The Pawlenty for President campaign carefully choreographed the former Minnesota governor's speech Tuesday on the economy, holding the event at the University of Chicago, where Obama taught constitutional law and blocks from the Obama family's Hyde Park home.
"The president is satisfied with a second rate American economy produced by his third rate policies. I'm not," Governor Tim Pawlenty said.
On Tuesday, President Obama said he wasn't worried about the unemployment rate that ticked up last month nor does he fear a double-dip recession.
"I am concerned about the fact that the recovery that we're on is not producing jobs as quickly as I wanted to happen," Obama said.
In his campaign, Pawlenty promises an assortment of federal tax cuts on businesses, capital gains and estates, and -- perhaps of most political consequence -- on individuals:
"The first $50,000 of income for individuals or $100,000 for married couples would be taxed at 10 percent. Everything above that would be taxed at 25 percent. That's the whole structure," Pawlenty said.
Democrats say the George W. Bush tax cuts that began over a decade ago actually worsened the nation's economy.
"We have record deficits mostly driven by those tax cuts. If they're made permanent, the deficit would double," Rep. Jan Schakowsky, (D) Evanston, said.
Pawlenty's finished his second, 4-year term as Minnesota's governor last November. He is joined in the race for the Republican nomination by Newt Gingrich, Congressman Ron Paul, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.
"President Obama is a champion practitioner of class warfare. Elected with a call for unity and hope, he spent three years dividing our nation," Pawlenty said.
"He left his own state with a $5 billion deficit and now he's counseling the rest of the country on how to handle finances? I think he would have been well served to have taken care of the finances of his own state," David Axelrod, political consultant and former White House advisor, said.