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Mitch Daniels blasts Obama for ‘trickle-down government’

As President Obama made his call for economic fairness, his Republican rivals blasted the president for spurring divisions in his State of the Union speech.

“We do not accept that ours will ever be a nation of haves and have-nots; we must always be a nation of haves and soon-to-haves,” Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said in the official GOP response to the speech.

Daniels, a popular economic conservative, blasted Obama’s economic policies as a “grand experiment in trickle-down government” and “pro-poverty” efforts that have hampered the economy rather than helped. The governor, who took a pass on a presidential bid last year, cast the coming election as a critical moment.

PHOTOS: Obama’s State of the Union address

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“So 2012 is a year of true opportunity, maybe our last, to restore an America of hope and upward mobility, and greater equality,” Daniels said.

Daniels positioned the party as the defender of business, calling it “one of the noblest of human pursuits” too often disparaged by the president. He pointed to the decision to block construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project the Obama administration says it cannot clear for environmental approval in the time allotted by Congress.

“The extremism that stifles the development of homegrown energy, or cancels a perfectly safe pipeline that would employ tens of thousands, or jacks up consumer utility bills for no improvement in either human health or world temperature, is a pro-poverty policy,” Daniels said.

Despite the barbs, both Daniels and Obama pointed to similar solutions to the economic woes. Daniels, like Obama, called for tax reform, increased domestic energy production and restrictions on the benefits paid to millionaires.

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PHOTOS: Obama’s State of the Union address

@khennessey


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