July 8th, 2009
02:10 PM ET
5 years ago

Dems push back hard on GOP stimulus attacks

John Boehner on Wednesday called recent comments by Vice President Joe Biden 'the greatest fabrication I've seen since I've been in Congress.'
John Boehner on Wednesday called recent comments by Vice President Joe Biden 'the greatest fabrication I've seen since I've been in Congress.'

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The war of words between House Minority Leader John Boehner and the Democratic Party over the impact of President Obama's stimulus plan escalated Wednesday - with each side accusing the other of lying to the American people.

The Ohio Republican told reporters that Vice President Joe Biden's weekend comments that the administration had "misread" the extent of the economic crisis were "the greatest fabrication I've seen since I've been in Congress."

"I found it also interesting over the last couple of days to hear the vice president... and the president mention the fact they didn't realize how difficult an economic circumstance we're in," Boehner said. "Now, this is the greatest fabrication I've seen since I've been in Congress. I sat through those meetings at the White House with the president and the vice president, and trust me, there's not one person that sat in those rooms that didn't know how serious our economic crisis was.

Obama told NBC on Tuesday that "rather than say 'misread,' we had incomplete information."

"What I would say is that in some areas you're seeing the economic engine turn," Obama said in that interview. "But what we always knew was that a.) This recession was going to be deep; b.) It was going to last for a while."

Hours before Boehner's comments to reporters, the Democratic National Committee released a tough new Web video blasting him for critical comments he made over the weekend about the stimulus. Boehner told Fox News that the stimulus hadn't delivered for his state.

"In fact, millions in recovery act funds have been committed to dozens of projects creating jobs for people right here in Ohio," the narrator says in the DNC video. "Fact is, John Boehner supported the Bush economic policies of the past eight years that brought our economy to its knees. Now John Boehner is using baseless attacks to mislead the public about the success of the Recovery Act. John Boehner: from the Party of No, to the Party of No Facts."

Democrats continued the assault Wednesday with e-mails aimed at Boehner's claims. A DNC spokesman on an afternoon conference call accused Boehner of lying and said the House Minority Leader should "apologize" for his comments.

On Thursday, Biden will visit Cincinnati - a trip that comes days after a Quinnipiac poll showed the president's approval ratings dropping dramatically in that key swing state.

Boehner isn't the only GOP congressional leader to come out against the stimulus and face a fierce Democratic response: earlier this week, the DNC went live with a cable buy aimed at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The DNC's also taking shots at much lesser-known GOP targets - candidates in Ohio and another key battleground, Florida, who've criticized the stimulus.

The battle heated up as both parties faced off Wednesday over the proposal at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing. Republicans criticized the White House for referring to the number of "jobs created or saved" by the package, calling the metric impossible to verify.

The White House Office of Management and Budget defended the plan, arguing that every dollar spent had helped to ease the pain of the economic crisis.


Filed under: DNC • Joe Biden • John Boehner
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Dan in VA

    Obama has skated along on charisma and charm with a thin resume of any sort.... time to start showing results, something, anything, to earn your keep.

    July 8, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  2. Enough

    They have to try and defend their pork billed failure. How does spending money to study why pigs stink stimulate the economy. was that a saved union scientist job? Anyone who believes the pork the Democrats are trying to feed you, deserve to be first in line for the brain transplant.

    July 8, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. Danny E. Gonzalez

    Boehner can have it both ways... either we were not that bad off (reason to vote NO on the stimulus) or everyone knew this was really bad (Dems don't get to say that the turn around is going to take longer)
    trust me tax cuts wouldn't have done a thing

    July 8, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. Kenneth

    If this is the biggest fabrication Congressman Boehner has heard since he has been in D.C. then he must have slept through the eight years of the Cheney/Bush administration.

    July 8, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. Polar Bears Against Palin

    Yeah, let's put Republicans in charge of things again. The past 8 glorious years were full of fun-filled job loss, the biggest recession since The Great Depression, financial collapse due to deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthy, loss of respect around the wordl, torture, stripped civil liberties, abuse of power, and a war based on lies.

    Yeah, let's put the Republicans isn charge of things again.

    July 8, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. Will

    Republicans love to quote the smallest part of Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations" – the "invisible hand" – and use this to suggest that governments should stay out of the economy. However, they are quick to ignore the bulk of this book which decries the greed of an unchecked and unregulated economy. When governments deregulate sectors of the economy, we always see problems begin to creep up. Regulation is needed and Wall Street has proven what happens when we turn a blind eye and let the invisible hand of the economy operate.

    The Republicans controlled Congress from 1994 – 2006, with the economy taking a nose dive at the end of this period. Coincidence?

    July 8, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. Penny

    Dems are a ridiculous group. They always seem to either misunderstand or not get the full story. Remember when the Bush Admin didn't get the full story on weapons of mass destruction? Who was complaining the most....."why it was the Dems." They are certainly a "laugh." The sooner we get rid of them the better. Cry babies, cry babies.

    July 8, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Leave it to the Democrats, first they block out any differing views on their health care plan on the networks, then when challanged on something this clearly failing, blame it on the "other guys". Look, it's July, you spent a total of 15% of the package, what were you thinking? Placing the facts in thousands of pages of documents you didn't read only shows that you have no clear idea of what you are doing. Instead of trying to win the point, try helping out your country.

    July 8, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. Dan

    Back when the stimulus was passed, it was about putting people back to work. The GOP said we shouldn't spend a dime.

    Since then, we discovered that GM and Chrysler were on deaths door. The GOP said these companies and every single supply company for them should shut their door.

    Where I come from it is unpatriotic to want your fellow American to lose his job, lose his house, not feed his/her family. Either stand up and fight for jobs or leave this country.

    Don't point fingers and tell me that they didn't do anything when you present a stimulus plan that is 3 pages long. The GOP can take their 3 page stimulus document and wipe their backsides with the 3 cents that paper stimulated the ecomony.

    July 8, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  10. J.P.

    Hey man, don't bash Obama! He's busy "saving" jobs! Ha!

    "Saving" jobs by stealing money from the very people who create the jobs we all work.

    Yeah, tell me how that works out for you.

    Welcome back, Carter.

    July 8, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  11. stormerF

    Where is the leadership in Washington D.C.?Democrats voted on and signed the stimulis package and did not READ IT.How can they defend the wasteful spending when they did not know what was in the bill?..2 million jobs lost since the Stimulis was signed,After Obama promised it would create jobs...Now the Democrats have added language to the Cap and Trade bill, incase it costs jobs,instead of creating jobs like Obama promises. Whats up with that? We don't need to lose any more jobs.

    July 8, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    If it fails the GOP will say "we told you so" and pretend they never said the economy would fix itself. If it succeeds they'll say the economy would've fixed itself anyway and "we told you so." If it succeeds and we can measurably prove it, the GOPers will just ignore the evidence and go on spouting off at the mouth...just like they do with respect to climate change, evolution the absurdity of trickle-down economic theory and people pointing out that the definition of socialism doesn't fit how they're using it (and certainly is inane when they couple it with accusations of fascism, the two being diametrically opposed). The only real option is to shout over them, becuase their disinformation campaign will never stop until they've regained control and can climb back under the CEOs desks to receive their rewards.

    July 8, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. Stella

    Republicans should keep quiet and not argue at all after 8 years of silence,
    Why didn't they open their mouth to criticize Bush's policy?

    Obama does a great job but we have to be patient – it's not a piece of cake to restore a crumbling economy – and only the Republicans are to be blamed for that.

    July 8, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. single mom

    'Misread', 'Incomplete Information', ... HUH?
    And we the people are supposed to trust the government to manage our health care?
    No, thank you.

    Although, I figure if Rahm Emanuel said something that got George Soros' knickers in a wad, it's a good day. : )

    July 8, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. Wake-me-when-it's-over

    Most of us recall Obama and Biden among the fear-mongers declaring this to be the worst economic crisis since the great depression. Now for them to say that they didn't know how serious it was... Hillarious. Boehner too should laugh at the double talking duo, as they wiggle in unison (trying to find more wiggle room than they left for themselves). Pretty talented wigglers if you ask me.

    July 8, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  16. Donal

    So the Reps are experts at handling money, are they? I say "Sit down and shut up!" You Republican legislators are so polarized against any stimulus for this country, any hope for the economy, that we'd prefer you think before you speak, think about 8 years of fiscal failure; think about America instead of your petty little snipes and anti-everything-the-duly-elected-administration-does mentality. Do it for the country, not the party..

    July 8, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  17. Harold Ramos

    I guess spending money frivolously to stimulate the economy is not the kind of stimulus we needed, especially since I just read that most of the stimulus money is going to prop up state medicare and education costs and hasn't had it's intended effects. Another stimulus package will just put us deeper in debt and further hinder an economic rebound by expanding the national debt. Sooner or later, inflation will rear it's ugly head and recovery will become nearly impossible.

    July 8, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  18. Barb

    Time for the GOP to QUIT pointing their finger at someone else for the mess this country is in and how Obama is trying to get us out of it. For the last eight years I saw our savings shrink down to nothing as my husband's income (commission only) shrank from auto sales to 0. Isn't it the GOP who supported sending our manufacturing to countries like China, Mexico, Thialand, etc. It is really difficult to find clothing, housewares, tools, appliances, etc. made in the USA.

    Just how long to we have to listen to the whiners in the GOP? If they think they are going to bring new support through their pointing the finger at Obama all the time, they really don't know Americans very well. Bush/Chaney had eight years, Obama hasn't had six months yet.

    July 8, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  19. Rob Stumpf

    Spend another trillion on "stimulus". Spend another hundred trillion...who cares? We're never going to pay any of this money back. Of course, when the Chinese and other investors realize this, there will be trouble..but until then, spend, spend, spend! Let the good times roll!

    July 8, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. Dave

    Everyone, except of course the White House and President "Moveon.org", knew that the so called $787B stimulus plan would not create one single sustainable job, just like everyone knew the stimulus plan back in 2008 would not create one single sustainable job. It is true that the $787B spending spree helped ease the pain of the econmic crisis, no doubt about that and anyone who argues it did not is not being honest. Wasn't this spending spree was sold as "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs" by Dem's and that if passed the unemployment rate would NOT go over 8%?

    Government spending does NOT create jobs, except of course Government jobs and all that does is just run up the cost of Government. The American public deserves better, but we get what we elect.

    July 8, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. terry

    It's obvious this country is in alot of trouble from economic crises to military situations with these two incompetent people in charge. George Bush is looking more and more like a genius every day when compared to Obama and Biden. But we had to have change.

    July 8, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  22. Gary

    We may not like to hear it but the republicans are right. That first package was wasteful spending, not stimulus. Most of the money hasn't been spent yet and the states are diverting it for ongoing operations rather than some of the intended programs. The TARP (under bush and obama), the so-called stimulus, the cap and trade bill and healthcare reform are all expensive deficit ballooning programs that are going to harm our economy in the long run. Don't shoot the messenger – - debate the issues at hand. We have to stop borrowing from our children and grandchildren because we refuse to live in a economically responsible (or realistic) way.

    July 8, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  23. independent Jim

    I wonder if the 100,000+ union members who lost their jobs, and the 200,000+ suppliers and vendors who also lost everything, will blame the Obama Administration for pushing GM and Chrylser into bankruptcy. The 2010 and 2012 elections could get interesting....

    July 8, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  24. Steph

    If you don't want the stimulus funds, just give them back. Let's see how your state fairs without it. Taking the money, spending the money and then complaining about how it hasn't helped you makes no sense at all! What exactly is Boner proposing to solve the economic crisis? Go ahead...I'm still waiting for a full plan for the gNOp.

    July 8, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  25. tom

    Whats the problem here? I don't get it? barack certainly didn't have all the facts...its not like barack has ever said one thing, then reversed or denied his assertions. Oh wait, I'm thinking of a different barack...the president barack is a lying politician.

    July 8, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
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