Over the weekend, in his weekly address, President Obama stresses the importance of infrastructure investments. Republicans disagree, although one notable GOP figure seems to think Obama’s on to something.
“For months, I’ve been calling on Congress to take half the money we’re no longer spending on war and use it to do some nation-building here at home,” Obama said. “There’s work to be done building roads and bridges and wireless networks. And there are hundreds of thousands of construction workers ready to do it.”
And while Republicans generally oppose this kind of talk – the notion of creating jobs through public investments simply does not compute in the 21st century – two days after the president’s comments, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) took an identical line.
Now, Christie’s call for Obama and Congress to invest in infrastructure is almost certainly unrelated to the president’s weekly address, but the coincidence is nevertheless striking. Here we have a high-profile Republican governor, and leading surrogate for the Republican presidential candidate, endorsing the Democratic line on spending money and creating jobs.
I guess the question for Mitt Romney and congressional Republicans is, do you agree with Chris Christie about creating jobs through spending public funds?
Of course, there’s a related problem: Christie has argued the opposite during his term in office.
You’ll recall, for example, that in 2010 he inexplicably rejected federal funds for anew train tunnel planned to relieve congested routes across the Hudson River, widely seen as one of the nation’s most important infrastructure projects. Less than a year later, the New Jersey Republican complained about Obama’s emphasis on – you guessed it – infrastructure investments.
Still, I’m glad to see Christie come around to Obama’s position. Whether the GOP will demand penance for his heresy remains to be seen.