Analysis: Barrow changes message

Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012 7:41 AM
Last updated 6:56 PM
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 When U.S. Rep. John Barrow’s staff updated his campaign website bio earlier this year, there were lots of additions and subtractions.

One subtraction has raised eyebrows, especially in Republican circles.

Barrow, an Augusta Democrat, is seeking re-election in the recently reshaped 12th Congressional District, which now tilts toward the GOP. Republicans are doing their best to link him to Democratic President Barack Obama.

The congressman has sought to distance himself from Obama and has cast some conspicuous votes against the president’s agenda. But he’s also campaigned with Obama’s endorsement and once told voters he was working “hand in hand” with him.

And, as recently as February, the accomplishments listed on the website included the following:

“Standing with President Obama to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which has already brought over $200 million in funding for roads, hospitals, schools, transportation, and housing to communities in the 12th district.”

The item, a reference to what’s more commonly known as the economic stimulus bill, is denounced by Republicans as a wasteful boondoggle.

But Barrow spokesman Richard Carbo disputes that view.

Despite their grousing about what they called excessive federal spending, Georgia Republican officials relied on the stimulus package to pay the state’s bills, Carbo said.

He cited news accounts that described how stimulus funds bailed out state health care and education programs.

Carbo also noted that other reports rebutted at least some of the claims about waste in the $787 billion stimulus package.

So why was the language on the website that touted the stimulus bill dropped from his list of legislative feats?

“The stimulus just wasn’t a high priority issue for this election cycle,” he said. “We have other matters we would like to talk about.”

Among them, he said, are recent non-partisan compilations showing Barrow has one of the House’s most independent voting records. Another, he added, indicates that, a little more often than not, Barrow votes with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

He said Republicans are using the deletion of the reference to the stimulus as a ploy to divert attention away from Medicare policies backed by Barrow’s GOP Nov. 6 foe, state Rep. Lee Anderson.

The Grovetown lawmaker has supported a controversial proposed overhaul of Medicare advocated by Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan.

He cited analyses that conclude Ryan’s plan would cut benefits.

Not surprisingly, Andrea Bozek, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, views the matter differently.

Barrow, Bozek suggested, is the one trying to deflect attention from an important issue.

“Unfortunately,” she said, “Georgia families can’t push the delete button to wipe out all the damage the Barrow/Obama agenda has done to the economy.”

To be continued.

Until Nov. 6.

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TParty 09/13/12 - 08:15 am
Well, when congressman have

Well, when congressman have lost their jobs for not being "conservative enough" by the voters because they said things like "I don't have to hate the President to disagree with him", then Barrow doesn't stand a chance.

Freeatlast 09/13/12 - 08:49 am
A Mitt Romney presidency

A Mitt Romney presidency would be George Bush on steroids: jobs shipped overseas, tax breaks for billionaires and tax increase on the middle class, and an end to Medicare as we know it. President Obama's vision for moving our country forward couldn't be any more different from Mitt Romney's. Democrats are working to lift people up, put them to work, and rebuild the middle class. Republicans are working to tear people down, to stifle jobs bill in Congress, and rig the system even more for corporations and the super rich. Republicans working to repeal President Obama's healthcare law and defund Planned Parenthood, which provides vital health services to millions of women - mostly poor women - across the country. Democrats are working to become leaders in a clean energy revolution and good stewards of our environment.

fishman960 09/13/12 - 09:15 am

You know what they say about opinions.
Actions are what really matter.
Obama's actions over the last 4 years have shown me what he is about.
My opinion is that Obama supporters are delusional and are not looking at the real world.

LoDu4 09/13/12 - 01:13 pm
To Freeatlast

The UNITED States of America can NOT withstand another 4 years of an Obama administration. 6 trillion dollars in debt and the future of our ability to fund defense should, for ALL, trump the "defunding of planned parenthood" argument. Todays republican agenda is not so different from the democrat's agenda, only the approach is different. This is why many of the 1970's democrats are raising their voices and will vote republican for this election.
Dem- "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day" Rep- "teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime" (chinese proverb - origin unknown)
Dem- "I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today" (Popeye cartoon quote) Rep - "Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you, you have to win it." Ralph Waldo Emerson
Dems - "I am my sisters keeper"- Sister Simone Campbell - DNC
(0.k. well not really. I'll give the govt tax money and let them decide which of my sisters they want to help after they pay themselves exorbitant salaries for the handling of these funds)
Rep - I AM my sisters keeper. I would like to pay less to the govt for entitlement programs so that I may actually help those in need in my community.

Show me the Gangs
Show me the Gangs 09/13/12 - 01:21 pm
The Republican Party don't

The Republican Party don't seem to care that one in four American Children live in poverty. They're too busy lecturing us about the budget deficit they created while defending huge tax giveaways to big corporations, oil companies and the rich. Democrats have always been the party that fights for the middle class , and now is no different. Keep up the good works Congressman Barrow. Now is not the time to elect a Republican for the 12th district, the people want to clean out House controlled Tea Party Republicans in Congress so we can move forward.

whoareyoupeople 09/13/12 - 02:18 pm
Do the right thing

I will give Republicans one thing, Obama has not done everything right. But, he has not done everything wrong. Where was your outrage during the previous administration’s turn to run up the deficit? The debt ceiling has been raised 74 times since 1962. GW raised it 7 times, and left office with the U.S. on the brink of financial disaster and conflict all over the world. Where were your voices back then? I am so sick and tired of this partisanship, that right now, if Ross Perot were running for office (as eccentric as he is), I would vote for him! He could care less what either party thought of him – there is a job to do!

constituent 09/13/12 - 05:07 pm
American people do not need

American people do not need this kind of racism,sexism, and bigotry from the Republican Party. Let President Obama know we got his back. Voters you need to make sure you show up at the polls all across the state and make sure this kind of Tea Party Republican in Congress now, goes away forever.

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