COLORADO SPRINGS, Co. – Mitt Romney renewed attacks on President Obama’s stimulus plan during a campaign event at a metal company that received $2.3 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in November 2010.
“This president came into office and said, “OK, we’re going to get this economy going by borrowing 787 billion dollars in stimulus,” said Romney, speaking to more than a thousand people crammed onto the floor of Springs Fabrication, a metal plant. As first reported by the Colorado Springs Gazette, Spring Fabrication received more than $2 million from the stimulus plan for its work on a project to “upgrade the plumbing of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.”
“That stimulus he had, it did not do the job. I mean, I understand Tom said he was working on a project that got some stimulus money,” said Romney, speaking about Tom Neppl, the CEO of Springs Fabrication.
“I asked well were you able to hire more people because of that, he said no. Didn’t add any more people, just more money into the system, but no more people hired,” said Romney. “That stimulus did not create private sector jobs like it should have, like it could have, it instead protected government jobs.”
In a statement by Neppl provided by the Romney campaign to ABC News, the CEO said that the manufacturer “is not a stimulus success story.”
“I did not support the stimulus, I did not seek out stimulus funds, and the stimulus did not create or save a single job here,” said Neppl. “One of our best customers placed an order as they have in the past, for a government project like those we have done in the past.”
Romney also criticized Obama for the nation’s unemployment rate, saying the president should not be “celebrating” an 8.3 percent unemployment rate.
“And he said if we borrowed that money he would hold unemployment below 8 percent. It has not been below 8 percent since. And he’s celebrating that its at 8.3, said Romney. “Well that’s still above the emergency line of 8 percent, and by the way, he doesn’t get credit for things getting better.”
“I’m delighted things are getting better, I think they are, but the people who deserve the credit for things getting better are people like Tom who built a place like this and employed people in this great state.”