While Presidenft Obama prepared to sell his jobs program, some of the Republican candidates were at a South Carolina economic forum taking aim at the president's policies.
"Temporary government gimmicks--that's what President Obama has given to the American people," Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., charged.
"On day one, I'll grant a waiver to all 50 states from Obamacare. It's got to be done," former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said.
Most of the candidates attended the forum, but the current GOP front-runner, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, skipped it and returned to Texas to deal with the wildfires plaguing his state.
Before his departure, he managed to get in a dig at his closest rival, Romney.
"There's one in particular who's created jobs all over the world," Perry said. "But when he was governor of Massachusetts, he didn't create many jobs.
Meanwhile, the Bachmann campaign aired a new television commercial targeting Perry's spending.
"Rick Perry doubled spending in a decade. There is an honest conservative, and she's not Rick Perry," the commercial said.
While the Republicans debated economic issues, labor leaders in Michigan all but declared war on the Tea Party.
"Let's take these son of a b-----s out and give America back to an America where we belong," Teamster President James Hoffa, Jr. declared at opening speech for Obama at a Labor Day rally in Detroit.
Tea Party spokespeople demanded an apology from Hoffa and repudiation from the White House, but neither has come so far.
The latest rhetoric makes the president's civility speech last winter seem like a dim memory.
At the economic forum, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, suggested that the battle between the Tea Party and Washington spenders will not be pleasant.
It's going to be difficult unless we change the attitude of the people," Paul said, "because we're living with the third or fourth generation that have been taught that entitlements are rights. And liberty and rights don't have anything to do with entitlements."