Potential Republican presidential candidates for 2016 hit out at U.S. President Barack Obama's economic policies, in a bid to attract donors at a forum in California. Yiming Woo reports.
Senator Ted Cruz was one of three potential Republican candidates on the panel of the American Recovery Policy Forum in California on Sunday night. He targeted President Barack Obama's "big government" policies, saying it hasn't helped income inequality. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SENATOR TED CRUZ SAYING: "Right now, what we have in this country, is really a divided America. For those with resources, they're doing great right now. The top one percent, the millionaires and billionaires that this President loves to demagogue, one or two of whom are here with us today. The top one percent earn a higher share of our income nationally than any year since 1928." Senator Rand Paul hit out at the country's huge budget deficit. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SENATOR RAND PAUL SAYING: "There was this statement that the President made which I find to be the most galling thing I've heard in a long time, or in Texas we might say a "big whopper". He said the deficit's decreasing -- well, technically that's kind of true, but it makes you think he's somehow a fiscal conservative. He quadrupled the deficit for many years and now they're coming off a little bit of quadrupling, but he is set to add more debt than all 43 Presidents combined." Senator Marco Rubio also brought up worries that people's wages aren't matching the rising cost of living. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SENATOR MARCO RUBIO SAYING: "The wage stagnation is happening at a time when the cost of everything is going up dramatically, and it's not just that the cost of everything is going up -- we have expenses that we didn't use to have. My parents as a bartender and a maid working at a hotel like this, made it to the middle class, but they didn't have a cable bill until I insisted on ESPN, but they didn't have a cell phone bill until their 70s. They didn't have an internet bill -- these are the sorts of things that are now crushing people." All three are each hoping to convince donors to back them for the White House in 2016.