Mitt Romney’s erstwhile lecture tour of Doomed America — last seen some months back when he gave us a guided car trip past the dilapidated homes of Detroit poors followed by a quick scold for Lazy America outside a shuttered factory in Pennsylvania — is now back with a third stop where he has ridiculed restoration efforts to a New Hampshire “bridge to nowhere.” Mocking struggling local communities may be a bit of an unorthodox way to campaign for the presidency, but by gum if Mitt Romney isn’t at least consistent about it.
From the Associated Press:
From the parking lot of a Ford dealership, Romney pointed to the nearby stone bridge that straddles the Contoocook River and called it a boondoggle. The town of Hillsborough received $150,000 in federal stimulus money to repair the Sawyer Bridge as part of a new park project designed to put people to work installing new benches, lights and visitor parking.
Those additions have not happened.
“This is the absolute Bridge to Nowhere if there ever was one. That’s your stimulus dollars at work. A bridge that goes nowhere,” Romney said.
Indeed, the freshly repaired bridge with its new concrete surface and black iron pedestrian rails stops just as it reaches the other side. The road it once served has shifted a few hundred feet and a replacement bridge connects the two sides of the central New Hampshire town.
Good old Mitt Romney, rubbing it in. $150,000 dollars wasted to employ some local workers during a terrible recession? That’s the kind of money that could pay Mitt Romney’s earnings for three whole days! Tisk tisk!
Romney’s attack on the $288,000 bridge restoration will run into several immediate challenges: Funding for the project was overwhelmingly supported by state Republicans, including a significant number who have now endorsed Romney for president. The infrastructure project created much-needed jobs during tough economic times. And it left behind a public park enjoyed by Granite State residents who take great pride in their early-American and colonial history — and who will be casting critical, swing-state votes in November.