Republican Governors Support Obama

February 17, 2009 at 11:45 pm Leave a comment

While the contrarians in Congress voted against the bill, the GOP goverenor’s from coast to coast supported Obama. 

The National Governors Association sent a bipartisan letter to the Congressional leaders of both parties, signed by its two leaders, Democrat Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania, and Rebpublican Jim Douglas. “The combination of funds for Medicaid, education and other essential services is critical for governors as they work to manage the downturn in their states and improve government for the long term,” it said.

The governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, even campaigned last week with Mr. Obama in Florida for the recovery package. In 2008, Crist campaigned for Republican presidential nominee John McCain.  He is also considered a potential 2012 GOP White House candidate. 

“Whether it’s teachers or people on road crews helping our infrastructure, those in the health care arena as it might relate to Medicaid, all of these areas are important, all of them can produce jobs,” Mr. Crist said, adding, “Regardless of what your party is, Republican or Democrat, it really doesn’t matter. We have a duty and an obligation to the people who elected us, no matter what our position happens to be, to work together to get through this thing.”

Across the country, from California’s Arnold Schwarzenegger to Florida’s Charlie Crist and New England’s Jim Douglas in Vermont and  Jodi Rell in Connecticut, Republican governors showed in the stimulus debate that they could be allies with Mr. Obama even as Congressional Republicans spurned him.

Recently, Governors Schwarzenegger, Crist, Douglas and Rell joined 14 Democratic governors in signing a letter to Mr. Obama lauding his economic plan. Other Republicans would have signed on, said a person familiar with the letter’s drafting, but for party pressure in their states.

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