Obama swipes at ribbon-cutting Republicans — again
President Barack Obama apparently believes he’s found the right formula for chiding Republicans who opposed the $787 billion economic stimulus — because he used it again.
On the one-year anniversary of signing the Recovery Act, Obama acknowledged the controversy that the measure continues to generate.
“And part of that is because there are those, let’s face it, across the aisle who have tried to score political points by attacking what we did, even as many of them show up at ribbon-cutting ceremonies for projects in their districts,” Obama said.
That echoed Obama’s January 29 remarks when he told a roomful of Republicans at the GOP House Issues Conference in Baltimore: “And let’s face it, some of you have been at the ribbon-cuttings for some of these important projects in your communities.”
The president didn’t name any names either time, so we asked a couple of White House aides and were directed to this Dan Pfeiffer posting on the White House blog on Wednesday. It does name names.
Pfeiffer says House Republican Whip Eric Cantor voted against the Recovery Act twice but then “touted the job-creation” of a stimulus-funded high speed rail project in Virginia. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell voted against the Recovery Act twice but then touted employment benefits of a military project in Kentucky funded by the stimulus, Pfeiffer writes and includes links.
Both Cantor and McConnell issued statements on Wednesday bashing the stimulus.
“In the year since the Democrats’ ‘stimulus’ program was enacted, over 3 million jobs have been lost, billions of dollars have been wasted, and an unprecedented debt has been passed on to our children – these are not the results that America hoped for,” Cantor said.
“In the first year of the trillion-dollar stimulus, Americans have lost millions of jobs, the unemployment rate continues to hover near 10 percent, the deficit continues to soar and we’re inundated with stories of waste, fraud and abuse. This was not the plan Americans asked for or the results they were promised,” McConnell said.
While twice does not a trend make, we’re going to keep a lookout for more Obama references to ribbon-cutting Republicans. Maybe that will turn into one rhetorical theme going into the November election.
The main message from Obama on Wednesday was that if Democrats had not pushed through the stimulus, the U.S. economy could have sunk into another Depression. “So our work is far from over, but we have rescued this economy from the worst of this crisis,” he said.
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Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (Obama delivers remarks about economy), Reuters/Regis Duvignau (ribbon-cutting in France)