Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, a possible GOP presidential candidate, discussed with me the fact that some Republican members of Congress are taking credit for stimulus funded projects in their districts yet voted against the stimulus bill.
The Democrats are making a big deal out of this “hypocrisy”. Watch Pawlenty’s answer below and the transcription follows.
David Brody: Do you feel like Republicans to a degree are being hypocritical by accepting the stimulus money even though they voted against the stimulus?
Governor Tim Pawlenty: “Well, at least in Minnesota I’m not aware of Republican members of Congress showing up at ribbon cuttings for stimulus money. That happens if there’s been state money involved but I’m not aware of any of those circumstances in Minnesota. It may be happening around the rest of the country. Every state, every Governor, everybody took all of the money so people are going to have to justify that in their own way. For example, in Minnesota according to the Tax Foundation for every dollar we send to Washington we get 73 cents back. We’re one of the biggest subsidizers of the federal government and other states in the country so we pay more than our fair share. But in terms of the stimulus money I opposed it. I think almost every conservative opposed it but when the federal government spends it across the country I know of no Governor, no state, nobody who would turn down any substantial portion of it. There were a few minor exceptions to that but everybody took it. That’s different than showing up at the ribbon cuttings and saying look what I did.”
Here’s what the DCCC has to say about the GOP hypocrisy:
The DCCC has kept a House Republicans Hypocrisy Hall of Fame, which has now grown to 91 Members. These Republicans have been caught trying to celebrate the benefits of projects they opposed in President Obama's recovery bill, the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations bill, and the Omnibus Public Land Management Act.
It's bad enough House Republicans want to go back to the Bush Administration policies responsible for the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, but they’ve also tried to get away with taking credit for the economic benefits in their districts they tried to prevent. House Republicans need to immediately let their constituents know the truth – will they come out in favor of canceling funding in their congressional districts from President Obama’s economic recovery policies or will they continue taking credit for jobs and local projects they fought against?