Well this is astonishing, though I’m not sure whether for its honesty or it chutzpah.
President Obama today said he is in fact visting the Brent-Spence Bridge, which connects Cincinnati to Covington, Kentucky., to put the screws on House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Here’s what he said a little while ago while standing on the Ohio side of the bridge in Cincinatti.
Part of the reason I came here is because Mr. Boehner and Mr. McConnell, those are the two most powerful Republicans in government. They can either kill this jobs bill or they can help pass this jobs bills.
And I know these men care about their states. They care about businesses. They care about workers here. I can’t — I can’t imagine that the speaker wants to represent a state where nearly one in four bridges are classified as “substandard.” One in four.
I know that when Senator McConnell visited the closed bridge in Kentucky, he said that “roads and bridges are not partisan in Washington.” That’s great. I know that Paul Ryan, the Republican in charge of the budget process, recently said that you can’t deny that “infrastructure does create jobs.” That’s what he said.
Well, if that’s the case, there’s no reason for Republicans in Congress to stand in the way of more construction projects. There’s no reason to stand in the way of more jobs.
Mr. Boehner, Mr. McConnell, help us rebuild this bridge.
I can’t remember a president making a supposedly non-political, taxpayer-funded trip to the home state or district of a Member of Congress in order to try to bully them.
The bridge, as I reported last week, has nothing to do with the American Jobs Act, which Obama is supposedly going there to promote. The bridge doesn’t need repairs and is going to be replaced, but not for a few years.
So this has everything to do with politics and with trying to attack Boehner and McConnell.
Obama knows you don’t build support and consensus behind a bill by bullying the people you’re trying to work with. Today’s appearance by Obama adds to the evidence that the American Jobs Act – which includes tax increases Obama knows Republicans will never accept – is a political land mine Obama hopes Republicans will step on by rejecting its provisions.
Then, he will blame the GOP for not helping him fix the economy.