House Speaker John A. Boehner, joined by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor,… (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated…)
Republicans have synthesized their opposition to President Obama's policies into a campaign slogan that ricocheted across the Capitol on Tuesday: He's made it worse.
"The president's policies have made our economy worse," said House Speaker John A. Boehner. "And you know, the president's policies, again, are just going to double down on what hasn't worked."
Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the GOP leader, echoed that theme, suggesting Obama's proposals for the future should be weighed against his record of the last two years.
"The president may want to come here tonight and make it sound as if he just walked in the door," McConnell said. "A better approach is to admit that his three-year experiment in big government has made our economy worse."
Congressional Republicans reject the do-nothing label from the president and have tried to shift the blame to the Senate, where the Democratic majority has declined to consider much of the House GOP agenda.
"If the president wants to poke his finger at the Congress," Boehner said, "let's poke the finger where it belongs: at the Democrat control of the United States Senate."
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Republicans -- and the American people -- are "looking for specifics that actually demonstrate a recognition that the policies that this president and his administration have been about haven't worked, and it's time to try something new."
The Republican National Committee is bringing that message to the television airwaves in key states. A new 30-second ad includes footage of the president saying early in his administration that, "if I don't have this thing done in three years, then this is going to be a one-term proposition." (See video below.)
It also quotes former President Clinton saying, "Things are not going in the right direction."
"Our ad highlights the America that Barack Obama has given us. Not the America that Barack Obama inherited, but the America that Barack Obama made worse," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus told reporters this morning.