U.S. Republican presidential hopefuls blast Obama's economic policy

08:59, June 13, 2011      

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Current and prospective presidential candidates in the U.S. Republican field on Sunday criticized President Barack Obama for his failed economic policy.

Jon Huntsman, who has worked for the Obama administration until April as U.S. ambassador to China, said the president has "failed on the economic front."

"On the economic side, there are no signs of success, very little," the former Utah governor said on CNN's "State of the Union". "You look at unemployment, you look at the environment in which jobs supposedly can be created, when you look at the debt level, you look at all the economic indicators, and it would suggest that we're in bad shape."

Huntsman has yet to formally launch a presidential bid but said "we're about a week and a half" away from making a final decision. Analysts see it highly likely that Huntsman will jump into the race, as in the past months he has been in New Hampshire, a state which traditionally holds the nation's first primary, for more events than any declared candidate.

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who has announced decision to seek Republican nomination for president in 2012, said Sunday that Obama failed to play a leading role in growing the economy and reforming the nation's spending habit.

"I wish President Obama would do that, instead of leading from behind and refusing to address the real issues facing our economy, including spending reform," he said on "Fox News Sunday."

"He basically waits for people like Congressman Ryan and others to lead and then he follows. That's not what a president should do, " he added.

Pawlenty unveiled a bold economic plan earlier this month which includes massive tax cuts -- take the top corporate rate from 35 percent all the way down to 15 percent and big spending cuts from 24 percent of GDP down to 18 percent.

"It would unleash economic growth and job growth in this country. It would get back to the premise that we're going to grow the private economy, not the government economy," he touted his plan.

Pawlenty will participate Monday in the first Republican primary debate for the 2012 presidential election in New Hampshire. On the eve of this high-profile event, Pawlenty attacked his Republican rival Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who is currently seen as front-runner in the Republican field.

"President Obama said that he designed Obamacare after Romneycare and basically made it Obamneycare," he said on the program.

The newly-coined phrase "Obamneycare" is expected to appear repeatedly in Pawlenty's campaign against Romney, as the healthcare reform that Romney undertook as Massachusetts governor is seen as one of his major vulnerabilities.

Source: Xinhua
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