UPDATE: ABC News pays out the rope:
In a statement by Neppl provided by the Romney campaign to ABC News, the CEO said that the manufacturer “is not a stimulus success story.”
“I did not support the stimulus, I did not seek out stimulus funds, and the stimulus did not create or save a single job here,” said Neppl. “One of our best customers placed an order as they have in the past, for a government project like those we have done in the past.” [Pols emphasis]
CNN reports from Colorado Springs today:
Hailing a metal engineering plant that received $2.3 million in stimulus funds as a small business success story, on Saturday Mitt Romney told an audience at the plant the federal recovery program “did not do the job.”
Romney said the millions in federal funds granted to Springs Fabrication in Colorado Springs had not created any new jobs at the plant.
“That stimulus he had, it did not do the job,” Romney said of the plant’s owner, Tom Neppl. “I mean, I understand Tom said he was working on a project that got some stimulus money. I asked, well were you able to hire more people because of that? He said no. Didn’t add any more people, just more money into the system. But no more people hired.”
…Romney credited the fact that 160 people worked for the company to “the ingenuity of Tom,” the owner, and said the stimulus protected government jobs but did not create private sector jobs “like it should have.”
Well, what the hell did you expect Mitt Romney to say, folks? After it was reported that the business Romney chose as his backdrop to disparage President Barack Obama on the economy–located in beet-red but as it turns out highly government subsidized Colorado Springs–received millions of dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the very same “stimulus” Romney attacks at every opportunity, he was really only left with two choices:
1. Pray the snowstorm became severe enough to close Colorado Springs Airport, or
2. Find a way to pull off this speech without thanking Barack Obama.
Mother Nature didn’t cooperate sufficiently to close the airport, so what we got are these throwaway lines from Romney, citing absolutely no evidence, that the $2.3 million Springs Fabrication received “didn’t do the job.” A $2.3 million contract, evidently, isn’t enough for Springs Fabrication to create any jobs! Heck, maybe $2.3 million didn’t even preserve any jobs, but unfortunately Gov. Romney never got into that kind of detail in his brief speech.
This is as utterly preposterous as it sounds, of course. The only thing we can say about such mind-blowing hubris is that in El Paso County, Colorado, where the #1, #2, and #3 (and #7!) employers meet payroll with federal taxpayer dollars every two weeks…the fact is, this is a kind of hypocrisy so deeply embedded there that they don’t even notice it anymore.
And in that respect, it might actually be a good place for Romney to give speeches.
Provided nobody outside El Paso County ever sees them.