GOP uses Thanksgiving message to carve up Obama, Dems
The Thanksgiving message on Indiana Congressman Mike Pence’s website speaks of “a time … to come together with family and friends” and of the need to “remember those less fortunate” when “many families are hurting.” But a second Thanksgiving message which Pence delivered in video form on behalf of the GOP took a very different tone.
“We have much to be thankful for,” Pence began. But his holiday sentiments quickly turned into an attack on President Obama’s recent announcement of a “jobs summit,” to be held in December to address the problem that “the economic growth we’ve seen has not yet led to the job growth that we desperately need.”
In his own Thanksgiving address, Obama acknowledged that “too many are wondering if the dream of a middle class life – that American Dream – is slipping away.” He insisted that his policies so far “have helped break the back of the recession” but added that “no matter what the economists say, for families and communities across the country, this recession will not end until we completely turn that tide.”
Pence, however, attempted to depict last winter’s stimulus bill — which was aimed at promoting economic growth in general — as a failed jobs creation effort. “President Obama told the American people that his last $787 billion jobs bill, the so-called ‘stimulus package,’ would ensure that unemployment would not go above eight percent,” Pence stated, “but unemployment is now at a heartbreaking 10.2 percent.”
“In the city and on the farm,” continued Pence, “as millions of Americans struggle to balance their checkbooks in this holiday season, they watch in astonishment as Washington spends billions of dollars it doesn’t have. And what is the White House’s answer to our struggles? Another meeting next week. A jobs summit.”
Pence went on to claim that “the Obama administration and the Democratic majority in Congress have taken our economy from bad to worse with their failed economic agenda and big government plans. And if all this wasn’t enough, Democrats in Washington continue to push for government-run insurance.”
Pence concluded his message by calling for solving the problem of joblessness through tax cuts and “fiscal responsibility.”
As chairman of the House of Representatives Republican Conference, Pence has recently had the unenviable task of defending Republican alternatives to Demcoratic initiatives. A few weeks ago, for example, he was caught using questionable figures to claim that under the GOP’s version of a health care bill, “families will see their health care premiums reduced by up to 10 percent.”
A review of Pence’s figures at Politifact.com found that the Congressional Budget Office had concluded that under the GOP plan, employees of small businesses might see their premiums go down by 7 to 10 percent by 2016. However, the large business group — which represents 80% of the private insurance market — would only see 0 to 3 percent savings.
“The Indiana congressman cherry-picked the most favorable number to put the GOP plan in the best light,” Politifact concluded. “And so we rate Pence’s statement Half True.”
This video was posted at YouTube on November 24, 2009.