House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) is "rooting against" economic recovery, the White House said Friday rebuking a recent op-ed by the Republican leader.
In a shot at the GOP leader in response to Boehner's op-ed in Friday's Washington Post, White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer said the GOP leader's attacks on the president were "odd" and indicative of a Republican Party uninterested in cooperation.
"The president has always said there is an open door for good ideas, and when Congressman Boehner and Republicans in Congress are interested in being a part of a conversation about how to move forward instead of rooting against the path to economic recovery — we look forward to having a productive conversation," Pfeiffer wrote on the White House blog.
Boehner's op-ed accused Obama of retreading old ideas on spending to create jobs, and said the GOP's alternatives would be more effective.
"When the president said this week that we need to 'spend our way out of this recession,' he made clear that he is not willing to admit the $787 billion 'stimulus' isn't working," Boehner said. "A bunker mentality won't put people back to work. Mr. President, it's not the GOP that's scaring people — it's your job-killing policies."
Pfeiffer responded that many Republican ideas, including tax breaks for small businesses, are part of the jobs package laid out by the president.
"This is odd given that the first of the three steps laid out by the president on Tuesday is explicitly lowering taxes on small businesses, with zero capital gains, extending expensing and bonus depreciation, and a tax credit to promote hiring — all proposals many Republican leaders have embraced in the past," he wrote.
Pfeiffer also said there was a "false choice" between job growth and deficit reduction, reasoning that job creation is vital to reducing the deficit.
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel responded Friday: "Taking political potshots does nothing to help the 10 percent of Americans who are now unemployed despite the White House’s promise that the trillion-dollar 'stimulus' would create jobs 'immediately.' There is a difference between campaigning and governing, and some in the Obama administration seem to have trouble grasping that. Why don’t we take a break from the partisan gunslinging and work together to help the American people?"
Update, 3:22 p.m.: DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse responded:
“Unfortunately for John Boehner and the GOP, but fortunately for the country, the facts don’t support Boehner's ridiculous claim in today’s Washington Post that the Recovery Act has failed. In fact, one year ago we were losing an average of 700,000 jobs per month and the economy was teetering on the brink of disaster. Thanks to bold action taken by President Obama and Democrats, the financial system is now stable, the economy is growing again, the flood of job losses has slowed almost to a halt and as many as 1.6 million jobs have been saved or created as a result of the Recovery Act - the same Recovery Act that Republicans claim has failed.
“The real failure of the past year is a Republican Party that has taken every opportunity to root not only against the Obama Administration, but their effort to speed our economic recovery. They’re actively fought against policies that nonpartisan analysts confirm are responsible for millions of American jobs and policies to help the small business that they once championed. While the President and the Democratic Party remain open to new ideas and solutions from across the aisle, the American people will not tolerate a return to the same failed policies of the past that nearly sparked an economic meltdown of unprecedented proportions as John Boehner proposes in today’s Post.”