DEMS GO ON OFFENSIVE AGAINST BOEHNER…. Over the weekend, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) told Fox News that the stimulus package hasn’t delivered for his state. “In Ohio, the infrastructure dollars that were sent there months ago, there hasn’t been a contract let, to my knowledge,” he said, as part of his criticism of the recovery efforts.
The comments became problematic when they were easily proven false — dozens of infrastructure projects have been launched through the stimulus, at a cost of nearly $84 million. Complicating matters, Boehner doesn’t think infrastructure dollars can help the economy in Ohio anyway, though he’s had some trouble sticking to his talking points.
Dems are going on the offensive. The DNC unveiled this video this morning, going after Boehner for being confused about the economy in his own state. What’s more, Vice President Biden will be Cincinnati tomorrow to talk up the stimulus effort — in an area right next door to Boehner’s district. Biden will appear at an event that will be held at a factory that had been shut down, but is now operating with recovery funds.*
Sam Stein noted the larger political dynamic: “What’s noteworthy here is … the willingness, indeed eagerness, on the part of the DNC to engage Boehner in a debate over the stimulus. If there is a particular vulnerability for the White House, it is the scope of president’s stimulus spending. And among the places where the recovery package’s shortcomings are most obvious, Boehner’s home state of Ohio is one of them…. But, at least at this juncture, it seems clear Democrats feel comfortable defending the White House record when it comes to its job creations policies, in part because it’s easy to localize the importance of the stimulus.”
And this isn’t limited to Boehner and/or Ohio. Ben Smith added this morning that the DNC is launching additional ads against Republicans who opposed the stimulus, accusing them of “attacking job creation in their backyard.”
Congressional Republicans are anxious to use the stimulus as a cudgel against Dems. The majority party isn’t about to cede the point.
*edited for clarity