacy papers, Americans today got their first televised campaign speech for 2012: all talk, no leadership."


Filed under: 2012 • Haley Barbour • Herman Cain • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • President Obama • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Patrick from Minnesota

    America, please. Don't be stupid enough to vote for these ignorant hacks. We deserve better.

    April 13, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  2. Tubby the Tuba TEXAS

    I think the Repugs don't get it. It time now for the wealthy to step up and pay their fair share of taxes. Warren Buffet says so too. Most patriotic people think the same way. The way they state that Obama wants to raise taxes one would think that he is talking the middle class, but he isn't...he wants to tax the rich, and companies like GE, who paid nothing in income tax while I as a teacher pays $12,000.00 per year in income tax. Spread the responsibility would be another manner in which to state the obvious, but the Repugs would say Obama wants to spread the wealth... Wake up and smell the coffee before you have no health care (Medicare) and no assistance. If the Repugs kill the raising of the debt ceiling, it will put America into a tail spin and our dollar will crater and everyone can take their savings and retirement programs and trash them as they will not be any good. Wake up!

    April 13, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  3. denise

    i agree all americans should pay more taxes and donate 20 extra dollars a month to help the economy its like he said we all should help our goverment and stop being selfish its true if we dont help we r all screwed and war is the worst to have look how much bush spent to attact after 911 all people need to help we all want but dont want to give and the rich should pay more instead of having elabert vacations only presidents worth a damn was lincoln, clinton and our obama

    April 13, 2011 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  4. Birdwatcher1

    Obama's speech was the first sign of real strength I've seen in a long time. He said it all as plainly as anyone could. Any rich people out there who would rather see seniors and poor kids go without healthcare so that they can hold onto their precious money are despicable. They should be ashamed. Obama should never have let the Bush tax cuts for the rich continue, but I can understand why he did what he did. NO MORE!!!!!

    April 13, 2011 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  5. Al

    The Heck with these Fake GOPer.

    April 13, 2011 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  6. Lawrence A

    Well done President and welcome back.

    When Mitt Romney and co are talking about US, They are obviously talking about minority americans. It is high time the bankers and the rich peoples' selfishness are challenged.

    No business or employer employs in the name of favour to any state. It is always done out of needed necessity. They need to be told.

    April 13, 2011 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  7. Mike in Texas

    Cut spending on those who need it and give the rich and corporations a big tax break so they may perhaps give you some of it.

    Trickle down does not work when the guy on top shuts off the valve.

    Demand drives hiring not more money.

    The gap between the rich and the middle class grows faster under Republican control.

    April 13, 2011 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  8. Name king

    Just as I thought, the repugs don't give a dam about deficit reductions, they only did it thinking that the dems would not come out with a serious plan, now that he did, now they want to chat that,'it's their
    Way or this country could go down in flame as If they care. They did this with job job job. And as soon as they see Obama plans working creating jobs, they threw away that job mantra. These people is all about politics.

    April 13, 2011 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  9. carrotroot

    To 2012ers our National Debt is now such a significant problem that we must put everything on the table - including tax increases, and cuts to the 3 golden cows (Medicare,Social Security and the Military Budget). Everyone, including business who hire people will need to be affected. The middle-class cannot be asked to do this all by themselves.

    April 13, 2011 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  10. Tim, Seattle

    I noticed not 1 of them will endorse Ryans plan. Why? Afraid of losing independent votes, thats why. Typical dodge by the gop

    April 13, 2011 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  11. juliei4

    I do believe it is the GOP that hasn't learned anything as they are still proposing the same strategy that was used in the 1990's with GW Bush. You see where that got us. Right in the mess we now have to dig out of. What is it they say about people who do the same thing expecting different results?

    April 13, 2011 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  12. Tim, Seattle

    They would have us think that the gop wasnt demogoging medicare cuts during the hcr debate. Just more phony principles from the tea buggerers

    April 13, 2011 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  13. Shannon

    The only answer Republicans have is cut taxes on the rich. I'm sick of hearing that, they want to cut meals on wheels, and health care for the elderly so they can give themselves and their rich friends a break. It's wrong, and I have a feeling that the middle class isn't going to stand for it anymore.

    April 13, 2011 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  14. Jason

    All of this is so true. The problem is that people give the American public too much credit. Too many Americans listen to Obama's lies and believe it and choose to ignore the facts. Obama is a far left liberal and the US has paid for it for the past 2 years. The fact that our national debt has gone from 8 to 14 trillion in 2 years while unemployment remains 3-4% higher than he promised it would get if the stimulus package was passed makes him a moron a liar or both. I am going with both.

    April 13, 2011 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  15. aaa

    Republicans are so against these president that anything he proposes is no good. It is a shame we have a party that has questioned his citizenship and now are wondering what the scar is in the back of his head. Don't we have better things to do than to undermine the president achievements and by any means trying to make him a one tine president. What happened to the idea of working together to come up with a solution to our economic problems. i do not blame the Republicans because they are running scared with there pants down because of fear they will lose in the next election because the Tea Party has put a strangling hold on there neck. The thing to do if work with the president and the tea party stop your fear mongering and to the Republicans do what you were elected for by your constituents. What we need is a solution, put back people to work and bring back our economic might in th world. God Bless our country.

    April 13, 2011 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  16. Anthony... proud tax payer

    Why do we even bother asking THEIR opinions... we ALREADY know what they are going to say.
    Their responses will literally be how bad of a job Obama is doing, how much he 'doesnt get it', and any thing opposite of what The President is proposing, without offering any solutions of their own.
    Plus I bet many of them had a statement written before Obama even opened his mouth. Just like many commenters on these boards.

    Sling as much mud as you can fellas... it appears to be all you have to offer.

    April 13, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  17. Howard

    More smoke and mirrors from Obama. Somebody call the bunco squad ... Obama is launching another confidence swindle. And, since a democratic sucker is born every minute, you can count on this con man to bilk the American public out of another TRILLION dollars ... while the democratic pigeons continue to heap praise on the snake oil salesman and messiah whose ripping them off.

    April 13, 2011 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  18. Rob McKinnon

    If it's already 'too little too late' as Romney puts it – then won't it be really too little, and really too late when if he got into office in two years time? Why even bother then. He's basically stated why we shouldn't vote for him.

    April 13, 2011 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  19. judith

    Good speech. I agree wholeheartedly that we need to raise revenues and who better to raise taxes on then the very wealthy who have made out like bandits for the last few decades.

    April 13, 2011 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
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