Tales from the Trail
By Samson Reiny
As the battle for the Republican presidential nomination rages on between front-runner Mitt Romney and a resurgent Rick Santorum, governors from their party today said that economic recovery – not social issues – would be the main concern among voters heading to the ballot box in November.
Watch out Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina, New York and California would love those dollars you turn down from the $787 billion economic stimulus plan.
A few governors, namely Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, South Carolina’s Mark Sanford and Mississippi’s Haley Barbour, have all said that they may turn down some of the stimulus money for their states, particularly aid aimed at bolstering unemployment benefit programs.
“We can’t pay for the benefits already in the program, but to get the stimulus money, we’ve got to increase the program’s size and scale,” Sanford said on “Fox News Sunday”.
That has some other states hard hit by the deepening recession calling for the money to be sent their way, especially New York where Wall Street has been laying off workers by the thousands.
“If any governor — Democrat or Republican — leaves stimulus money on the table, then we respectfully request that funds be distributed to New York,” the state’s two Democratic senators, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, said in a letter to President Barack Obama on Monday.
Another New York lawmaker, Representative Anthony Weiner, plans to offer legislation that would redirect rejected stimulus funds to other states.
“If some governors decide to reject the money, 45 other states should be able to use it to create thousands of jobs. We have plenty of projects across the country that will put people to work and help achieve long term economic growth and stability,” Weiner said in a statement.
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – And the speculation continues.
Republican John McCain praised two potential vice presidential picks on Wednesday but gave no clues about who he would add to his ticket or when he would decide.
The Arizona senator’s campaign has not quashed speculation this week that a choice was imminent, but McCain said in a television interview that he has yet to decide who would be his number two.
Earlier at a stop at a grocery store, where the presumptive Republican presidential nominee got a look at the high price of milk and other staples, he spoke highly of two people said to be on his short list: Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
“We can’t mention any names, we have the process going on,” McCain started by saying.