July 8th, 2009
02:10 PM ET
14 years ago

Dems push back hard on GOP stimulus attacks

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/01/art.getty.boehner.jpg caption="John Boehner on Wednesday called recent comments by Vice President Joe Biden 'the greatest fabrication I've seen since I've been in Congress.'"]WASHINGTON (CNN) - The war of words between House Minority Leader John Boehner and the Democratic Party over the impact of President Obama's stimulus plan escalated Wednesday - with each side accusing the other of lying to the American people.

The Ohio Republican told reporters that Vice President Joe Biden's weekend comments that the administration had "misread" the extent of the economic crisis were "the greatest fabrication I've seen since I've been in Congress."

"I found it also interesting over the last couple of days to hear the vice president... and the president mention the fact they didn't realize how difficult an economic circumstance we're in," Boehner said. "Now, this is the greatest fabrication I've seen since I've been in Congress. I sat through those meetings at the White House with the president and the vice president, and trust me, there's not one person that sat in those rooms that didn't know how serious our economic crisis was.

Obama told NBC on Tuesday that "rather than say 'misread,' we had incomplete information."

"What I would say is that in some areas you're seeing the economic engine turn," Obama said in that interview. "But what we always knew was that a.) This recession was going to be deep; b.) It was going to last for a while."

Hours before Boehner's comments to reporters, the Democratic National Committee released a tough new Web video blasting him for critical comments he made over the weekend about the stimulus. Boehner told Fox News that 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 says in the DNC video. "Fact is, John Boehner supported the Bush economic policies of the past eight years that brought our economy to its knees. Now John Boehner is using baseless attacks to mislead the public about the success of the Recovery Act. John Boehner: from the Party of No, to the Party of No Facts."

Democrats continued the assault Wednesday with e-mails aimed at Boehner's claims. A DNC spokesman on an afternoon conference call accused Boehner of lying and said the House Minority Leader should "apologize" for his comments.

On Thursday, Biden will visit Cincinnati - a trip that comes days after a Quinnipiac poll showed the president's approval ratings dropping dramatically in that key swing state.

Boehner isn't the only GOP congressional leader to come out against the stimulus and face a fierce Democratic response: earlier this week, the DNC went live with a cable buy aimed at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The DNC's also taking shots at much lesser-known GOP targets - candidates in Ohio and another key battleground, Florida, who've criticized the stimulus.

The battle heated up as both parties faced off Wednesday over the proposal at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing. Republicans criticized the White House for referring to the number of "jobs created or saved" by the package, calling the metric impossible to verify.

The White House Office of Management and Budget defended the plan, arguing that every dollar spent had helped to ease the pain of the economic crisis.

Filed under: DNC • Joe Biden • John Boehner
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Skip, a black man

    Just blame it all on Bush......dont you fools know the Dem`s started this whole mess with the thought that all people should own houses???? please please but your crack pipes down, and go to work.

    July 8, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  2. enough already

    Biden will be in Cincinnati touting the projects funded with stimulus dollars. His focus will be on a shuttered manufacturing plant that is being converted to office space and apartments. All the while, vacancy rates for both continue to climb.

    July 8, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  3. Fla.


    What exactly is YOUR proposal to fix the economy?! "Tax cuts" for the rich and Hooverville slashing have proven NOT to work and only exasperate the problem.

    So, what is it from the Party of No ideas, No credibility, No cooperation, and No direction are we Americans supposed to take serious? Really?

    July 8, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  4. Sama Mondeh

    Mr. Boehner should just be quiet. He has no credibility criticizing the Dems after so many years of failed policies under him and his Replican colleagues. Somebody, please removed the cameras so that we can be spared of his partisan attacks.

    July 8, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  5. Carolyn

    Here's my take:

    We should never have been in Iraq. That was the biggest waste of money in my lifetime. We'll be paying the loans off related to that war long after we'd paid back the money we borrowed for the stimulus package.

    The housing boom on top of all of this did not help. I don't care where you live – no 900 square foot house is work $500,000 to $1 million. It just isn't. People had to have realized they could not sustain the kind of monthly mortgage, insurance, and taxes that go with that kind of loan. Especially if their salary was $150,000 a year or less. But, can't fix stupid.

    We should give tax credits to those companies that bring back jobs from overseas and hire Americans/legal immigrants (not illegal immigrants) and tax those who do not.

    Finally, we have got to get energy costs under control!!!!

    July 8, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  6. Kevin -- Evansville, Indiana

    Are we supposed to be so dumb as to not remember events beyond 6 months ago?

    As I recall, half of the stimulus bill was tax cuts. The GOP wanted more of a trickle-down-economics approach to the stimulus, and the compromise was tax cuts. Then they griped that it wasn't bipartisan, because it they only got to control HALF of the money. Now they are griping that the bill didn't work, trying to pin all the blame on democrats? Good grief.

    For one, give it time, and secondly, take half the blame.

    I think these guys are slimy and dishonest to a new level. I won't vote for another Republican, until all the current ones are flushed out the the system.

    July 8, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  7. Curt

    For all those who say the stimulus has not created jobs, you are wrong. People have been hired who's job it is to decide where to flush – i mean spend the stimulus money.

    July 8, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  8. Joe the Troll

    I love the idea that 8 years is not enough to properly judge Bush's policies, but a few months is all we need to give Obama's.

    July 8, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. changing my screen name to see if it helps getting my comments posted

    @ Mike in MN,

    That might be true. But as an economist I can tell you this. The average American knows fickle about economics and how things work.

    A recession is a continual decline in GDP, essentially continued decrease in spending. Consumers get worried when there's a recession and stop spending as much which makes things worse.

    The unemployment rate takes time to drop. It can even increase while the economy is actually expanding.

    Tax cuts in and of themselves do nothing to help the economy unless they are spent AND the spending creates jobs. Increased government spending in and of itself will not necessarily create jobs either (see how the states are currently spending things)

    But above all else, just like how things didn't get bad over night, THINGS DON'T GET FIXED OVERNIGHT! The sources of the troubles we have with the economy stretch back decades.

    July 8, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. Chris - Denver

    Dems push back hard," eh? Well it's about time they grew a spine. These cynical Republican attacks are getting out of hand. It's almost like they want America to fail so they can recapture the reins of power. How pathetic!

    July 8, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. GOP = 21st century dodo

    Here's what got us here:

    1 Trillion dollar illegal war
    Sustained tax cuts for the rich
    Lax financial oversight

    All courtesy of the GOP. If I go to your house and set it on fire, would you blame the firefighters for taking too long to put out the fire? Of course not. Boehner can go suck a big fat one.

    July 8, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. Donna from Colorado Springs

    John Boehner is the biggest example of fabrication that I have ever seen in my life! We were in a recession during the end of Bushs term, yet, did any Republican make mention or warn the country? Of course not. They continued to spend like there was no tomorrow so they could leave the next president a huge disaster to clean up. At least Obama acknowledged that there was a recession. Of course it's worse than they thought originally.You never realize how bad something is until you start cleaning up the mess! I'm thankfull that a Republican is not in the White house because it would be a lot worse for us than it is now!

    July 8, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. GI Joe

    The States need to be held accountable as to what they did with the money. If it wasn't used for jobs, they should have to pay it back.

    I'm so sick of that Orange Senator getting everything wrong (or maybe just lying) I can't see straight.

    July 8, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  14. John in Rochester MN

    "Now, this is the greatest fabrication I've seen since I've been in Congress."
    Apparently he wasn't paying attention during W's reign of error.

    July 8, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  15. Concerned

    So, if I understand correctly... The criticism is that we raced into war without getting the facts. Using that SAME criteria, is the Obama criticizing their own policy by saying their made a mistake by rushing into something without getting the facts as well?

    July 8, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  16. demwit

    ABC, 123, Do Rae Mi, Obama lied to you and me..

    July 8, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
1 2 3 4