Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) not only voted against President Obama’s economic stimulus plan (the American Recovery Reinvestment Act), but he also rallied opposition to the bill within his caucus. As soon as the stimulus passed, Blunt went on a tour decrying the bill as an “absolute outrage.” Now as a candidate for the U.S. Senate, Blunt is trying to smear his opponent, Democrat Robin Carnahan, for supporting the stimulus. A campaign ad released yesterday by Blunt accuses Carnahan of being a “rubber stamp on Obama’s job-killing agenda.” As the narrator reads the script, the text “CARNAHAN SUPPORTS $814 BILLION FAILED STIMULUS” flashes on the screen.
But like nearly every other member of the Republican caucus, Blunt is trying to have it both ways. Despite Blunt’s assertion that the the stimulus is a complete failure, he has attended multiple groundbreaking ceremonies for stimulus-funded projects. Local Missouri papers have praised Blunt’s role in securing the projects, without noting his efforts to kill their funding. In other cases, he has sent out press releases claiming credit for stimulus-funded programs:
— In July 2009, Blunt attended a groundbreaking for the Neosho National Fish Hatchery in Neosho, Missouri. Earlier that year, the project gained two stimulus grants, one totaling $1.04 million and another for $100,000. Some local media outlets have reported the hypocrisy, while others have not.
— Blunt attended a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Ozone Disinfection System in the City of Springfield made possible by a $16 million combination low-interest loan and direct grant from the stimulus. As local blogger Jim Lee notes, Blunt’s ceremony unveiling the funding coincided with the one year anniversary of the stimulus. When approached about his opposition to the stimulus, Blunt simply smiled and said “no comment.”
— As FiredUpMissouri reported, Blunt’s office announced $942,000 for homeless assistance programs in Springfield and Joplin in February of 2010. The funds were provided through the stimulus, but Blunt made no mention of the funding source in his release.
As ThinkProgress has documented, Republican lawmakers and even GOP leadership have staked their political fortunes on lying to the public, claiming the stimulus failed to create jobs, while trying to take credit in their home districts for stimulus programs.