Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called much of President Obama's $447 billion jobs plan a "big fraud" Friday, dismissing Obama's claim that the plan is paid for but also acknowledging that Republicans might be able to stomach parts of the proposal.
"The reality is we're facing a monstrosity of a problem, and the reality is the president is playing with Chinese checkers here," Priebus said on MSNBC. "I tended to believe a lot of what the president had to say was a big fraud last night."
Priebus said after the plan was evaluated, it became clear it was not actually paid for, and that Obama shouldn't be touting trade agreements that have been awaiting presidential action for years.
But asked if the House GOP leadership's decision not to totally denounce Obama's plan was a sign of some consensus, he pointed to an extension of payroll tax cuts as one of a few areas where he thought Republicans and Democrats could work together.
"There are some things I think both parties can agree to," said Priebus, who heads the fundraising and campaign arm of the Republican party. "That's the common ground we're looking for."
In interviews and statements since Obama's Thursday night address to Congress, where he laid out a plan he said would immediately put Americans back to work, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) have been quick to highlight their own plan. They have cautiously avoided dismissing Obama's, however, wary of appearing to be standing in the way of ideas they had earlier embraced.
Cantor said tax relief for small businesses, unemployment compensation reform and trade agreements were all items he thought could pass the Republican-controlled House.