Although the New Deal attracted the support of most of the American people, there were nonetheless those who were highly critical of President Roosevelt's signature policy.
From the right came the criticism that the New Deal involved the government taking much too big a role in American life, especially in the running of the economy. Despite the onset of the Great Depression, conservatives still clung tenaciously to the belief that this was merely the latest downturn in the economic cycle, and that it would eventually be corrected if only the government stayed out of the way and let the free market right itself.
Conservatives also believed that the massive expansion of the federal government represented a serious threat to the liberty of the individual. Prior to the New Deal, most Americans adhered to a limited role for government in all walks of life, seeing limited government as one of the most precious bequests of the Founding Fathers.
Conservatives often drew upon the rhetoric of the Founding Fathers in opposing the New Deal, giving the impression that FDR's policy was somehow un-American, that it represented a radical departure from the traditions that had made America great.
At the same time, the New Deal also came under fire from liberals, who argued that though the policy was fine as far as it went, it wasn't sufficiently ambitious in scope or execution to deal with the pressing problems of the hour.
Liberal critics of the New Deal felt that it provided, at best, only the amelioration of existing economic conditions rather than dealing with the structural problems in the American economy that had given rise to such conditions in the first place.
For instance, many liberals argued that the government should create more jobs under the New Deal to counteract the many structural problems in the job market laid bare by the Great Depression. The free market, they maintained, could not be relied upon to create jobs by itself; a bigger role was therefore needed for government.
Liberal critics of the New Deal were, to a considerable extent, vindicated by the fact that it was only America's entry into World War II in 1941 that the scourge of mass unemployment was finally ended.