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Sen. John Thune: Obama 'Has Got to Change Course' on Economy

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In the weekly Republican address to the nation, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota calls the president’s economic policies “damaging,” and says that “his proposed solutions are not serious.”

“His latest stimulus bill is so flawed that Senate Democrats have rejected it and are rewriting it, not to grow jobs, but to improve their political standing,” Thune says.

“It’s nothing but a rehash of the same failed ideas he’s already tried, combined with a huge tax increase. This is a cynical political ploy that’s designed not to create jobs for struggling Americans,” the South Dakota senator says, “but to save the president’s own job.”

In his own weekly address, President Obama urges Senators to pass the American Jobs Act next week or face an even weaker economy, saying that his $447 billion bill will “provide our economy with the jolt that it really needs right now.”

The president challenges congressional Republicans who say they have a better plan to “prove it.”

In the GOP address released Saturday, Thune says there are “common sense things that we can do to give America the freedom and the certainty to create good jobs.”

“For starters," Thune says, "we can finally implement the free trade agreements we’ve negotiated with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea."

Thune then takes a shot at the president, noting he waited "almost 1,000 days" before submitting those trade deals -- negotiated under the Bush administration -- to Congress.

“It’s extremely unfortunate that we had to wait so long for the president to do something so simple, to help promote American exports, and create American jobs,” he says.

“In my state of South Dakota we have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. That’s because our state has low taxes, fewer government regulations, and is a right-to-work state.

“The Republican plan to get our country moving again builds on these kinds of ideas.  We’re calling for a regulatory time-out, an affordable energy plan, broad-based tax reform including lower rates, and policies that provide the certainty and stability our economy desperately needs.”

Thune concludes his address by saying that Washington has grown “too powerful” under President Obama, and urges the president to change his economic policies – which he says have “hurt job creation.”

“Too often Washington is the problem, not the solution, and we’ve seen the results since President Obama was sworn in and started moving our country in the wrong direction.”

“President Obama," Thune says, “has got to change course.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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