Both have complained much about the stimulus, one of the two of the signature legislation of the Obama administration, the healthcare law being the first. Both made national media appearance denouncing the legislation. Yet, both tapped into it yet have not been willing to admit it.
In the case of Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s choice for the second spot, facts are emerging that Ryan denied writing to the government requesting stimulus money while swearing against it.
Well, oops. Now he claims he made a mistake and did not realize he was asking for stimulus money when he made the requests.
Paul Ryan has repeatedly denied that he requested funds for Wisconsin businesses from Barack Obama's signature stimulus bill, despite documented evidence to the contrary. Yesterday he finally admitted he had—but said he hadn't realized he was doing it. Ryan's stimulating ways first came to light in a 2010 Wall Street Journal report. In an interview at the time, Ryan said he wouldn't vote against something "then write to the government to ask them to send us money."
"But the Boston Globe reported this week that Ryan did just that, sending at least four letters to the Department of Energy on behalf of two Wisconsin companies looking to develop "green jobs." Ryan again denied those reports yesterday, before finally backtracking with a statement saying the requests were "treated as constituent service requests," according to the New York Times. "This is why I didn't recall the letters earlier. But they should have been handled differently." Ryan still insists, however, that the stimulus didn't boost the economy."
The other surrogate, Bobby Jindal, made a reputation by swearing against the stimulus. He did so profusively on national television appearances including stridently denouncing it during his maiden voyage serving as the GOP spokesperson after President Obama’s stimulus speech.
Yet, stimulus did not stop the Governor Jindal from secretively doling out the same federal money while parading across the state handing out large sums in front of the cameras, yet, in back of giant checks. Instead of being upfront about the source of the money, he created appearances that he was responsible for the moolah.
Then, while the governor has been all over the tube recently claiming Obama is selling the farm with his spending, Jindal has never openly admitted that he actually failed to shun billions of dollars in stimulus funds to help balance his own budgets.
So, since the stimulus legislation is such an issue this campaign season, perhaps both should be asked whether they are willing to return the stimulus money they willingly or even mistakenly took for its constituents? Also, is either Ryan or Jindal willing to say that the stimulus money they did accept or help procure did not boost that part of the economy in which those stimulus funds carried their names or support, hidden or not?
As the campaign proceeds, I believe these stimulating questions for thought.
Democrats under shackles
Joe Biden, once again, has opened his mouth and has swallowed his big foot.
On Tuesday he told attendees at a Virginia campaign rally that the GOP would “put y’all back in chains”?
This was not in front of a predominately white audience but one that was full of African Americans.
Biden and the Obama administration have denied that the comment had racial overtones.
While it is difficult to determine with absolute certainty if Biden was deliberately creating imagery of slavery when he spoke, it surely is reasonable to raise the question that he did.
In my view, it is important for Democrats, the media and others who feel that a comment has gone over the line to stand up and admit it.
While race relations has surely improved over the past election campaigns, the last thing this nation or this election needs is any type of party-sanctioned “Willie Horton” in-reverse type of campaigning.
If the president and his supporters cry racism when republicans swirl around words such as the “food stamp” or “welfare” president when describing Obama, they cannot grant blankets of defenses when their own appear to engage in racially tinged political tactics of their own.
Gaffes or no gaffes, mistakes or oops, it is time for our candidates and politicians to be upfront, perhaps, for once.
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