WashPost Fact Check: Obama Bridge Claim 'Symbolism Run Amok'

Monday, 26 Sep 2011 11:51 AM

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President Barack Obama’s claim that Republicans are standing in the way of rebuilding the Brent Spence Bridge that spans the Ohio River between Kentucky and Ohio is “symbolism run amok,” The Washington Post concluded in a fact check. Obama made the claim in a Sept. 22 speech in Cincinnati.
 
“There’s no reason for Republicans in Congress to stand in the way of more construction projects. There’s no reason to stand in the way of more jobs. Mr. Boehner, Mr. McConnell, help us rebuild this bridge. Help us rebuild America. Help us put construction workers back to work. Pass this bill,” Obama said in the speech referring to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

However, the Post noted that there is a long history of bipartisan support to fix the bridge including a 2009 study announced by Rep. Geoff Davis, R-Ky., and the then-Rep. Steve Driehaus, D-Ohio.

“This is symbolism run amok,” the Post concluded. “The president certainly could have used the bridge to highlight the infrastructure crisis facing the United States. But he went a bridge too far by repeatedly suggesting that his jobs bill would immediately bring construction crews to this particular project — and that Republican lawmakers who long have pleaded for federal help on the bridge are now callously thwarting its repair.”

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