On Thursday, President Obama traveled to Holland, Mich., to celebrate the groundbreaking for a plant that will produce batteries for electric cars. The plant is a product of stimulus funds.
But by his words at the factory, it appears that one of Obama’s goals may have been to take shots at Republican Rep. Pete Hoekstra, whose district includes the new plant. Hoekstra is running for governor.
“There are some folks who want to go back, who think we should return to the policies that helped to lead to this recession,” the president said. “Some made the political calculation that it’s better to obstruct than lend a hand. They said no to the tax cuts, they said no to small business loans, they said no to clean energy projects. It doesn’t stop them from coming to ribbon cuttings — but that’s OK. ”
“I believe every message the president gives is very scripted,” Hoekstra said in an interview with The Daily Caller. “They planned it, debated it, thought about it and put it in.”
Critics questioned why Hoekstra was in attendance, given the fact that he voted against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that is funding the plant. But Hoekstra told TheDC his decision to attend the event was not a political ploy.
“The truth is it wasn’t even his [Obama’s] event. It wasn’t the president’s groundbreaking …” continued Hoekstra. “He honored the invite; I honored the invite, and I guess that’s the ‘thank you’ you get … The truth is if I hadn’t gone, they still would have taken a shot at me. The president lost today. I’m bigger than that.”
“Governor Granholm believes President Obama was right that Republicans are taking credit for something they didn’t support,” the governor’s office told TheDC in a statement. “Republicans who opposed the Recovery Act – and therefore opposed the means to support companies like Compact Power that will create jobs and build the next generation of batteries in Michigan – are trying to take credit for something they did not support. And this is happening all over the country.”
Ed. note: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported that Jennifer Granholm was running for reelection as Michigan governor.