Reactions to Obama’s speech break down on party lines

“When the president reached out to ask us to attend his speech, we were expecting an olive branch. Instead, his speech was excessively partisan, dramatically inaccurate and hopelessly inadequate to address our fiscal crisis.” — House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)

 “President Obama set the right spirit and tone in his remarks today. To solve our long-term fiscal crisis, we are going to have to break through the partisanship and gridlock that has taken hold in Washington.” — Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), a member of the Gang of Six

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 “Republicans, led by Chairman Ryan, have set the bar with a jobs budget that puts us on a path to paying down the debt and preserves Medicare and Medicaid for the future. This afternoon, I didn’t hear a plan to match it from the president.” — House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)

“Today, President Obama presented not only a strong vision for America’s future, but a strategic plan for how we achieve it.” — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) 

“The president needs to take the fiscal crisis facing our country seriously by offering a credible deficit-reduction plan that balances the budget in 10 years or less without raising taxes on Americans.” — Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), author of the Republican Study Committee’s alternative 2012 budget.

 “There’s been a lot of talk about shared sacrifice when it comes to cutting spending and reducing the deficit. Republicans believe the sacrifice should fall mainly on seniors and the middle class, while millionaires and big corporations get more tax breaks. As the president made clear, Democrats have a different view.” — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)

 “While the President’s proposal takes longer to get to the budget reductions we recommended; it does reduce our deficits by $4 trillion over the next 12 years. Now is the time for action. ... Our nation’s leaders need to put politics aside, pull together, not pull apart, and make the difficult choices needed to bring these deficits under control. ...We hope that much of this bipartisan leadership will come from the six brave leaders in the U.S. Senate ... who have been working on a plan built around the Commission’s recommendations.”— Erskine Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson, co-chairmen of President Obama’s fiscal commission

 “I hope the president is serious about now engaging in this process. We will carry on working hard as a group to deliver a plan to lower the deficit and retire the debt, and will listen to good ideas from all sectors. I was disappointed to hear the president advocate for tax increases. I will continue to advocate for tax reform that lowers individual and corporate rates.” — Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), member of the Gang of Six

 “President Obama’s speech today helped to shine a light on the crucial steps that must be taken in order to reduce federal spending. We also urge the president to reconsider the tax increases in his plan, which will affect small businesses integral to the supply chains of our member companies and American job creation.” — The Business Roundtable

 “With the richest 1 percent of Americans taking home a quarter of all income and facing the lowest tax rates in generations, we need to go much further to make sure millionaires and corporations pay their fair share, and Wall Street banks help clean up the mess they created.” — Justin Ruben, executive director of MoveOn.org

 “It is extremely encouraging to have the president joining the discussion. But the plan itself contains less in savings than the White House Fiscal Commission recommended, which we look at as the minimum of what is needed to reassure credit markets and get our debt levels back on track.” — Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget