I disagree – Republican candidates never care that their ideas aren’t particularly fresh. They’ve been saying the same thing for decades on abortion (don’t have sex!), foreign policy (bomb everyone!), and everything else. Not having a clue what to do has never stopped them before.
They don’t talk about unemployment because they just plain don’t give a fuck. By definition, unemployment is a lower/working/professional/middle class problem, and the Republican party is only concerned with advancing the interests of the aristocracy.
That’s really all there is to it. Sure, Gingrich and Romney realize that articulating this would cost them votes, so every now and then they talk about the economy in broad strokes and suggest shoveling money to the aristocracy as a solution (tax cuts and deregulation and privatization), but they really just don’t care that people can’t find work.
And can you blame them? Unemployed people’s money doesn’t help them win elections.