VA Gov. McDonnell: Brand New Face, Same Old Lies

January 27, 2010 8:23 pm ET

Newly inaugurated Governor Bob McDonnell was tapped by Republican Party leaders to deliver the official GOP response to President Obama's first State of the Union address.  While McDonnell's face may be fresh, his speech repeated a slew of the same old, worn out, debunked Republican talking points.

Wrong On Economic Recovery

Gov. Bob McDonnell:

Today, the federal government is simply trying to do too much.

Last year, we were told that massive new federal spending would create more jobs 'immediately' and hold unemployment below 8%.

In the past year, over three million Americans have lost their jobs, yet the Democratic Congress continues deficit spending, adding to the bureaucracy, and increasing the national debt on our children and grandchildren.  [McDonnell Prepared Remarks, 1/27/10]

CBO: The American Recovery And Reinvestment Act Has Created Up To 1.6 Million American Jobs. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, "CBO now estimates that in the third quarter of calendar year 2009, ARRA's policies raised real GDP by between 1.2 percent and 3.2 percent, lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points, and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise." [CBO, 11/30/09; emphasis added]

CBPP: Recovery Act Is Keeping 6 Million Americans Out Of Poverty. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, "Although meant chiefly to help the broad economy, the stimulus plan Congress enacted earlier this year (the American Recovery and Re-Investment Act of 2009, or ARRA) had the important secondary effect of significantly ameliorating the recession's impact on poverty. This analysis, which comes one day before the Census Bureau will release updated poverty figures (for 2008), examines seven of the recovery act's provisions - two improvements in unemployment insurance, three tax credits for working families, an increase in food stamps, and a one-time payment for retirees, veterans, and people with disabilities - and finds that they alone are preventing more than 6 million Americans from falling below the poverty line and are reducing the severity of poverty for 33 million more. Those 6 million people include more than 2 million children and over 500,000 seniors. This analysis includes state-specific estimates for California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois." [CBPP, 9/9/09]

Wrong On The Budget Deficit

Gov. Bob McDonnell:

In the past year, over three million Americans have lost their jobs, yet the Democratic Congress continues deficit spending, adding to the bureaucracy, and increasing the national debt on our children and grandchildren. 

The amount of this debt is on pace to double in five years, and triple in ten.  The federal debt is already over $100,000 per household. [McDonnell Prepared Remarks, 1/27/10]

Note: The FY 2009 deficit was $1.4 trillion.

Before Obama Took Office, The FY 2009 Deficit Was Projected At $1.2 Trillion. According to the Washington Times: "President-elect Barack Obama vowed Wednesday to tackle Social Security and Medicare spending as this year's deficit was projected to reach $1.2 trillion and with Congress preparing to run that figure even higher with its economic recovery package. [...] The Congressional Budget Office announced a projected fiscal 2009 deficit of $1.2 trillion even if Congress doesn't enact any new programs."  The paper added: "About the only person who was silent on the deficit projection was Mr. Bush, who took office facing a surplus but who saw spending balloon and the country notch the highest deficits on record." [Washington Times, 1/8/09; emphasis added]

National Debt Doubled Under Republican President Bush

  • 2001: The National Debt Was $5.7 Trillion When President Bush Assumed Office.  On January 19, 2001, the day before President Bush was sworn in as President, the national debt was $5,727,776,738,304.64. [U.S. Treasury Department, accessed 4/14/09]
  • 2009: The National Debt Was $10.6 Trillion When President Bush Left Office.  On January 20, 2009, the day before President Obama was sworn in as President, the national debt was $10,626,877,048,913.08. [U.S. Treasury Department, accessed 4/14/09]

Wrong On Republican "Cooperation"

Gov. Bob McDonnell:

We want results, not rhetoric. We want cooperation, not partisanship.

There is much common ground. [McDonnell Prepared Remarks, 1/27/10]

Republicans Have Shown Absolutely NO Interest In "Cooperation" Or "Results":

Michael Steele, 12/10/09: "The Democrats have accused us of trying to delay, stall, slow down, and stop this bill...They are right. We do want to delay, stall, slow down, and ultimately stop them from experimenting on our nation's health care."

Sen. Jim DeMint, 7/17/09: "If we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo, it will break him."

Sen. Chuck Grassley, 7/6/09: "'I take pride with being an obstructionist,' he said, if that means scuttling a public option that could lead to a single-payer system."

Sen. Chuck Grassley, 9/1/09: "The only way to get a bipartisan agreement is to defeat a Democratic proposal."

Rep. Steve King, 8/25/09: "I think it's time to really slow down or stop the negotiations with the Democrats."

Wrong About Americans' Views Toward Health Care

Gov. Bob McDonnell:

All Americans agree, we need a health care system that is affordable, accessible, and high quality. 

But most Americans do not want to turn over the best medical care system in the world to the federal government. [McDonnell Prepared Remarks, 1/27/10]

Poll: Americans Support Current Bill, Want It Strengthened. CBS News released a telling poll on January 11, 2010.  Regarding extending coverage to the uninsured, the poll showed that 57% of Americans support the current plan or want it stronger - only 32% believe it goes too far.  On controlling health care costs, 60% support the plan or want it to go even further - only 24% think it goes too far.  And concerning new regulations on health insurance companies, 61% support the plan or want it stronger - only 27% believe it goes too far.

Wrong On The Republican Health Care "Plan"

Gov. Bob McDonnell:

Republicans in Congress have offered legislation to reform healthcare, without shifting Medicaid costs to the states, without cutting Medicare, and without raising your taxes. [McDonnell Prepared Remarks, 1/27/10]

GOP Plan Costs $61 Billion And Leaves 52 Million Americans Uninsured.  The Los Angeles Times reported the CBO put the cost of the Republican bill at $61 billion over ten years, "[b]ut the CBO analysis also concluded that under the GOP plan, 52 million nonelderly Americans would have no insurance in 2019 -- even more than the 50 million in 2010." [Los Angeles Times, 11/5/09]

  • GOP Plan Only Offers Coverage To 3 Million More Americans Over Ten Years. According to the CBO: "By 2019, CBO and JCT estimate, the number of nonelderly people without health insurance would be reduced by about 3 million relative to current law, leaving about 52 million nonelderly residents uninsured." [, 11/4/09]
  • GOP Plan Keeps Number Of Uninsured At Same Rate As Current System. The CBO also noted: "The share of nonelderly resident with insurance coverage in 2019 would be about 83 percent, roughly in line with the current share. CBO and JCT estimate that enacting the amendment's insurance coverage provisions would increase deficits by $8 billion over the 2010-2019 period." [, 11/4/09]

GOP Bill Allows Insurance Companies To Deny Americans Coverage For Pre-Existing Conditions.  In his write up of the Republican bill's CBO score, Jonathan Cohn wrote, "under the Republican bills, the CBO notes, there will be enormous variation in rates between the sick and the healthy. Remember, unlike the Democrats, the Republicans--in their determination to avoid passing new regulations--wouldn't prohibit charging people more because they have pre-existing conditions or would otherwise represent greater-than-average health risks." [The New Republic, 11/5/09]

GOP Bill Increases Premiums For Sick Americans.  Jonathan Cohn of The New Republic wrote, "yes, the Republican health care bill will lower premiums overall. But many people in poor health will see their premiums go up. And many people will get lower premiums only because they're getting inferior coverage. Meanwhile, more than 50 million people will have no insurance whatsoever." [The New Republic, 11/5/09]

Wrong On Energy

Gov. Bob McDonnell:

But this Administration's policies are delaying offshore production, hindering nuclear energy expansion, and seeking to impose job-killing cap and trade energy taxes.

Now is the time to adopt innovative energy policies that create jobs and lower energy prices. [McDonnell Prepared Remarks, 1/27/10]

A Clean Energy Standard Would Save $95 Billion On Energy & Gas Bills.  According to the Center for American Progress: "A national renewable electricity standard, a key piece of the clean energy legislation currently before Congress, would save households and businesses in every state billions of dollars in electricity and natural gas bills... The numbers come from the Union of Concerned Scientists, who earlier this year analyzed a renewable electricity standard that would aim to have 25 percent of our electricity come from renewable sources by 2025. They found that this standard would save families and businesses $95 billion in electricity and natural gas bills through 2030 and spur new investments and hundreds of thousands of new clean-energy jobs." [Center for American Progress, 5/19/09]

Clean Energy Legislation Would Boost GDP By Up To $111 Billion.  According to the University of California-Berkeley: "Comprehensive clean energy and climate protection legislation, like the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) that was passed by the House of Representatives in June, would strengthen the U.S. economy by establishing pollution limits and incentives that together will drive large-scale investments in clean energy and energy efficiency...New analysis by the University of California shows conclusively that climate policy will strengthen the U.S. economy as a whole. Full adoption of the ACES package of pollution reduction and energy efficiency measures would ... boost GDP by $39 billion-$111 billion. These economic gains are over and above the growth the U.S. would see in the absence of such a bill." [UC Berkeley, accessed 1/22/10]

Investment In Clean Energy Technology Would Create Up To 1.9 Million American Jobs.  According to the University of California-Berkeley, "new analysis by the University of California shows conclusively that climate policy will strengthen the U.S. economy as a whole. Full adoption of the ACES package of pollution reduction and energy efficiency measures would create between 918,000 and 1.9 million new jobs." [UC Berkeley, accessed 1/22/10]

  • Investment In Clean Energy Technology Creates FOUR TIMES As Many Jobs As An Investment In Oil & Gas.  According to the Center for American Progress, "spending $1 million on energy efficiency and renewable energy produces a much larger expansion of employment than spending the same amount on fossil fuels or nuclear energy. Among fossil fuels, job creation in coal is about 32 percent greater than that for oil and natural gas. The employment creation for energy efficiency-retrofitting and mass transit-is 2.5 times to four times larger than that for oil and natural gas. With renewable energy, the job creation ranges between 2.5 times to three times more than that for oil and gas." [Center for American Progress, The Economic Benefits of Investing in Clean Energy, 6/17/09]

Wrong On Homeland Security

Gov. Bob McDonnell:

Americans were shocked on Christmas Day to learn of the attempted bombing of a flight to Detroit.  This foreign terror suspect was given the same legal rights as a U.S. citizen, and immediately stopped providing critical intelligence. [McDonnell Prepared Remarks, 1/27/10]

Once Apprehended, The U.S. "Gleaned Usable Action Intelligence" From Abdulmutallab. As reported by Reuters:

A Nigerian charged in the incident, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, spent months in Yemen and told investigators he had trained with al Qaeda militants who took refuge there to plot attacks against Americans.

The White House says he is already providing useful information. "Abdulmutallab spent a number of hours with FBI investigators in which we gleaned usable actionable intelligence," spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Tuesday.


That could be valuable in light of reports that Abdulmutallab, who attempted to blow up a transatlantic airliner as it approached Detroit, told investigators after he was captured that more attackers like him were on the way.

"We are continuing to look at ways that we can extract that information from him," Obama's top counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said on Sunday. "I think we have to assume that there are others out there." [Reuters, 1/6/10]