September 6th, 2010
12:07 PM ET
8 years ago

Wisconsin GOP chair jabs Obama ahead of visit

President Obama travels to Wisconsin on Monday.

President Obama travels to Wisconsin on Monday.

Washington (CNN) - On a day when President Obama is traveling to Wisconsin to call for $50 billion in public works spending to spur job creation, the chairman of the Wisconsin Republican party said the state should reject the money.

In a conference call with reporters organized Monday by the Republican National Committee, Wisconsin GOP chairman Reince Priebus claimed that the president's pitch will "fall on deaf ears" and said that the spending proposal is "going to make him more unpopular than he is."

"These guys couldn't find $50 billion in the trillions they have already spent?" he asked. "The whole thing is absurd. We are upside down in this country and this isn't going to do a thing to change that."

Priebus said Wisconsinites don't want the money, pointing to a proposed high-speed rail line between Milwaukee and Madison that would be funded by money from the original stimulus bill. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported in June that just 41 percent of Milwaukee area residents support the rail system.

He wants to spend a billion dollars on a train between Milwaukee and Madison that people don't want," Priebus said of the president (the train system would actually cost the government $810 million).

"Last I checked on the stimulus, the federal government proposed just short of $30 billion in roads and infrastructure in last stimulus plan. Certainly that didn't help much in the economy," he said.

CORRECTION: The original version of this story said that $47 million worth of stimulus funds would be used to pay for the rail line, when in fact the government granted the state $810 million to fund for the project.

Filed under: 2010 • President Obama • Wisconsin
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    Wisconsin GOP chairman Reince Priebus is a typical Republican: Refuse money that would help his state because it's being proposed by President Obama, then as his state continues to go down the toilet, blame the president for not doing anything to help.

    Two things:

    1. Priebus hates the people of Wisconsin.
    2. Priebus thinks the people of Wisconsin are stupid.

    GOP = Party Before Country

    September 6, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  2. Facts are not fair to the GOP

    Priebus speaks for a minority of Wisconsinites. Have you noticed that Republicans have voted against every program that would help Americans, and are quick to say that the stimulus did not work, but take credit for the jobs created in their districts? Three million jobs have been saved from the Bush near depression, and the republicans promise fear, hate, and lies.

    September 6, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    I think spending on infrastructure is very smart. Road, bridges, schools and public facilities like libraries are in need of repair. Fixing and building them puts people to work on things that benefit our country and her people for many years to come.

    The Republicans, on the other hand, don't want to spend money on America; they want to give tax cuts to the wealthy so they can take their money and invest it overseas (where labor is cheap and environmental regulations don't exist), resulting in more job losses here at home.

    Only a fool would vote Republican in November.

    September 6, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. Zyxoid

    Sounds like the "people" (read "Republicans") don't want any money from the Feds. They have such a rich and vibrant economy they can do it all by themselves. How about we let them do just that?

    September 6, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  5. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    "On a day when President Obama is travelling to Wisconsin to call for $50 billion in public works spending to spur job creation..."

    There Obama goes again planning to waste more money on something people don't want. This moron just doesn't get it...

    September 6, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  6. Michael from Ventura

    The good people of Wisconsin are hurting like the rest of us- I would be willing to bet this person will be one to take the money and run-forgetting what he said publicly. The gop is full of hypocrites!

    September 6, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. Jason B.

    Were this the 1920's – 30's, the GOP would be complaining about public works projects then too. Who needs this "Hoover Dam"? Who needs these "highways"? And so on and so on.

    September 6, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. a in austin

    Corporations are not investing in the great USA – they have found cheap labor in China and other 3rd world countries. The US citizens are in dire need of jobs. Where is the solution from the Republicans?

    September 6, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. jim

    Seems Obama does read the poll numbers.Now,after pushing an unpopular Obamacare program down the throats of Americans he 's noticed we have an unemployment rate that's too high and an economy that's on meltdown.But he still has time for campaigning and golfing.

    September 6, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  10. terry,va

    I'm beginning to believe that it is Obummie's mission to financially break the U.S. After all that is what al queda and Bin Laden is trying to do. All of our enemies know they can't beat us militarily so destroying our economy is their next choice. Obummie is either in bed with them to do that or he is the most economically ignorant president we have ever had!!!

    September 6, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. Lousy Biased Coverage

    Has every dime of the stimulus money been spent? If not then why ask for a new 50 billion? And how is "high speed train travel" been going for California? Is there's done yet and if not then why not and why should extra money be spent on a form of travel that may work great on other countries but not in the US?

    September 6, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  12. Tony in Maine


    #3 Priebus is an ideologue. In this case one could reasonably substitute idiot for ideologue.

    September 6, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  13. Independant Vet

    You have heard his , well written speaches. Then they turned out to be more holes in them than Swiss Cheeze .

    Maybe he will be passing out the Quam as a prize for attendants. An a enevople for an offering for the New Mosque he so want's built , for his Muslim frinds and family.

    If he really thought anything of this Country , he should leave before we hit the next slope down into the Grand Canyon , where he would like to see all that dis agree with him . Still none other than Chicago politics as usualll . UH Huh . Uh !!.

    September 6, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  14. Al

    I think Obama should just let the economy collapse. Then the GOP will be happy. Of course then the GOP could just blame Obama, so they win. Or he can spend the money to try and get people jobs, and the GOP can blame Obama, and they win. Whoever thought up the "sabotage the Dems at all costs plan so we can win power again" was a very smart strategist. Not that this'll mean much to the people on the breadlines, of course.

    September 6, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  15. carlos

    vote for any talipublican and PRAY because your tomorrow is not guaranteed

    September 6, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  16. Willy Brown

    More of Obama paying off Big Union Bosses.

    September 6, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  17. Midwest

    To Michael from Ventura –

    And why is your state of California in trouble its in? Answer – LIBERAL spending!

    California continues to ranks in the top 10 in per capita income in the United States, (typically $10k – 15k) higher than any state in the Midwest (including Wisconsin) – [US Census Bureau]

    But ranks in the top 3 for Federal Spending. (Why does a state with obviously great wealth suck on the Federal Teet so hard)

    California spent over 11% of all the taxpayers Federal Dollars($299M of $2.7B spent on Federal Aid to the states)

    While Wisconsin is responsible for 1.4% ($40M of $2.7B)

    These are FACTS/FIGURES before CA started issuing IOUs/furlows/hit the top 3 in foreclosures and allowed Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson to spend $50k on new "pimped" out SUV along with his State paid Limousine and driver "necessary to meet his busy mayoral schedule"


    Are all people in CA as stupid as you? Or are you and Ventura over-achievers?

    September 6, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  18. jenn, philadelphia

    My family and I took a road trip for our vacation this year and everywhere we went the roads were under construction. Here in Pennsylvania the roads and bridges are under construction. What new spending on road construction can the President suggest that will help? Also, I'm assuming this $50 billion dollars comes from the already voted upon stimulus fund that hasn't been entirely spent yet and isn't new funding. Of course, you know what they say about assuming. Funny how it's the taxpayer who always gets made the a$$ out of.

    September 6, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  19. junglejim123

    Obama is like a compulsive gambler who cannot stop..Just 50 billion more dollars..I know I'll win ...just another 50 on top ofthta 50 ....Im gettng close..just trust me...and give me anoyther 50 bilion.... it never ends..... loves to spend our money foolishly and then comes asking for more and more...More of the same ? NOOOOOOOOOOO

    Congress had better not allocate this money to him..he has spent us into oblivion already.....if the stimulus money had been carefully tracked and used for the right projects our economy would be looking alot better.... they used it on pork projects........and they ABUSED OUR TRUST !!!!!

    September 6, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  20. Independant Vet

    BIG ?

    How far away are we from becoming a Muslim Nation . For they predict 20 t0 30 years , they will have this country over populated.

    Canada is on the verge, Russia alread 40% of there Army is Muslims. Germany is also , in jepordy .

    Wake up America , for there birth rate , each family must bear 8 children , they must marry at a younger age an bear 8 , an just recently , Obama sneaks in How many Habass Terrorist @ a cost of 20 Million .

    Now my ? is . Where is the job's , hading out the quarms for a band aide, is that recovery . ? Sorry fed up with his BS. I from show me state.

    September 6, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  21. DENNA

    Seriously, I am sick of people whining that President Obama rammed something down our throats. I don't like that the Rethugs rammed all of this joblessness and recession down our throats. So you Rethug supporters evidently like the taste of that as you are trying to give them another chance to do it again.

    Priebus is willing to see his state go down in flames rather than let the president help him. I can't believe that the people of Wisconsin are putting up with the guy. Must be another haven for the Tea Party.

    September 6, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  22. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Just a reminder here.......The Wisconsin GOP gave us Joe McCarthy.

    And to the "Libertarian" on here, we all know who doesn't get it, and it isn't Obama!

    September 6, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  23. Renea

    Well the Republicans have a whole lot of nerve to go after the President when they are the ones thats responsible for this economy being the way it is in the first place. I remember in 2008 when the housing crisis went under even the stock market.The problem is things was already going under anyway when this President first came in office yes the current President deserve some blame but the ball started rolling with Republicans.

    September 6, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. Drunken GOP Drivers want the keys back

    And when gas is six bucks a gallon under republicans,they will wish they had a train.

    September 6, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  25. NC

    The democrats are in danger of losing their seats and now this obama guy wants to create jobs.....obama should have created jobs 18 months ago.....obama thinks now he can save the democrats butts by doing what he should have done in the first place.......don't vote for or re-elect the democrats or obama.....Vote for the Republicans this November and November's the right thing to do....

    September 6, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
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