If I were wearing a hat, I’d tip it to Don Irvine at Accuracy In Media for pointing me to this interesting development from ABC News. For weeks President Obama has claimed his "stimulus" plan allows manufacturers like Caterpillar to stop layoffs and immediately re-hire laid off workers. Obama even traveled to the company’s factory in Peoria, Ill. today to pitch his $1.1 trillion welfare-and-spending plan.
One problem for the White House, however. Cat CEO Jim Owens never said such a thing. While Owens supports the plan because it includes hundreds of billions of borrowed dollars for highway construction and more government buildings, he never claimed he could re-hire recently laid off workers, despite what Obama claimed. Owens even warned Cat will have to lay off even more workers to stay afloat, despite the incoming tidal wave of expensive deficit spending.
Jake Tapper reports:"Yesterday, Jim, the head of Caterpillar, said that if Congress passes our plan, this company will be able to rehire some of the folks who were just laid off," Obama said today in Peoria.
But when asked today if the stimulus could do that, Owens said, "I think, realistically, no. The honest reality is we’re probably going to have more layoffs before we start hiring again."…
…Owens also cautioned that even if a stimulus is passed within the next month, the effects will not be immediate and are more likely to impact construction activity at the end of 2009 or spring 2010.
So the question would be: will President Obama get a pass on this one?
UPDATE: Just saw Today touch this issue in passing, saying that "After the President left, Owens hedged a bit," which is a truly wonderful way to get around the fact that he apparently never made the statement in the first place....