Barack Obama, John Boehner
Charles Dharapak  /  AP
President Barack Obama holds up a document of Republican solutions given to him by House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, before he spoke to lawmakers at the GOP House Issues Conference in Baltimore on friday.
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updated 7/24/2010 7:35:37 PM ET 2010-07-24T23:35:37

President Barack Obama derided an economic plan from the top House Republican as repeating job-killing policies of the past that help drive the country into recession.

In turn, House GOP leader John Boehner said the president had stooped to partisan attacks because he can't sell his own plan at a time when millions of people want to know what happened to the jobs Obama promised to create.

Days after signing into law tougher regulations on the financial industry, Obama said Saturday that those new rules are an important part of his approach to reviving the economy.

"It took nearly a decade of failed economic policies to create this mess, and it will take years to fully repair the damage," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address. "But I am confident that we are finally headed in the right direction. We are moving forward. And what we can't afford right now is to go back to the same ideas that created this mess in the first place."

Previewing one of the arguments he'll be making as he campaigns for congressional Democrats heading into the November elections, Obama acknowledged that the economic growth on his watch isn't nearly enough to replace the millions of lost jobs.

But he said essentially that the Republican alternative — repealing the health care law, continuing tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals and rejecting investments in clean energy — would be much worse.

"They are the same policies that led us into this recession," Obama said. "They will not create jobs, they will kill them. "

Boehner, R-Ohio, countered that Republicans have better solutions and will stop Democratic tax increases and spending sprees.

"The fact is that Washington Democrats' policies have created uncertainty that has undermined our economy, shaken the confidence of the nation and cost millions of American jobs," he said. "Our nation needs leadership, not excuses."

In the Republican's weekly address, Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., promised a fight against a tax increase that he said is coming next year.

Tax cuts enacted under Republican President George W. Bush are set to expire in January. Partly because of voter concern over the rising federal budget deficit, Democrats are undecided over whether to extend those cuts, as Republicans advocate.

"The American people know we can't tax and spend and bail our way back to a growing economy," Pence said. "House Republicans opposed the Democrats' failed stimulus bill, their national energy tax, their government takeover of health care and House Republicans will oppose this tax increase with everything we've got."

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Video: Obama hopes to refocus attention on economy

  1. Transcript of: Obama hopes to refocus attention on economy

    LESTER HOLT, anchor: Back in Washington now, the president hopes to refocus attention on the economy after a week of headlines lost to the controversy over Shirley Sherrod 's firing and her NAACP speech, and Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel 's ethics charges. David Gregory is preparing for tomorrow's " Meet the Press ," and joins us now for some insight. David , I know the president would have liked all of us to be talking about the passage of financial reform. How much did the Sherrod story knock him off his economy and jobs message?

    DAVID GREGORY reporting: Well, quite a bit. I mean, this was a major piece of legislation that the president achieved. It's part of what they're calling recovery summer. And yet they are still deluged with headlines. And not quite a distraction, it's more substantive than that, the fact that jobs are still not being created in this economy. It's much more sluggish than anyone thought it would be, even if there's an economic recovery going on. All of that wiped away -- that concentration wiped away because of the Sherrod story, so it's something they very much want to get back to. The president will do that. And he and other Democrats want to try to campaign on the message of financial reform being the beginning of a real turnaround for the economy.

    HOLT: Got to ask you about the Charlie Rangel story. The charges haven't been laid out, but obviously they're serious enough for talk of a trial. That would probably happen in the fall, the November elections, could be a perfect storm for Democrats . Will they try to avoid this?

    GREGORY: By all indications, they are trying to avoid it. There are talks that are ongoing with Congressman Rangel to try to avoid that full airing of the charges. That's not the kind of spectacle they want. Republicans, of course, will pounce on that. Remember, back in 2006 it was Nancy Pelosi , now the speaker, who said that they were going to drain the swamp from all the corruption from the Republican side . And, you know, if Congress is held in any lower esteem, it's going to be very difficult for Democrats in an already very difficult cycle. But again, it keeps coming back to jobs, Lester . Why aren't they being produced? Timothy Geithner , who'll be my guest on Sunday, the Treasury secretary, is confident there will not be a double-dip recession. But he's still waiting for the jobs.

    HOLT: NBC 's David Gregory . David , thanks. And a program note. You can watch " Meet the Press ," including David 's conversation with Secretary Geithner and a special roundtable discussion of the Shirley Sherrod flap and race. That's tomorrow

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