Republicans go after Murphy on stimulus

July 9, 2009

Republicans are taking advantage of Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Saratoga today to attack what they are calling Rep. Scott Murphy’s “spending spree.”

The National Republican Congressional Committee is out with a release this morning describing Biden’s visit to New York to tout the benefits of the economic stimulus package Congress passed earlier this year as part of a “desperation tour” that will take him to swing districts in Pennsylvania, Michigan and other states.

As criticism over the effectiveness of the stimulus bill mounts, Republicans recognize they have a political opportunity in lambasting some of its top supporters. Murphy qualifies; he made the stimulus package a signature issue of his campaign for the House.

Republican strategists also view Murphy’s House seat as one they could recapture next year, especially given the closeness of the special election between Murphy and Jim Tedisco.

NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain said the event today with Biden and Gov. David Paterson “is nothing more than a glorified PR campaign to cover up the fact that there are no jobs to show for it.”

The NRCC took a jab at Paterson too, noting that with his low approval numbers, his appearance is unlikely to give a jolt to Murphy.

“The image of Murphy with a failed governor and a vice president who helped lead the charge for this failed legislation is less than inspiring,” Spain said.

Democrats countered by pointing to spending from the stimulus package in New York and elsewhere.

During the event today, Murphy said the more than “$200 million of recovery funding that has come into the 20th District is injecting much-needed capital into our local economy while improving the quality of our health care, our schools and our aging infrastructure.

“By improving our roads, bridges and water infrastructure, we are not only creating jobs in the short term, but building a base upon which we can attract businesses to our area and foster long-term economic growth,” Murphy said.

Updated with reaction from Democrats and Murphy’s comments at today’s event. The full release is after the jump.

Here is the NRCC’s press release:
Scott Murphy’s Desperation Tour
Murphy Brings in Biden and Paterson to Try and Explain His Washington Spending Spree

Washington- Rep. Scott Murphy (D-NY) must be feeling the heat as public outrage grows over Democrat spending in Washington. Not only did Scott Murphy support the stimulus boondoggle that has people across upstate New York wondering what they got for their money, but Murphy also voted for a National Energy Tax that will cause electricity rates to skyrocket for anyone who turns on a light switch. Therefore, in an attempt to distract from his support for legislation that kills jobs and wastes billions in taxpayer money, Murphy is calling in the heavy hitters, including Vice President Joe Biden and New York Governor David Paterson:

“Biden will be joined by Gov. David Paterson and U.S. Rep. Scott Murphy, D-Glens Falls, whose recent campaign for the 20th Congressional District was largely built on his support for the federal stimulus act,” (“Biden to visit Shen Thursday,” Albany Times Union, July 8, 2009).

In an attempt to take the public eye off of all the negative attention that their spending spree has garnered, leading Democrats, including Biden, are appearing across the country:

“… As part of the tour, 10 Cabinet secretaries are being dispatched to nine states over the summer. Locations include several districts that Republicans are targeting in next year’s midterm elections… Appearing in swing districts gives political cover to Democratic members who may be worried that they risk a conservative voter backlash if they support Obama’s healthcare and global warming plans. The visits also could boost the reelection prospects of potentially vulnerable Democrats,” (Obama administration touring competitive rural districts,” Lost Angeles Times, July 2, 2009).

It is unclear how Murphy thinks bringing in a governor with record-low approval ratings and the Vice President, who admitted recently that he ‘misread’ the economy, will improve his economic credentials with the 20th District’s hard-working taxpayers.

“The centerpiece of Scott Murphy’s campaign was the trillion-dollar stimulus package, but today’s event is nothing more than a glorified PR campaign to cover-up the fact that there are no jobs to show for it,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain.  “As middle-class families in upstate New York continue to struggle, the image of Murphy with a failed governor and a Vice President who helped lead the charge for this failed legislation is less than inspiring.”
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