July 15th, 2010
05:33 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama publicly takes on congressman who opposed stimulus

Obama publicly takes on congressman who opposed stimulus.
Obama publicly takes on congressman who opposed stimulus.

Holland, Michigan (CNN) - Is it bad form to attend a ribbon cutting celebration when you voted against paying for the project? Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Michigan, sat smiling in the front row today as President Obama marked the groundbreaking of a new stimulus-funded project in Holland, Michigan.

"We are pleased to have in attendance with us today, and seated in the front row, Congressman and Republican gubernatorial candidate Pete Hoekstra, in attendance to show his support for a robust Recovery Act investment right here in Michigan," tweaked President Obama.

Watch: Rep. Hoekstra on Thursday's John King, USA.

Yet Hoekstra, who represents the district, voted against the very stimulus funding that provided the $151 million to build the LG Chem Power Plant where the presidential event was held.

Hoekstra accused the President of playing politics while portraying himself as above the fray, saying "this is politics … I came here out of respect for the office of the President, my constituents and the company that is coming to this community," Hoekstra said. "I could have been along the road protesting, that's not the right thing to do, this is the President of the United States... This is a very good day for the community. It's a good day for LG."


The President wasn't alone in calling the congressman out. Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, told CNN, "I think it's totally hypocritical. I mean you can't vote no and then come and take the credit or celebrate on the other hand. This is good for Michigan. It's good for Ottawa County. It's good for Holland. It's good for the people who would be hired here. It's good for Michigan to get this federal investment."

Hoekstra defended himself by saying, "The fact is that he forgot this is not his money to hand out, the people in this community paid these taxes to Washington – their kids will carry the deficit … There is only one person in this setting who disagreed with the president's economic policies and had the opportunity to vote on it – that was me."


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. Moderate Sean

    What, you don't like getting called out for one of your poor votes? Live with it, thank goodness your constituents don't have too.....

    July 15, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  2. GOP Thinks You're Stupid, Are You?

    HAHA!

    YES OBAMA!

    Hoekestra is a one-man idiot brigade.

    July 15, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  3. MONUMENTAL TRUTH!

    It just shows more of OBAMA's ignorance. HOW ABOUT IT AMERICA. YOU HAD ENOUGH YET. IT IS TIME TO TAKE ACTION AND REMOVE THIS HITLER FROM OFFICE.

    July 15, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. Shannon

    Republicans sure hate to be called out on the fact that they don't stand for average Americans. This man wanted to take credit for the jobs that the stimulus created. Republicans apologize to BP, condemn the fund the President got from BP to clean up the spill, say the tax payer should pay for the clean-up, they call the unemployed lazy, and say they should all be drug tested. Does it suprise anyone that they want to fool the ignorant into thinking they helped create the few jobs that are available.

    July 15, 2010 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. James M. Holmes

    Ya Hoekstra – keep reminding the people of Michigan that YOU voted against creating jobs for them!

    These dinosaurs in the GOP just can not bring themselves to admit the good work the President has done – in spite of their best efforts.

    July 15, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    LG is a CHINESE company!

    July 15, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. montag

    Hoekstra is your ty[ical GOP hypocrite, just like Jindal and all the others who attend the ribbon-cutting ceremonies and take credit, when all along they've been against the stimulus.

    Who do they think they're kidding?

    July 15, 2010 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. Eze

    Good day for LG. Profitable Korean company gets $300 Million us taxpayer dollars.

    July 15, 2010 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  9. Jon

    Under the disgrace leadership and policies of President Obama and Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, our Michiganian has 15% unemployment rate in the state, the highest in the country for last 2 years when these two in power. No doubt that these Harvanian can give a beautiful speech, but they talk the talk and never walk the walk. No matter what Obama and Granholm say and do, no one believes them any more. All they have done so far to the great Michigan have destroyed Michigan's economy and the ways of life. As Michigan resident, we really fed up with these two guys in the office.

    July 15, 2010 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  10. Sharron

    Good for Obama.......make an example out of these republicans that say one thing and oppose what the President tries to do to get this economy going again then trys to take credit of the good that comes out of it

    July 15, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  11. Eze

    Rick,

    LG is Korean not Chinese.

    July 15, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. chuck d

    How does Hoekstra get that Obama was dissing him from the following comment?
    We are pleased to have in attendance with us today, and seated in the front row, Congressman and Republican gubernatorial candidate Pete Hoekstra, in attendance to show his support for a robust Recovery Act investment right here in Michigan
    and Monumental untruth, did you enjoy your 8 years under Bush?
    I didn't

    July 15, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  13. Future expat

    Call out all those fools, Mr. President.

    July 15, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  14. GI Joe

    PRESIDENT Obama didn't say anything mean.

    Jindal (LA) did the same thing presenting a big check (all smiles and taking credit for it - stimulus was never mentioned).

    Face it – the republicans are two-faced, back-stabbing liars and hypocrits.

    July 15, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  15. Joe

    Good for Obama! He should stick it to these flip flopping hypocrites every chance he gets. I hope every newspaper in that congressman's district points out the truth of his opportunism on the front page.

    July 15, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  16. NYC REPUB

    The GOP, has been having ribbon cuttings across America since the Recovery Act passed........They voted NO, then went back to their districts and took credit for jobs.

    America, don't give them an inch in November.

    July 15, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  17. Oregon Calling

    I am happy that we have a President that will take people to task. The people have a right to know and the politicians have the responsibility to let us know........... I know, I live in a dream world but look what happened today :-)

    July 15, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  18. KM

    Reaping the benefits while still taunting that you voted against it. It's a smart move if you ask me and I am not being sarcastic about it either.

    July 15, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  19. Blowhard

    Is it 2012 yet, I'm getting tired of hearing this bag of wind tooting his own horn, when in reality he has done nothing constructive, mainly destructive

    July 15, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  20. Larry

    Bravo Mr. Presidents. Call the Republicans out for the hypocrites they are.

    July 15, 2010 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  21. gt

    dont be surprise at any thing obama says..his dialogeis now to act mean spirited,, heck he accused the supreme court judges at the state of the union,... what a leader ,, what to bring change to politics,,,,, not.....

    July 15, 2010 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  22. Ben

    The Democrats are moving America forward. The Republicans want to take us backward.

    July 15, 2010 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  23. Four and The Door

    We're still looking for those 4 million jobs. We know where the money went. Where are the jobs? Why are they still saying the economy is getting worse? You got the money. Oh, I know...8 years...blah blah blah....

    July 15, 2010 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  24. Peter s

    Mr. President keep on calling them! for what they are! double faced politicians!

    July 15, 2010 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  25. NC

    Republican Senator Richard Burr of NC, has also been attending ribbon cutting ceremonies for projects paid for from the stimulus bill and taking credit for what he does for NC. Burr voted NO also for the stimulus bill. Thank you Mr. President for all you do for us. You truly care about the United States.

    July 15, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
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