McConnell on Obama’s Bridge Visit: Just “Political Theater”

Sen. Mitch McConnell seemed none too pleased that President Obama traveled to his back yard today, to speak just across the river from McConnell’s Kentucky near the dilapidated Brent Spence Bridge in Cincinnati.

Speaking back in Washington on the senate floor, McConnell blasted President Obama for using the bridge as a backdrop and “making a political point.”

“Don’t patronize us by implying if we pass the second stimulus that bridges will get fixed right away;” McConnell said in advance of President Obama’s speech today. “The purpose of this visit is perfectly clear. The president’s plan is to go out to this bridge and say if only lawmakers in Washington would pass his second stimulus bill right away, then bridges like this one would get fixed. And that the only thing standing in the way of repairing them is people like me.”

To counter, McConnell said that the people of Kentucky and Ohio have “heard this kind of thing before,” from the president.

“Don’t forget, the president made the same promises when he was selling his first stimulus, it’s the message he brought to Ohio repeatedly. Here’s what he said two years ago this week at a stop in warren, Ohio. ‘All across Ohio and all across the country, rebuilding our roads and our bridges, that’s what the recovery act has been all about.’ Now, the recovery act is the stimulus bill, the first one. Yet 2 1/2 years later what do we have to show for it?”

McConnell said that the administration has companies like the bankrupt solar panel maker Solyndra to show for the stimulus.

Read more about Solyndra.

“The president told Ohioans and Kentuckians the first stimulus would keep unemployment below 8% as well. Yet 2 1/2 years later, unemployment in both states is still above 9%. So we’ve heard these promises before. And I don’t think the president should expect anybody to fall for them again. I mean how many stimulus bills do we have to pass before these bridges get fixed? How many? How many Solyndras do we have to finance?”

McConnell sarcastically concluded suggesting that the president “think about ways to actually help the people of Kentucky and Ohio instead of how you can use their roads and bridges as a backdrop for making a political point.”