July 15th, 2010
05:33 PM ET
8 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. Don

    Does it really matter that its a foreign based company? This company is building products that many of us use daily-televisions, computers, cellphones, ect. And the important thing is that LG is putting Americans to work!

    July 15, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  2. JES

    How old are you.

    Sounds like something a three year old would say.

    Great leadership Obama you look very smug up there on your thrown.

    July 15, 2010 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  3. ib

    It's all about Obama's AGENDA and nothing else. He's like a little kid if someone doesn't agree with him he calls them names. He is a joke for a president or rather a nightmare for what he is doing to this country. 10% unemployment is not Bush's fault and if his cap and scam bill passes who knows how high the figure will go.

    July 15, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  4. Kevin in Ohio

    More dirty tricks from an evil, despotic, criminal president. Wake up America...can you not see the HATE this president has for America?

    July 15, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  5. g

    corp. america killed jobs in michigan not the president or govenor iit was called closing up and moving overseas sponsored by the republicans

    July 15, 2010 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  6. CommonSense

    Way to go Mr. President!!!!

    July 15, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  7. vic of New Yotk

    It's about time these weak kneed Democrats come out and start putting their foot up the cheeks of all those Republican goons – who would rather lie to the American People (and gullible constituants), even if it means wrecking the country – simply to make a play for power.


    July 15, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  8. Ivan-AZ

    YES!!!! I'm so happy President Obama refuses to let these Republicans get away with their hypocrisy at any time. This isn't the first time Republicans have showed up to a stimulus funded event to celebrate. They either need to oppose it wholeheartedly or admit that it has created jobs...maybe not as much as people would have liked but there is NO DOUBT that it has helped.

    July 15, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  9. thor

    I don't think an unemployment rate of 9.5% after 18 months in office is something to brag about !!!!

    July 15, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  10. Peter E

    There is a website keeping track of anti-stimulus hypocrites who took credit for projects despite voting no on the funding. You can easily look it up. By now it includes over 40% of congressional republicans.

    July 15, 2010 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |

    Call out every single one of these liars. The GOP has been at every event touting the projects and jobs that the recovery act has provided, that they voted against! Call out these hypocrites loud and clear.

    Vote NO in NOvember to the party of NO.

    July 15, 2010 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  12. Donnatella

    I love it, they can't have it both ways, they all sit on Fox News and say the stimulus has not created on single job and then try to take credit for the jobs it does create what hypocrites. The new name for the republican party should be the hypocrite party. I will definately be voting democrat come November.

    July 15, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  13. JFK

    The GOP never cease to amaze me. You would think he would have not attended something he didnt even vote for. What nerve of these hypocrites! I have to credit Obama for that zinger!

    July 15, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  14. Doug

    The President needs to hold a JOBS SUMMIT, just like health care reform. Sit everyone down, hear all ideas put it in the bill and pass it.

    July 15, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  15. Gerry NH

    Just another way of showing what a big jerk that the president is and always will be.

    July 15, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  16. Larry

    If you think it is a very good day for the community ...


    MORON ...

    July 15, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  17. Kevin Collins

    Their kids will *also* carry the debt of Bush's unpaid-for/geared-to-the-rich tax cuts, unpaid-for/$1-trillion Medicare prescription drug plan, unpaid-for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, his not vetoing a single spending bill his entire first term in office, and the record deficit that he left office with. And you'll notice he couldn't refute the hypocrisy charge that's 100% valid.

    July 15, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  18. Dumbasrocks [R]s

    If you think Obama and Granholm are the cause of Michigan's current woes, Jon, you are an even bigger toad than your rhetoric would lead the rest of us to believe. You hyper-partisan idiots are actually deluded enough to vote for the very [R] party that SCREWED you in the first place, and who by their own accounts would have SCREWED you even worse by letting YOUR car industries fail....fine, we expect nothing less from you thought-challenged brown-shirts....but stop trying to delude eveyone else with your factless rhetoric. What a bunch of empty drama queens!

    July 15, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  19. Rick CT

    Typical of Obummer – the most divisive President in history. Just track his comments in the last 18 months. Change we can believe in???

    The stimulus is a failure. 9.5% unemployment whenhe promised no more than 8%. And it's only that low because of the amount of people that have become so discouraged, they've given up looking for work and don't cocount anymore in the statistics. Maybe we can pass more reckless "stimulus" spending and get the unemplymet rate up to 12% or more.

    July 15, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  20. Bernice

    Once again it is all about being Democrat or Republican , never mind what is actually good for your country.
    Like a dog who has a dirty bone and can't let go even if it kills him.

    July 15, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  21. Robert

    Good for the President.
    It is time to unmask those Republicans who always block everything but ready to take credit for what they voted "No"

    July 15, 2010 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  22. Bob(Illinois)

    Rep. Peter Hoekstra is a hypocrite of the first magnitude!

    July 15, 2010 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  23. Moderate Citizen


    Good on you, Mr. President.

    They continue to underestimate you at their peril. 😉

    July 15, 2010 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  24. gary

    It's about time! Obama did the right thing and he did it at the right time.

    July 15, 2010 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  25. Dilligaf

    Odumbo is the most classless man-child to ever hold the office. Arrogant. Narcissistic. Petulant. Incompetent. Clueless. Yep, that's the idiot leading this country to destruction.

    July 15, 2010 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
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