John Boehner needs to try harder

JOHN BOEHNER NEEDS TO TRY HARDER…. When major reports are released, party leaders routinely put out public statements, hoping reporters will pick up on their spin. Sure enough, when new unemployment figures were released this morning, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) quickly released his best pitch. I was curious as to what he’d come up with.

Most of the statement is made up of the usual palaver. Boehner denounces “borrow and spend” ideas, despite the fact that Republicans have embraced “borrow and spend” for years. He insists the approach embraced by the president “isn’t helping,” though it seems a little premature to draw such a conclusion.

But here’s the entertaining part:

“Washington’s arrogance must be replaced by a new spirit of bipartisan cooperation to improve job prospects for millions of Americans. Republicans have taken every opportunity to reach out to the President and find areas of agreement. We offered a stimulus bill that created twice the jobs at half the price as the Democrats’ bill. Our budget alternative curbed spending, created jobs by cutting taxes, and controlled the debt. And we’ve proposed legislation to help Americans’ rebuild their nest eggs and college savings for their children.

Unfortunately, the Democrats in control of Congress have chosen a go-it-alone approach. It’s time for the President and the Democratic leadership in Congress to reverse course and embrace this opportunity for real bipartisan action to help put more Americans back to work.”

Let’s take these one at a time.

Republicans have “taken every opportunity to reach out” to the president? Actually, that’s backwards. Obama has engaged GOP lawmakers, and they’ve rejected everything he’s proposed. That’s fine — it’s what the minority party is expected to do — but let’s not pretend otherwise.

The Republicans’ stimulus bill would have “created twice the jobs at half the price as the Democrats’ bill”? That talking point has been around for a while, but it’s wildly wrong. In fact, it’s not even close to reality.

GOP lawmakers unveiled a credible “budget alternative”? Actually, their alternative “budget” was a fiasco for the party, and on a substantive level, was completely insane. It was so crazy, about a fifth of Boehner’s own Republican caucus voted against it.

Maybe Boehner would have been better off not releasing a statement this morning?