The dismal state of employment offers more proof that President Obama's economic plan isn't working, Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann told CNBC.
Speaking just after the government said unemployment rose to 9.2 percent last month, the firebrand Minnesota congresswoman and Tea Party leader delivered a blistering critique of the White House's handling of the jobs picture, focusing specifically on the $800 billion stimulus that has failed to drive down the unemployment rate.
"The president's own policies have clearly failed the American people," Bachmann said. "The answer is not to double-down and continue to do more of the same. The answer is to work on what went wrong, to reverse course and have a pro-growth job agenda."
Defying consensus estimates that the economy had merely hit a soft patch and was on its road to recovery, the latest jobs news instead shows just 18,000 jobs created in June and the unemployment rate when taking into consideration those not looking for work at 16.2 percent.
Bachmann's campaign has caught fire as polls show her in a virtual dead heat in Iowa with presumptive front-runner Mitt Romney.
In her live interview, Bachmann focused on the voices she has heard while campaigning and the angst among business owners about how Washington policies have hindered business growth.
"I have talked to business owners all across the nation," she said. "They're really paralyzed with fear right now. This won't help hearing (the unemployment news) because it shows that Washington doesn't have the solution."
She spoke as Congress and the White House are locked in debate over whether to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. Bachmann dodged a question over whether the failure to increase the borrowing limit while drastically cutting spending would raise unemployment, but she said more taxes certainly aren't the answer, either.
"We need to fundamentally restructure how government does spending," she said. "We're still operating under the principles of FDR and LBJ. We need to move into the 21st century so we embrace pro-growth policies. Unfortunately they're tone deaf here in Washington, D.C. They think government is the answer, and the American people know it's not true."