PORTLAND, Maine — President Barack Obama chastised his Republican adversaries describing their economic policies as "madness," saying they were returning to measures that have already failed.
"We won't win the race for new jobs and new businesses and middle class security if we cling to these same-old, worn out, tired, 'you're on your own' economics that the other side is peddling," Obama said during a campaign event in Portland, Maine.
His comments came a day after the Republican-controlled House of Representatives approved a controversial budget proposal that would slash trillions of dollars in US spending, revamp the Medicare health care plan for the elderly and reduce taxes for the wealthy.
Obama said his Republican foes "act like we haven't tried it" when it comes to the "slash-and-burn" approach to spending and debt reduction as the United States struggles to rein in a ballooning deficit.
"We've tried it. It was tried in the decade before the Great Depression, it didn't work then. It was tried in the last decade, it didn't work," Obama said, referring to the eight years of Republican power under president George W. Bush from 2001-2009.
"The idea that you would keep on doing the same thing over and over again even though it's been proven not to work, that's a sign of madness," Obama said, to laughter from the audience. "We've got to take this in a different direction."
Just over seven months before a presidential election in which Obama is seeking a second term, Republicans are attacking the president on the economic front as the job market has yet to overcome the drastic losses of the 2007-2009 recession and a record public debt.