Tomorrow Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is scheduled to campaign in Hobbs, New Mexico, where he has said he will be ?describing a comprehensive energy plan.? The speech will be at Watson Truck & Supply, a trucking and oilfield services company in Hobbs that manufacturers drilling rig equipment, provides services for rigs, and hauls heavy equipment.
Interestingly, Watson Truck & Supply benefitted from $400,744 in stimulus funds, those from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act promoted by President Barack Obama that was signed into law in February 2009. As recovery.gov shows, the company was a stimulus vendor hired by the City of Hobbs. It used the funds for the ?purchase of building for transit center?:
This is of particular interest because both Romney and his vice presidential pick Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) have strongly criticized the president?s stimulus and its results. Romney has said the president’s energy “vision has failed,” and on the three-year anniversary of the stimulus he released a statement saying “the only thing President Obama’s stimulus has produced is a series of broken promises.”
And it?s not the first time that Romney and Ryan have campaigned with beneficiaries of the stimulus or shown hypocrisy towards it. In June, Romney fundraised at the home of a recipient of stimulus funds. He also bashed the stimulus at a small Ohio college that took $80,000 in stimulus money. And just last week, it was revealed that Ryan helped various constituent groups acquire stimulus funds for bus services, energy efficiency, and renewable energy projects while calling the package ?a wasteful spending spree.?
This campaign stop also runs counter to Romney?s consistent attacks on the Obama statement ?you didn?t build that.? Conservatives quickly pounced on the comment as belittling small business owners, whereas the full text of the president?s speech reveals that he was referring to the idea that government has helped successful individuals along the way. Benefits from the stimulus to Watson Truck & Supply is just one example of government support for small business owners.
Various studies have shown that the stimulus actually created millions of jobs and turned the economy around.
Jessica is the Manager of Research and Outreach for the Public Lands Project at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.