Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) delivers a response to the economic speech… (Chip Somodevilla / Getty…)
It's not just that they oppose the ideas in President Obama's jobs plan. No, the Republicans in the race to defeat him in 2012 reacted to his speech to a joint session of Congress by saying that the current inhabitant of the Oval Office just simply isn't capable of fixing the nation's economy.
"I'm a conservative businessman. And that is what America needs if we’re going to get our economy going," Mitt Romney said in an interview on Sean Hannity's radio show. Discussing his own jobs plan, which he released this week, Romney continued that there is "no way" Obama could match it, "because he just doesn’t understand it."
His campaign also launched a new Web video Friday arguing that Obama introduced his plan "960 days late."
The only top-tier candidate who was in the House chamber for Obama's speech, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, held a news conference afterward to levy her response. She said Obama should support "permanent, pro-growth policies that are driven by the free market."
"The president is politically paralyzed, and he's philosophically incapable of doing what needs to be done," she said.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry slammed the president for proposing new stimulus spending, arguing that like the first stimulus of Obama's term, it "offers little hope for millions of Americans who have lost jobs on his watch." One of the pillars of Perry's campaign is his claim that under his governorship, Texas has created 1 million new jobs while the nation lost 2.5 million.
"America needs jobs, smaller government, less spending and a president with the courage to offer more than yet another speech," Perry said.
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who also released a jobs plan of his own this month, said the "list of regurgitated half-measures" Obama laid out to Congress show that he "fundamentally doesn't understand how to turn our economy around."
Former Sen. Rick Santorum said on Fox News Channel that it was "a very scary thing to have a president who is disconnected with reality."
"They think it was not big enough. So he's going to make it bigger," he said.
Vice President Joe Biden made the morning show rounds Friday to defend the plan. He, like the president, argued that Americans couldn't wait until the next election for action.
"Presidential politics, we know that's going to be the campaign. But these people don't have 14 months, they don't have four months. And we know these things will help them now," he said on NBC's "Today" show.