The wrong complaint from the wrong guy

THE WRONG COMPLAINT FROM THE WRONG GUY…. On yesterday’s “Meet the Press,” David Gregory asked House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) about Republicans complaining about the Obama administration’s budget plan, without having anything constructive to offer. Cantor replied:

“David, David, the Republicans will have a plan. We had a stimulus plan. You know, part of the problem with being in the minority is, David, that sometimes your colleagues in the press don’t want to cover the ideas that the minority has. We had a plan on the stimulus. It was, it was tailored to small business tax relief. It was focused on what a stimulus plan should be, which is the preservation, protection and creation of jobs.”

The obvious flaw in this is the notion that Republicans had a credible alternative when it came to economic stimulus. Cantor & Co. offered up trillions of dollars in new tax cuts, which does not a recovery plan make.

But just as importantly, it’s more than a little ridiculous to hear Cantor complaining that news outlets blew off Republicans during the stimulus debate. It’s hard to imagine even Cantor believes this.

Indeed, there’s some quantified data for Cantor to consider. In the days leading up to the House vote on the recovery package, the five major cable news networks — CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Fox Business and CNBC — hosted more Republican lawmakers to discuss the plan than Democrats by a 2 to 1 ratio. In the days leading up to the Senate vote, Republicans were favored by nearly as lopsided a margin.

What’s more, Media Matters reviewed the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news programs from January 25 through February 15 and found that those arguing that the recovery plan should be bigger — in other words, those who were right — were largely ignored. Those who talked about a smaller package, with less spending, and more tax cuts — all the while complaining bitterly about pork — were given an inordinate amount of airtime.

And now Cantor wants to whine about Republicans not getting enough coverage during the stimulus debate? Please.