GOP presidential candidates reject Obama’s deficit-reduction proposal

Republican candidates for the presidential nomination rushed on Monday to condemn President Obama’s plan to pay for his jobs bill by raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations, predicting the plan would fail to create jobs.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry called Obama’s plan a "bait and switch that offers more than a trillion dollars in higher taxes for a promise of temporary tax relief."

Perry’s fellow front-runner, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, predicted it "will have a crushing impact on economic growth."

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Obama’s speech on Monday morning clarified a tax plan that would pay for his $447 billion jobs bill. Obama’s proposed $3 trillion deficit-cutting plan includes $1.5 trillion in tax hikes on the wealthy that incorporates the so-called “Buffett rule” to ensure that millionaires pay higher taxes that are more proportionate to their incomes, and eliminates Bush-era tax rates on households with an annual income above $250,000. 

"Higher taxes mean fewer jobs — it’s that simple," Romney said.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) called Obama's plan a "gimmick" and slammed billionaire investor Warren Buffett, the inspiration for the "Buffett rule," who has repeatedly asked the administration to raise taxes on the "super-rich" class.

"If Warren Buffett believes he doesn't pay enough taxes, then he should write a check today to the Treasury, but he and the President shouldn't enact warfare on the millions of small businesses, on charities and on middle class America with increased tax burdens," she said in a statement released through her presidential campaign.

“The president penalizes investment when it is needed most, discourages charitable giving and doubles down on a failed government stimulus strategy,” Perry said.

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman called the plan “deeply misguided,” and blasted Obama for “peddling a version of the Buffett Tax Hike” throughout his presidency.

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“That simply hasn't worked and it won't work now,” he said in a statement.

Businessman Herman Cain, another presidential hopeful, released a statement rejecting Obama’s denial that his plan is “class warfare,” a phrase that House Republican leaders including House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) have used to describe it. 

“This is not class warfare; it's math,” Obama said in his speech Monday.

“President Obama's once said, ‘You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.’ I agree,” Cain said. “It doesn't matter that he calls it ‘paying your fair share.’ It's still class warfare.”

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) also doubled down on Obama's "class-baiting rhetoric" and predicted the plan would deal a "fatal broadside" to the American economy.