Democrats have targeted Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell in their effort to paint Republicans as hypocritical when it comes to stimulus money.
The Governor’s office confirmed Monday that Virginia will receive $24 million in federal funds over the next four years to use on health care information technology.
That money comes from funds made available to states by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
McDonnell has emerged as a rising star in the Republican party since his landslide election victory last November.
McDonnell’s office released a statement on Monday heaping praise on the funding, “I thank U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius for approving Virginia’s application for cooperative funding…”
However, during his campaign McDonnell said the stimulus bill would bring dangerous long term debt.
The DNC wasted no time in jumping on the issue.
“The spate of Republicans being exposed for seeking stimulus dollars under the radar, proves that either Republicans were just being sarcastic when they assailed the stimulus and they actually love the Recovery Act, or their objections are based on politics and not principle,” said Hari Sevugan, DNC spokeswoman.
McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin says of the DNC, “Apparently facts are no impediment to their daily work. The Governor [McDonnell] never opposed Virginia taking stimulus money.”
Martin maintains that McDonnell said all along that the stimulus money is coming from Virginia taxpayers and that Virginia ought to take as much as possible.
The DNC also points to Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican who is widely considered to be mounting a run at the GOP presidential nomination in 2012.
Democrats say Pawlenty is relying on federal money to shore up nearly one third of his state’s budget deficit, yet at the same time has been an outspoken critic of the federal stimulus package.
Pawlenty’s advisers say that he did oppose the stimulus, but now that it’s law wants to make sure Minnesotans get their fair share of the money.
Jake Gibson is a producer working at the Fox News Washington bureau who covers politics, law enforcement and intelligence issues.