WASHINGTON (CNN) – The image war over the impact of President Obama's stimulus plan escalated Thursday, as Democrats targeted another major GOP congressional critic of the package, and the vice president again raised the stakes with a visit to the lawmaker's home state.
Hours before House Minority Whip Eric Cantor spoke on a conference call slamming the effectiveness of the administration's stimulus policy, the Democratic National Committee launched a pre-emptive strike: a tough statement tarring opponents of the plan – including the Virginia congressman - as foes of economic recovery.
Vice President Joe Biden is headlining another stimulus-promoting event Thursday, this time in Richmond, Virginia. "I ask those critics...Would they not help prevent (layoffs of) thousands of teachers, firefighters, cops?" Biden is planning to say, according to prepared remarks. "Would they not give a tax cut to 95 percent of the American people? Would they sit back and do nothing as our economy collapsed?"
(Updated after the jump with Cantor, GOP response)
Cantor shot back Thursday afternoon. "We are told Vice President Biden is in Virginia this afternoon to highlight stimulus progress, but he, along with the Obama administration, will hear from my fellow citizens that spending money does not necessarily equal success for the stimulus program," he told reporters on a conference call. "....A stimulus bill should have an immediate economic impact and create real, long-term jobs, and this stimulus bill has clearly not created jobs or fixed our economy."
"It's not that surprising that yet another Republican has been caught speaking out of both sides of his mouth on the effects of the Recovery Act," DNC National Press Secretary Hari Sevugan said in a Thursday statement. "But, Cantor and his fellow Republicans can't have it both ways. Either they are for economic recovery and the jobs it's bringing to the folks they represent, or they are against it."
Last week, House Minority Leader John Boehner found himself in the DNC's sights: Democrats released a tough Web video blasting him for saying 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 said in the DNC video. "…Now John Boehner is using baseless attacks to mislead the public about the success of the Recovery Act."
Democrats continued the assault with e-mails and conference calls, as Biden made his way to Cincinnati, in Boehner's home state of Ohio. The DNC also went live with a cable buy aimed at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and launched attacks on much lesser-known GOP critics of the stimulus policy in key battlegrounds like Ohio and Florida.
UPDATE: Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring called the stimulus a "bad deal" and a "misguided ...pork-barrel bill." He also blasted the DNC's statement as politically tone-deaf.
"For (Virginia Gov. Tim) Kaine's DNC to flatly state that there is an economic recovery misses the current and increasing double-digit unemployment in Richmond and the 8.1% unemployment in Central Virginia," he said in a statement. "To declare an 'economic recovery' when so many Virginian families are being negatively impacted by this Administrations economic policy is a truly shocking statement that should be retracted....
"...A stimulus bill should have an immediate economic impact and create real, long term jobs, and this stimulus has not created jobs or fixed our economy."
I am getting my escape plan ready. You better gets yours ready…before Obama starts to regulate movement of citizens.
Your have to be kidding right, this must be some form of satire right?
Either that or you loons have become a parody of yourselves.
I'm laughing with you or at you. One or the other.
@too late – You're right. So why doesn't Obama man up and restore those individual freedoms?
I find it very funny how some pepole claim that the republican party lacks credibility when the democrats have elected the most decietfull, ignorant, self serving, anti-american, good for nothing sorry excuse for a community organizer for a president. Those of you who can still think for yourselvs, actually see what this dangerous man is doing to our country BEFORE IT"S TOO LATE!
Only Biden the Clown is stupid enough to brag about a "tax cut to 95% of the American people". At $13/ week, I've been living high on the hog!!! Now the first thing I say at McDonald's is "supersize it!"
Meanwhile, the banks (Wall Street) are making huge profits just a few months after having to beg for money to stay afloat.
Just little Bo Bo taking care of those that take care of him.
You're nuts. 2010 is when the GOP will be layed to rest. The only life support they may get is if they get someone who is not a Party of No member who actually has some NEW ideas besides for tax cuts for the rich. Finally the People have taken the country back from the corporate thugs.
Brother! When former Senator Phil Gramm said the "US is a nation of whiners"; he wasn't kidding! (Especially our "leaders")
Looks like more people root for failure than doing something to create success. This goes for Republicans and Democrats alike.
The repugs talk and complain about everything the Democrats and our President are doing, but . . . . . . do they have a solution? If so, how about giving it up so you can help all Americans. Oh yeah, that's right, you only care for the "real" Americans. The heck with the rest of us.
BTW – mccain? Where's bin laden. If you know, please tell the Special Forces.
Biden the spin doctor!!! Does he really believe if he says the stimulus works that the stimulus really works. He twisted the facts with fantasy and some of the American people are still buying into it!!!
All of you uneducated liberals who follow the media all think the GOP is out to give tax breaks to just the rich. That cannot be further from the truth.
RESEARCH PEOPLE. The current Dem administration is all about taxing EVERYONE and giving benefits to people who are to lazy to work. It sounds peachy keen and nice, but it isn't. It will put us all in debt and force people who actually work for their money to pay for everything.