In Philly, RNC Chair Slams Obama Over Stimulus Loan

Keegan Gibson
Politics PA

Republicans continued their push to define Barack Obama as the “Outsourcer-in-Chief” today. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus took the train to Philly to blast the President for stimulus loan guarantees that ended up benefiting foreign companies.

“We’re here today to hold President Obama accountable for promising jobs to Pennsylvanians, and then sending stimulus money and taxpayer dollars overseas.”

“He’s committed the ultimate sin,” Priebus charged. “They took taxpayer dollars to build their electric sports cars overseas.”

He was referring to a $500 million loan guarantee to Fisker Automotive (though only about $200 million ever went out the door). Lumping the loan in with the Solyndra debacle, Priebus alleged that Obama was rewarding donors affiliated with the company, which currently manufactures only in Finland.

Asked about fact-checking organizations such as the Washington Post and that have challenged the GOP’s claim that the loans were akin to cronyism, Priebus said the real problem was the President’s underlying philosophy — increasing spending during a recession.

Senate hopeful Tom Smith echoed Priebus’s remarks.

“Maybe President Obama and Senator Casey figured that since the private sector is ‘doing fine,’” Smith said, “that those tax dollars would be better spent in Finland. Sadly, it’s not an isolated incident.”

As did Delaware gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial candidates Jeff Cragg and Shar Valenzuela, respectively. He and she both share a background in business.

A number of Republican candidates attended, including congressional hopefuls John Featherman (PA-1) and Roberts Mansfield (PA-2), as well as Mike Tomlinson, Dave Kralle and Al Tautenberger.

Two blocks away and fifteen minutes later, PA Democrats held a brief press event with Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams. The frequent Obama surrogate defended the stimulus and said that the Fisker loan grew out of a Bush-era program.

“People don’t want just the red hot noise of people arguing and shouting. They want real solutions,” Williams said. “And it appears as though, again, Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee just wants to be the party of no. Just want to keep saying what this President hasn’t done without really offering any solutions.”

The visit follows a tour by Priebus’s counterpart, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, through PA this week. She spoke in Philadelphia as well as Allentown, and attended a fundraiser for congressional challenger Kathy Boockvar of Bucks County.