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Spending Showdown: GOP’s Pre-Emptive Strike On Obama’s SOTU

Photo Courtesy - Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Republican leaders over the weekend previewed their arguments against the spending proposals President Obama plans to outline in his State of the Union address Tuesday, warning, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell did, not to hide spending proposals under the guise of “investments.”

“With all due respect to our Democratic friends, any time they want to spend, they call it investment, so I think you will hear the president talk about investing a lot Tuesday night,” McConnell of Kentucky said on Fox News Sunday.

“We've got a huge spending problem here," he added.  "We've had over $1 trillion annual deficit each of the last two years....I mean, most of us think, and most American -- of the American people think that we need to do something about this and start doing it now."

McConnell and his Republican colleagues were trying to get ahead of the president’s remarks Tuesday night in which he plans to say that the U.S. must “out-innovate,” “out-compete” and “out-educate” other countries.

"My principal focus, my number one focus, is going be making sure that we are competitive, that we are growing, and we are creating jobs not just now but well into the future,” Obama said in a video preview of his speech.

He also plans to make the case for the health care reform law as well as protecting education programs from the budget knife.

“We're also going to have to deal with our deficits and our debt in a responsible way,” Obama said in the preview.

But as House Republican Leader Eric Cantor cautioned in an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, “Republicans are not going to vote for this increase in the debt limit unless there are serious spending cuts and reforms.”

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