More Republican Governors Opposed Obama Stimulus Than Favored It; Many Were Quiet

Reports of widespread Republican governor support for the stimulus plan were overblown.

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Following up on an earlier post about whether GOP governors are lining up with Obama on the stimulus package, I've done some poking around the Internet and as best as I can tell, Republican chief executives are pretty split on the new law, with a plurality criticizing it and a lot of others keeping their powder dry on the issue. 

Nine GOP governors appear to have been openly critical of the stimulus law. As I wrote the other day, South Carolina's Mark Sanford, Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, Mississippi's Haley Barbour, and Alaska's Sarah Palin have all criticized the package. Other GOP guvs critical of the bill include Idaho's Butch Otter, who said that were he still in Congress he would likely have voted against it; Minnesota's Tim Pawlenty, who has, one blog noted, "been consistently critical" of the legislation; Rhode Island's Don Carcieri, who wrote a letter criticizing the initial, House-passed version of the bill; Alabama's Bob Riley; and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Seven Republican chief executives seem to have kept their mouths shut on the merits of the bill: Arizona's Jan Brewer, Georgia's Sonny Perdue, Indiana's Mitch Daniels, Nebraska's Dave Heineman, Idaho's John Hoeven, South Dakota's Mike Rounds, and Utah's Jon Huntsman Jr.

And six Republican governors have had nice things to say about the bill, including the four that the New York Times identified—Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, Charlie Crist of Florida, Jodi Rell of Connecticut, and Jim Douglas of Vermont; Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle favored the bill, according to her chief of staff; and Jim Gibbons of Nevada, a spokesman told NRO.

So—again—reports of Republican governors lining up in large numbers in favor of the bill are overblown. It is true that a larger proportion of GOP governors support the stimulus plan (6 of 22) than Republican senators (3 of 41) or House members (0 of 178).

And of course just because these governors didn't think the bill should pass, it doesn't mean that they are now going to turn down the money heading toward their states—some may, but watch the sizable number that hold their noses and take the cash.

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