2012ers react to Obama's speech
April 13th, 2011
06:02 PM ET
11 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. Bill

    Despite their huffing and puffing, none of these clowns will ever become president.

    April 13, 2011 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  2. Padraig

    How does 4 trillion help reduce the defecit in 12 years (when he is long gone) when the average deficit per year is 1.5 – multiply by 12 is 18 trillion. In the New York school system that I went through tells me that we will be 14 trillion more in the red.

    April 13, 2011 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  3. Debbie

    Let me guess...they just loved it? LOL Why is this news? Why must CNN continue with pro/con pundits? Why can't CNN go back to what they were good at: Live on the ground news and then let the viewer decide what they think. Really your pundits are getting rather old.

    April 13, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  4. nobama

    Regarding Obama's speech. This preachy arrogant, speech came from a guy who says he is going to raise a billion dollars to be re-elected. Shouldn't those funds be put to better use? If wealthy people that he knows want to pay more in taxes, I beleive they can at any time, just write a check. However this proves to be hollow as one of his policitical allies leads a company that had significant profits last year, but paid no taxes. Face it America. This guy doesn't have a clue. He touts public education, but sends the kids to private school. He votes against raising the debt ceiling as a Senator, touting lack of leadership, but now wants the debt ceiling raised..is this lack of leadership. As for all of these untouchable gov't programs, there was a time in this country when people helped each other, when people looked to their church, their neighbors, their families, and their friends for help and guidance. As soon as the gov't realized that it could control large chunks of the economy, and could benefit themselves and it spolitical allies, all bets were off. Perhaps, just perhaps, we can learn a little from the past.

    April 13, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  5. Sasha

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

    So that means that Barbour is for a clean debt ceiling bill since the fear of America defaulting would even more drastically hurt job creation, right?

    April 13, 2011 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  6. Willy

    What's wrong with the rich paying more taxes? They can afford it, they got rich because of others working for them and with them. Basically they are greedy and un-Christian in that they don't care anymore about Judeo-Christian charity. Their "Let them eat cake." mindset will undo the greatness of America for ALL Americans. Shame, shame, shame on them.

    April 13, 2011 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  7. Four and The Door

    December 08, 2010: In an unusual argument from a Democratic administration, the director of President Obama’s National Economic Council, Larry Summers, contended Wednesday that a deal with Congressional leaders to keep taxes low for another two years will not only jumpstart the economy but increase government revenue in the long run.
    ... and here it is only 4 months later and Obama apparently is not listening to his own economic advisor. Maybe he forgot. It's all very complicated. Keep taxes low and the economy does better and unemployment comes down. Okay, maybe it's not so complicated.

    April 13, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  8. Former Republican, now an Independent

    All of these republican candidates have the same plan, steal from the working class and give it to the wealthy 2% of Americans who own their souls and their campaign funds. Haley Barbour is a great representation of these candidates. His state has received over two dollars in return for every one dollar they send to washington for decades. Mississippi and most southern states are welfare states and Barbour intends to keep his that way, so the more affluent folks control the politics of the state. Less than 20 states pay the way for the others, and most of the ones paying the way are blue states. Funny, you don't hear these current day neo-con fanatics talking about that!

    April 13, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  9. Jen

    Big surprise a Republican opposing soemthign Obama is doing. Gawd don't you righties ever get tired of constantly opposing everything you first supported? Tea baggers are nothing but a few narrow minded people who try to force their idiology on the many – Domestic Terrorists.

    April 13, 2011 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  10. rusty155

    You Republican don't get It, you can expect the middle Class and the Poor and the OLD to pay for IT all the Rich should help pay to get All American people. The Bush tax cut been In affect for six years now and They didn't seam to be working. The Bush tax cut was so they were be more Jobs so were are the Jobs. What you should do Is have all American people to go back and pay the taxes they were paying be for the BUSH tax cut. Any body In there right mind would know that to get the deficit down you have to have money coming Into the Government. This will make the deficit down faster than any thing I heard so far. And this way you may not have to cut as must. You Republican keep saying that you doing this for the American people, That the biggest line of bull crap I ever heard of , the American people don't want the Old And the Disabled and the Poor to be on the street. Why don't just one of you Republican trade places with someone that on Social security and try lining on what they live on for a Year and only what the make, you can't use any of your money. If one of you Republican would do this , you wouldn't be so willing to cut thing from the Old and the poor. You people In congress and the Senate make 174,000 or more a year, someone on Social Security make about 13,000 or less a year. Now tell me that the Bush tax cut should be extended. And the TEA PARTY Isn't anything but a Corporate drones for the KOCH'S BROTHER and a few other Billionaire.

    April 13, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  11. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The Republican party of Aparthied don't want the Middle Class and the poor to share in the wealth and they hide behind social security, medicare and medicaid of seniors, children, disabled, etc. when the whole battle for them is protecting the wealthy. Republicans for the first time today talked about jobs, jobs that make Americans indentured servants for the rich, like picking fruits and vegetables and working in their wineries. They don't offer a "win" for Americans or our children only for the wealthy.

    April 13, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  12. Jen

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

    When did lower taxes ever create a job in America? Barbour You don't get it – TAX THE RICH!!! TAX THE CORPORATE!! – Force these corporate thieves to pay their fair share.

    April 13, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  13. Jen

    Newt is a nut.

    April 13, 2011 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  14. Jen

    Would you expect any of these thugs to support Obama?

    Their battle cry:
    "Why Haven't You Fixed the Mess We Made!?"

    April 13, 2011 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  15. John

    Well, what else do you expect these clowns to say? They wrote these things before Obama even gave the speech.

    April 13, 2011 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  16. T'sah from Virginia

    ROMNEY: "President Obama's proposals are too little, too late…”
    Yet Ryan’s proposals are TOO MUCH that he’s laying on the slate!!
    PAWLENTY: "Today's speech was nothing more than window dressing.”
    Yet Ryan’s speech EVERY DAY is Nothing more than guessing!!
    BARBOUR: "President Obama doesn't get it [about] higher taxes…”
    And yet Ryan wants to kill the poor while the RICH relaxes!!
    ginGRINCH: "President Obama's… has learned nothing about how to win the future.”
    But it’s okay for Ryan to cut what affects the poor leaving all wounds un-sutured!
    CAIN: "President Obama's address proved yet again that he values ideology…”
    And to figure out Republican’s intentions NO ONE needs a degree in psychology!
    So that’s Part One of what the MEN of the Republican Party thinks
    Soon it’ll be Part Two from the RIGHT women who are already out-of-sync!!!

    April 13, 2011 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  17. Republican Robber Baron

    Oh really? Wow that's news to me Republicans. Last time I checked, whenever you decrease tax revenues and increase spending...you can't balance any budget. Wake-up from your Neo-Con trance. The Republicans almost doubled Defense spending in the past 10 years for no reason, increased tax subsidies and special perks for their Big $ lobbyist constituents...while cutting tax revenue. THIS is why Obama inherited such a mess from Bush. Quit trying to spin the facts and pretend that Republicans had nothing to do with this mess.

    April 13, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  18. Rob

    Like their plan worked

    April 13, 2011 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  19. LouAz

    Repub/TPer summary of objections to Obama budget plan: Let them eat cake !
    Never forget, Reagan Republican Economic Policy = Golden Showers. You betcha.

    April 13, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  20. Albo58

    Steal more from Medicare to bankroll the fraudulent Obamacare, weaken the military, tax those mean old rich people, and blame Bush...got it! Seriously, what is the REAL plan?

    April 13, 2011 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  21. DRLee

    I can just see the Republican electorate slobbering away just waiting for more red meat.

    April 13, 2011 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Mr. Obama is a one-term Prsident!!!!

    April 13, 2011 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  23. Busted2010

    One question for Newt, how in the world do you criticize the need to borrow from China and "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." That's the first question, and second does he not understand that Bush's unfunded tax cuts contributed to levels of capital being pushed into the US economy and the volatile impact that had on our economy. How do you propose extending Bush's tax cuts to promote stability? This is moronic, why are republicans handing out shovels and telling people digging is the best way to get out of a hole.

    April 13, 2011 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  24. Edward

    The Obama campaign is genius. Come election time, if the economy continues to improve the Republicans can't use the job argument to defend tax cuts for billionaires. With that off the table Republicans will have to defend the extension of tax cuts for billionaires while campaigning on reducing the deficit. Like Obama stated "we can't afford it". How can Republicans campaign on debt reduction while saying that we can afford trillion dollar tax breaks?

    April 13, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  25. Yanni

    I must say all these talking points must have been written before the president speech; there is no objective reaction for a serious problem articulated by the president just the usual hateful rant

    April 13, 2011 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
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