February 16th, 2010
12:12 PM ET
13 years ago

Democrats knock McDonnell for taking stimulus cash

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/16/art.mcdonnell.file.gi.jpg caption="Gov. Bob McDonnell is the latest target of the DNC."]Washington (CNN) - Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is the latest target of national Democrats in their ongoing crusade against Republicans they accuse of stimulus hypocrisy.

McDonnell's office announced Monday that Virginia will receive a combined $24 million in federal funds over the next four years to develop health care information technology and implement electronic medical records. The funds come straight from a nearly $1 billion pot of health care money made available to states by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

McDonnell, a up-and-coming Republican who was sworn into office last month, thanked Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for approving the money and said the cash is "critical" in helping Virginia upgrade its health care infrastructure.

"The federal funding awarded to Virginia will allow us to develop an information technology system that will safeguard our ability to track health records and provide our physicians with the technological tools they need to provide the highest quality service possible," McDonnell said in a statement.

But that high praise reeks of hypocrisy, according to the Democratic National Committee. During his campaign for the governorship last year, McDonnell said the stimulus bill would create crushing long-term debt. He also made an issue early in the race of opposing $125 million in unemployment benefits made available to Virginia by the Recovery Act.

DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan, who has also blasted Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a possible 2012 GOP presidential contender, for lumping stimulus money into his new budget, said McDonnell's acceptance of the federal money is "part of a pattern of gross hypocrisy which has irrevocably tainted Republican credibility on the stimulus and spending. "

"The truth is, as independent observers have confirmed, the stimulus has provided millions of jobs for Americans and as Gov. McDonnell concedes made 'critical' investments in our communities. Unfortunately, Republicans would rather play dishonest political games than admit they opposed something that is helping our economy because Democrats supported it," Sevugan said in an e-mail.

McDonnell's office countered by pointing out that while the governor criticized elements of the stimulus package during his campaign, he also told the Washington Post last February that he would accept stimulus money because the money comes from Virginia taxpayers.

Tucker Martin, a spokesman for the governor, said the health IT grants accepted Monday were applied for by the previous governor, Democrat Tim Kaine.

"At least we know the DNC won't let little things like facts get in their way," Martin told CNN in an e-mail.

Over the past week, Democrats have criticized a raft of GOP officeholders after news reports revealed that several congressional Republicans who voted against the Recovery Act ultimately took credit for stimulus-funded projects in their districts. Among the more prominent Republicans who voted against the bill but sought stimulus cash: Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, Utah Sen. Bob Bennett, Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander and South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson.


Filed under: Bob McDonnell • DNC
soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. Brian

    ANOTHER right-wing nut named Tucker? Jesus, is there no end to these people?

    February 16, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  2. Stop the Nonsense

    It's good to see he is doing his job for the people of his state.
    It is also interesting to see that the exact issues that Republicans claim is at the heart of their argument against Mr Obam and Democrats is accepted – stimulus money and healthcare reform.
    It will be interesting to see the spin on this.
    The governor did right and his party is wrong.

    February 16, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Tell ya what, Dems: You arrange it so Virginia residents don't have to pay the taxes that fund Porkulus, and maybe McDonnell will decide not to take the cash. You can't have it both ways: If you're going to squeeze the people of a given state to pay for Obama's idiocy, they're entitled to get at least some of it back–minus, of course, what all the various friends of Obama, Reid, and Pelosi skimmed off the top.

    February 16, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. demmie2

    so basically, now that the stimulus is passed, thsoe that were against it shouldnt get any for their state or constituents? is that what the democrats are trying to say? it is not hypocrisy to be against a HUGE stimulus but make sure your your state gets some now that it HAS passed.... dems have NOTHING to campaign on except negativity and blame. Guess its time to change my name b/c I am not a democrat anymore...

    February 16, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. B

    Hypocrites, all of them..

    February 16, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. Hows that nonunion made Toyota workin for ya?

    You first have to teach the morons what hypocrisy even means.We should waterboard Rush Limbaugh and see if it really works,hes the biggest liar in the country.

    February 16, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  7. Dave

    What they want to leave out is how they're forced to take it. Same thing that happend with the SC governor.

    February 16, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  8. Ken

    So does this mean that the stimulus money really is nothing but bribes and payoffs?

    February 16, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  9. joe

    always bickering back and forth..just do your jobs you can pat yourself on the back later

    February 16, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    And then he'll take credit for it just like all the Republicans who vote no, scream and shout about Dems policies, then take advantage of the policy and take credit for it. But only when it benefits them. It is no longer the party of no, it's the party of Hypocrisy !! Oh wait, that's nothing new

    February 16, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  11. Greg K., PA

    It's not just McDonnell, there are Republicans all across the country who are taking credit for stimulus projects after having vociferously opposed the stimulus in Congress.

    Looks like some people just want to have it both ways and don't care about their principles.

    February 16, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  12. Tina, NC

    Good job Dems! Call all of them out. And, while you're at it, call out the blue dogs who are doing the same things.

    February 16, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  13. Laverne

    Thank HHS on one hand and criticize on the other hand, just like the typical republican, say whatever need to be said cause you know dumb Americans can't think for themselves. Well its been working so far, so why not keep it up huh? Bill Mahr is so right when he said Americans are dumb!

    February 16, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  14. Danny

    The few Republican Governors who, for political reasons, tried to refuse stimulus money were blasted by their electorates for putting politics ahead of constituent's needs. For all the GOP talk of their abhorrance of accepting federal money, the reality is State revenues are being squeezed by the recession and the money is needed to avoid slashing jobs and desparately needed services to balance their budgets. I find it humerous that Republican voters with jobs rail against deficits while those who have lost their job are very happy to accept more weeks of unemployment benefits even though it adds to the federal deficit.

    February 16, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  15. Party of NO-the DEMS

    Once again the party of NO reinforces their stupidity.The Dems-NO jobs NO plan NO improvement NO truth NO accountability NO hope NO blame just a party of NOTHINGBye Bye Morons

    February 16, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  16. Conservative Voice

    Thank you Mr. Martin.... those idiot democrats!!!!!

    February 16, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  17. Virginia Boy

    This latest act of Republicans gladly taking "socialist" dollars after the election is just the latest example of how the right may selectively reject the idea of government-funded services for the welfare of U.S. citizens only when it suits them to stir up the teapot to get votes.

    So it was the last governor's administration that applied for the money? Hmmm. What's stopping McDonnel from just saying no, now? Oh where are a few good free-market entrepreneurs when you need them, tp put their money where their mouth is, and fend off another big, bad federal "socialist handout?" Trickle-down hypocrisy.

    February 16, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  18. MSH, Miami, FL

    Republican hypocrisy? I'm shocked.....shocked, I tell ya.

    February 16, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  19. Doug,lib jersey

    its the money from the American taxpayer and there is no hypocrasy in trying to make sure as little as possible is taken by corrupt cronie libs in the socialst areas where it is used to fix elections ala Acorn and keep people trapped in poverty, as the dems have done since the 60's.

    Besides, one cannot truly be a hypocrite unless they are Democrat, live in the blue and the truth is undenible when you witness America's worst everyday, liberal Democrats.

    February 16, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  20. Mike in MN

    Democrats are playing games with the stimulus money.
    The truth is that Republicans wrote a stimulus bill too. It spent the same on unemployment and food stamps as Obama's bill and more on infrastructure and tax cuts to business and the middle class. It did not include hundreds of billions in wasted pork to special intersest groups that helped get Democrats elected.
    The CBO said the Republicans bill would cost about half as much and create more jobs faster. The Democrats killed it.
    So when a Republican supports an infractucture project that was funded by the stimulus they are not reeking of hypocrisy as the Republican bill would have spent more on such projects than the Democrats.
    Republicans are opposed to the Obama stimulus because the tax cuts were not adequate to stimulate the economy and there is hundreds of billions of wasted pork in it that rewards only those who helped get Democrats elected and does nothing to create jobs are stimulate the economy.
    The Democrats are full of lies and are desperate because the people have figured them out.

    February 16, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  21. Tim in NC

    You gotta love it.

    If this country weren't so ADHD, this might actually matter in a few months come election time... but most likely we'll have forgotten and moved on.

    February 16, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  22. The "Yes WE Can"

    Yes we can waste 787 Billion Yes we can criticise Repubs for doing the same as us Yes we can waste cash for clunkers Yes we can blame our failures on someone else Yes we can quadruple the deficit NOVEMBER "Change you can believe in" 1 and done

    February 16, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  23. GI Joe

    They all took stimulus money, and used it to help their states, but they bad-mouth stimulus. Maybe our government should have let banks and states fail.

    February 16, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  24. Mesa Mick

    Just like the whole lot of GOP politicians this guy is a FCINO-H (Fiscal Conservative In Name Only Hypocrite). Taking credit for federal dollars he said he is against. Jeez, what a con job he's trying to pull over...

    The sad part is the voting suckers in VA elected this guy thinking he was "different" from all the other closet Talibangelical Repugs. Just wait, next he'll try to outlaw womens reproductive rights, take away sufferage, equal pay for equal work and replace the VA State Constitution with the bible...

    February 16, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  25. Tim in NC

    You gotta love it, slap the Dems with one hand and hold out the other for cash...

    Though, If this country weren't so ADHD this might actually matter come election time. Odds are we'll have moved on to something else by tomorrow, thank you 24-hour news cycle!

    February 16, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
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