September 13th, 2010
10:43 PM ET

Political Theater: DNC vs. John Boehner

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

If you had any doubts about who would get the honor of being Republican Bad Boy for the Democrats this fall, set your mind at ease: Minority Leader John Boehner has the job.

President Obama is teeing off on him like a new Titleist. Dems on the Hill, fearful of the fall of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should the Republicans take a majority, are rallying around the attack flag. And the Democratic National Committee is launching a commercial this week that suggests he could be the bane of millions of jobless Americans.

Cue the music and the dramatic announcer. "Think republicans have no plan for the economy?” this commercial says, “It's not true. John Boehner opposes funding for government jobs; jobs for teachers, for cops, for firefighters. Boehner has a different plan; Tax cuts for businesses, those that shift jobs and profits overseas, saving multinational corporations ten billion. So to China and India and Mexico, Boehner has a message: You’re welcome.”

For many Democrats, this is enough red meat to make a gown for Lady Gaga. For many Republicans, it is another effort to push the spotlight away from the Democrats’ economic policies at a difficult time. So who is right?

Let’s start with a valid point for the DNC: Yes, Rep. Boehner did vote against a $26-billion dollar jobs bill in August. It passed anyway once the Dems got all their ducks in a row, and it helped cash-strapped states all over to pay the bills. The effect was that teachers, cops, and first responders were indeed kept on the job, who otherwise might have been sent packing.

But if it seems outlandish that any elected official would oppose paying for such services across the board, it is. Boehner said he fought the legislation because he felt Democrats were writing checks that taxpayers should not have to keep covering indefinitely. He said, “Everyone knows that state budgets have been hit hard and no one wants teachers or police officers to lose their jobs. But where do the bailouts end? Are we going to bail out states next year and the year after that too? At some point we’ve got to say ‘enough is enough.’”

What about this business of cutting taxes for great big companies that off-shore jobs? The bill in question raised taxes on businesses with international operations by a modest $10-billion over ten years. Boehner opposed that tax increase, but he did not champion a tax cut – as the Democrats claim – in this case.

Both sides, by the way, argued that their approach would save American jobs in the long run. And until the long run has happened, we can’t really say who was right.

So we threw all of that onto our sliding scale of truth, and after great consultation and consideration, we have a verdict. Democrats can still call John Boehner the Republican Bad Boy if they wish, but "It's a stretch" to believe all that they are claiming about him in this commercial.

Filed under: Democrats • Raw Politics • Republicans • Tom Foreman
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Anita Frauenshuh

    It seems to me that every time I watch CNN lately, all you do is blast the Democrats and
    Obama. We KNOW that when Clinton left office,
    there was a surplus in the Budget. When Bush
    left, We have NOT forgotten the mess he left this country in. Did you ever do a "fact check" on this, because those of us on Social Security still remember the facts!

    September 14, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  2. Anita Frauenshuh

    Why reward Companies for shipping jobs overseas? Why give large Companies extended "Bush" tax cuts? Someone needs to do a "Fact Check" on how many billions these Companies give to the Republican Party! Then we can really see why Boener and the Republicans support these issues!

    September 14, 2010 at 10:16 am |
  3. Nick

    Whoah! You call this "fact checking"? What is empirical about taking into account what Boehner claims himself? This Democratic ad is NOT a stretch in the least. What is misleading is this CNN Fact Check because it paints the picture as being ambiguous (How can we be sure Boehner isn't favoring big business over the little guy?), when that really isn't in question.

    More often than not these CNN Fact Checks muddy the waters and make it seem as if Republicans may not be that bad. I remember the one you did on Republicans claims of death panels a while back that left one with the ultimate impression that there might be some grains of truth in it, when in fact it was a total fabrication. Yeah, death panels exist, but they exist on the level of corporate entities (i.e. insurance companies) and not in the government.

    September 14, 2010 at 6:08 am |
  4. ola samuel

    anderson its a foolish ideal for america to allow any religious building on ground zero center and if they shuold it means osama binladen has achieve is relogious objective in turning the two twins towe to the mosque,ola

    September 14, 2010 at 2:52 am |
  5. john

    this arguement about why the richest 3% of americans need a tax cut is a crock. oh they'll invest the money and save jobs. really? they have been getting the tax break for years now and i suspect most of them are just keeping it. republicans are always trying to justify giving rich people a tax break but they leave out the 700 billion it will add to the debt they cry about every day. i mean, are the richest 3% losing their homes to foreclosure? are their cars being reposessed? is fueling their yachts getting expensive?

    September 14, 2010 at 1:49 am |
  6. J.V.Hodgson

    I am with William and Mary Lou its only a stretch if you play with words as Boehner does " I wasn't against it ( Police etc) just the " spending" OK tell me, how you are you not against it if you are against the " spending" unless you have magic/clever way to fund it elsewhere which he did not give!!
    On the tax issue you choose one piece of legislation when two are relevant.
    a) The 10bn of corporate taxes increase you mention, were a small price to pay thru b) below to ship jobs overseas, but not the
    b) $700bn over 10 years of tax relief to small business and People earning over 250K.
    So again you play with words that are too specific, in the context of the ad.
    Love to see some analaysis of the reality of say
    Sharon angle's social security claims, the multiple claims of Obama not being a christian,
    or even a muslim and not being born in the US
    On this latter two court cases have ruled
    On illegal immigration ? border security who has either
    a) Completed or extended the bush plans
    b) Sent more national guard troops to the border
    c) Increased returnees and reduced the numbers of incoming illegals
    McCain Arizona governor truth meters need checking out.

    September 14, 2010 at 1:30 am |
  7. WilliaM

    Calling it a stretch is a stretch. There was exponentialy more truct in that ad than any republican politial claims. I aggree with mary lou, why even feature that one to break down when you have piles of republican ad's that are pure spin.

    September 13, 2010 at 11:44 pm |
  8. Mary Lou

    With regard to the fact checking of the Democratic ad......why are you not checking and reporting the continual lies by the Republican party and Fox News since Prsident Obama took office? They lie about everything from his birth and background, death panels, raising taxes on the middle class......PLEASE report these false statements for what they are.....FOX News and The Tea Party say whatever they want and believe that if they repeat it long enough, it will become fact. The sad reality is that is has worked and no one is calling them out.....where is the ethical body for journalists and newscasts?

    September 13, 2010 at 11:13 pm |