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.