Republican presidential contenders have crisscrossed the nation bashing President Obama’s economic stimulus plans as a colossal waste of taxpayer money. But with an awkward frequency, these same candidates are campaigning at businesses that benefited from the president’s landmark stimulus package.
With the cameras rolling, the Republicans celebrate the hard work of local entrepreneurs in places like Pella, Iowa, and Milford, N.H., while later condemning the federal resources that helped those entrepreneurs navigate the economic downturn.
The campaign-trail rhetoric has intensified as Obama travels the country to call for a new package of spending and tax cuts to revitalize the nation’s stalled economy.
“He came into office and said, ‘Oh I know how to create jobs; I’ll spend billions and billions, trillions of dollars,’” former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney recently told cheering supporters at the Derryfield Country Club, referring to Obama. “I don’t happen to think Barack Obama’s a bad guy. I just don’t think he’s got a clue.”
But Romney himself made at least two campaign appearances this summer with stimulus beneficiaries. There are a half dozen such examples involving several candidates, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, among them.