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. Andy

    The stimulus cash was either take it and use it or you pay for it anyway.You would think that even A Democrat could understand.Dems are the reason for Bush's no chiild left behind,they sure got left behind when the education was handed out.

    February 16, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  2. notfooledbydistractions

    It's hypocritical to rally against the stimulus and then go and hand out the big checks taking credit for the windfall. You can be against the stimulus, but stay away from the ribbon cuttings, etc. – or at least have the common decency to admit you were wrong and attribute the funding to the stimulus.

    McDonnell is in good company though – the list of hypocrits on the right regarding the stimulus and the money awarded is growing by the day.

    Just call 'em as you see 'em. Hypocrits all.

    February 16, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  3. CHIPS

    The republicans are like have some one to dinner, who brings nothing but themselves. They eat and drink everything in site.

    February 16, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  4. Jake

    I hate this to-787 billion wasted money for nothing;but some remedial work.Mostly paid people to dig a hole and fill it back up and count it as a job.Just plain more Democratic chronic waste.Unemployment still went up.

    February 16, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  5. FRANK, LAS VEGAS

    More of the same GOP hypocrites! He could still turn it doen if his principals for real, but they're not. Just GOP politics, complain how awful something is, but take the money.

    February 16, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. An 8 year old ELEPHANT dung heap, does not transform into compost in just 1 year!

    Just more hypocrisy from the Reds on the right.

    Rale against, the stimulus package but show up for the ribbon cuttings at the projects it funds within your state.

    Be sure to make sure you stand in front of the oversized check for maximum exposure during this photo-op!

    February 16, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  7. Willa-PA

    He was against it before he was for it, against in public and for it in private, like all the other hypocrites who were against and when it comes to helping their states they are for it but don't let anybody know though they, not in the name of the stimulous, give out checks from the stimulous because, well, are they hypocrites or not? can't make up their minds whether it's working or not? well, it seems it is working in VA according to story above, well, is it or isn't working. We'll see what the future tell. 🙂

    February 16, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  8. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    A Republican Hypocrite? Isn't that redundant?

    February 16, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. Candi

    This money had to be taken or paid for anyway,this was Obamie's socialist agenda.The people have spoken look @ Mass. and the Dems are jumping SS Obamie like rats fleeing a bale of burning straw.I love it,the failure of the Democratic party/Obama.Long Live the GOP.Want an implosion,give to a democrat.

    February 16, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  10. btannerski

    The charge of hypocrisy is absolutely true.

    As a Republican, I'm tired of seeing my party become consumed by lying, manipulation, hypocrasy and catering to the extreme right.

    WE NEED TO EXPECT OUR POLITICIANS TO WORK TOGETHER TO ADDRESS THE CRITICAL ISSUES OUR COUNTRY FACES!!

    February 16, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  11. Duck Fallas

    Hey Doug, move already. Who is forcing you to live there?

    February 16, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. Ken in NC

    People you need to realize that it is ok for Republicans to accept Stimulus Funds and speak of how much they will help their citizens even after voting against it. You see, it is one of the qualifications that must be met to be accepted as a Republican.

    February 16, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  13. Shara

    There is one word to characterize people like McDonnell : HYPOCRITES

    February 16, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. ATL Guy

    If you were to look at most of the pork and provisions in the stimulus you'd find Republican fingerprints on it. That's why Obama wants to post all pork requests online. So that the fiscal conservative hypocrites can be called out. The biggest porkers for the month of December were Republicans. Yup Republicans. And yet they complain about waste and spending. Hypocrites. I think this will be a resounding message coming straight at them for the rest of the year. There are pictures, letters etc of you praising the stimulus programs back home while gabbing for the Fox News crowd. All you'll need is a side by side for 15 seconds. Very effective advertising.

    February 16, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I'm ashamed he's my governor.

    February 16, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "It did not include hundreds of billions in wasted pork to special intersest groups that helped get Democrats elected."

    Sooooooo, in an article showing how hypocritical the Republicans are behaving/blabbering about the Stimulus Bill and the money it has made available to their states, you choose to argue against how hypocritical it is by hypocritically claiming that the pork in the Stimulus Bill is all from the Dems to help them get re-elected? Smart. Kudos. Now go back and look at the Stimulus Bill and take a whiff of all the Republican pork that is in it. It don't stink any less than the Dems'.

    February 16, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  17. mario

    An other wingnut pitching lies, surprise, surprise,

    February 16, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  18. Jill

    Democrat-a party of the ignorant for the ignorant to speak the ignorant .No wonder you dems bash wealth, if you can not join them bash them.Do the Dems have no wealthy members or just the ones that are in office and play you for the fools that you are?

    February 16, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  19. jenn, philadelphia

    When some of the governors were saying they weren't goint to take any money it was this administration's justice department that put out a legal conclusion that the states couldn't reject the stimulus money. Now you're going to criticize them for taking it. That's hubris!

    February 16, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  20. SC-Pub "no" more

    I am shocked that anyone is shocked! The Pubs, Rushlicans, Becklicans and Tea Baggers all have taken stimulus money and claimed credit. These politicians are all a like. The sooner we understand that, the sooner we stop thinking the Tea Party is going to save us.

    February 16, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  21. Sniffit

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

    That has nothing to do with anything. Misdirection. McDonell could very easily have said no. He did not need to continue with what Kaine started if he actually believed what is coming out of his mouth) and political backside). "Tucker" (god in heaven what is wrong with these wingnut parents?) is just using it as a convenient excuse.

    You want proof my position isn't partisan? Obama could've chosen not to continue Bush's arguments/motions in court regarding GITMO and executive privilege and I'm angry he chose to do so. Same logic applies. If you're a conservative who actually believes the crap these morons are spewing about the Stimulus Plan, you should be similarly angry at McDonnell, not making excuses for him.

    February 16, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  22. katiec

    Typical republican. Hypocritical to the core.
    What is even worse, he voted against unemployment benefits for the people of his state.
    Voting against the stimulus but accepting it is not the issue.
    Ranting and raving in their usual irresponsible manner against what was desperately needed for our survival, doing whatever to get in front of the camera, create headlines and then hold their hand out and enforce that the funds are needed and will be put to good use is an insult to the American people. These egotistical, hypocritical, non performing , unAmerican republicans do not give us credit for any intelligence.

    February 16, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  23. Danny

    To Doug: I live in a southern red state and I find there are just as many rude people as their are nice people. Maybe you can tell me your secret so I can tell the liberals from the conseratives? You must be a psychic to be able to tell them apart just by looking at them, or are you relyng on some physical trait, such as skin color or their accent, to make your determination?

    February 16, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  24. Tony

    That's hysterical. The loons give away a TRILLION dollars for nothing, then knock anyone who takes it. Maybe, just maybe they shouldn't have given it away. Just a thought.

    February 16, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  25. Four and The Door

    $24 million over 4 years is not really a lot of money in government speak anymore. ( Probably even Joe can sign for that, huh? )
    But in our current situation McDonnell deserves to take some heat for taking this Federal money. Even a small amount is deficit spending.

    February 16, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
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