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. Hendrik

    I love it. These Repukes just want to shut everything down and then, magically sit there smiling. Why are you there out of respect for the office of the President when you have shown utter disregard for the office for the past year and a half? Shame on these pukes. All of them, no exceptions.

    July 15, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  2. Paul

    The Wall Street fatcats along with their GOP friends are responsible for the loss of millions oj jobs, homes and lives across America. We have not forgotten who was in charge of our nation (President BUSH) "when the Wall Street fat cats and their GOP pals almost destroyed our economy. Neither have we forgotten their slow response to Katrina, 9/11 and the unending/ unjustified war in Irak. They are just a group of hypocrites trying to blame
    the Obama administration for the results of their greed and failed policies.
    Do we want to go back to the Bush-GOP era or should we move forward with a new and better strategy?.
    God bless America and our families.

    July 15, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  3. BobH

    Sure, he COULD have stood in the road protesting that the investment in LG was the wrong thing to do, IF HE HAD A BACKBONE! But he only has the spine to criticize spending when it doesn't go into his state. If he can show up and get some credit for it, he'll be first in line.

    Simply shameless.

    July 15, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  4. Cynthia - Arkansas

    The Republicans are nothing but hypocrites. Those big checks with THEIR signatures after voting NO. They are disgraceful! I hope the people in this country can see through their smoke an mirrors. They say one thing and do another. They don't think Americans are smart enought to notice. They are use to FOX where people only listen to the noise and repeat it, no thought required.

    God Bless you President Obama! You are doing everything you can possibly do. Don't listen to the haters in the country. There are plenty of us that are VERY proud of your accomplishments.

    July 15, 2010 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  5. marlene

    Rep. Pete Hoekstra is a hypocrite. The day after the Christmas bomber incident, he was on the airwaves being critical of the administration and sending fund raising letters, so he could protect the people of Michigan. What a joke! The people of Michigan should soundly defeat his bid for Governor. Marlene in Mich

    July 15, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Well deserved SLAP DOWN!!!

    July 15, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  7. stewie griffin, RI

    good research there Rick Mcdaniel, way to keep your eye on the LG ball. dope (LG is not Chinese)

    Monumental Truth-which is it, is he a socialist or like hitler a fascist? the monumental truth is that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. please, learn some facts before you show your ignorance. again, another dope

    July 15, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  8. Sgt. USMC

    You got OWNED Hoe-kstra... In you face.

    July 15, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  9. Ken in NC

    Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Michigan is a hypocrit. He votes against the program that brought the jobs to his district and he hits at the President and complains about his policies and then has the nerve to show up at the power plant when the President is there and he lies about he is there out of respect for the President. What a joke he is.

    July 15, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  10. Angi's mom

    Way to go, Mr. President. May the Repugs will carve Hoekestra's face in the Mt Rushmore of Liberals.

    July 15, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  11. John

    Republicans do stand for average americans unfortunately uneducated people cannot grasp that. We will see how everyone feels after the great health care scam and other polices take affect and kill your checkbook how great this liberal president and congress are. And they talked about Bush stepping on the constitution and individual rights–happens everyday with this circus and everyone thinks it's great. It is always different when the shoe is on the other foot and by the way I was a democrat, am no more.

    July 15, 2010 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  12. Mark Ferbet, KCMO

    well, if you didn't support a bill, that would lead to jobs in your own district, and then you have the nads to show up and try to take credit for it... which is what you were doing, politically... you deserve a little slap in the face by the President.

    Mr. Hoekstra, we have a word for people like you... Hypocrite.

    July 15, 2010 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  13. frankD

    Well, Mr. Hackstra, all I can say to you is: the truth hurts, doesn't it? I live in West Michigan and have watched you obstruct and slam our elected President at every opportunity. You deserved what the President said about you (and people just like you), and more. You came to this groundbreaking ceremony in Holland only to put your hypocritical face in the news.

    July 15, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  14. Ben

    GOP Thinks You're Stupid, Are You? – "HAHA!

    YES OBAMA!

    Hoekestra is a one-man idiot brigade."

    Look who's talking, one-man idiot brigade for Obama the Liar in Chief. Hoekstra's gonna win the Governor's race in November. You won't be laughing then.

    July 15, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  15. Jim in Florida

    Obama and his administration continue to lie to America. The Stimulus was never going to work and it didn't. It was the first of Obama's ffenzied spending to buy the White House for another 4 years in 2012. The job creation numbers that poor old Joe Biden keeps spewing to little old lady audiences are a figment of his imagination.

    The polls do not lie. The American people know a pig when they see a pig, even if Obama and his jack booted thugs have smeared the pig with lipstick. Obama is not losing Democrat support.

    Looks like Clinton in 2012. Here comes Hillary.

    July 15, 2010 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  16. John

    It seems to me Hoekstra has nobody but himself to blame. He tried to take credit for the good effects of something he voted against, and continues to campaign against.

    July 15, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  17. hobart

    Nope, Hoekstra. President Obama is right on. Each and every one of you Republicans voted in lock step against the stimulus package, and each and every one of you has the sheer dishonesty to pose for photos when those exact same stimulus funds bring new jobs to your constituents, just as you would if you brought home pork yourselves.

    You all are outright liars, and it's high time you get called on it.

    Why do Republicans hate America?

    July 15, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  18. Jim in Florida

    LG, great Obama, the cell phone they made didn't last for squat. Ditto the plasma TV – nothing but repairs and repairs.

    Better hope they do a better job with this expensive project.

    Wonder how many jobs will actually be "created" by this project and how many Koreans will be running around the plant?

    July 15, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  19. David Mull

    What would you expect from a Prez that gets in front of cameras and announces he's meeting with BP officials so he'll know which butts to kick? Talk about NO CLASS!

    July 15, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  20. lforlegend

    YOU ARE A HYPOCRIT Hoekstra, you obviously don't respect your constituency.

    July 15, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  21. PZI

    And how much money did Obama contribute to the project?

    July 15, 2010 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  22. Roger

    Obama with all your lies and yet you have the audacity to take a cheap shot. You simply have no class and you can never get to the standards of being Presidential since your Chicago thuggery and distortions are deeply ingrained within your ideology. The con game is over and no longer will your deceptions be tolorated by the American people. Before you can lead you must have some semblance of integrity and your lack of leadership ability and lies has divided our Nation as it has never been before. 2012 can't come to fast.

    July 15, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  23. Linda C

    Obama is one divisive community organizer, especially if you disagree with his socialistic agenda – I guess being presidential is not in him...

    July 15, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  24. oy vey az

    I hate your money where is my check?

    July 15, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  25. jasb

    On LG being korEan comment. everything is now being made in china. we shud be glad that asian country country is building somthing here in US. JOBS JOBS.

    July 15, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
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