Mass. Pols Speak Up For Obama’s Visit

Published March 8, 2011

With President Obama Hub-bound today to talk education at TechBoston Academy, the thriving Dorchester pilot school, current and former Massachusetts politicians have taken the opportunity to speak their minds.

Here’s a brief roundup:

Sen. Scott Brown penned a letter to the president in today’s Globe, outlining what he called America’s “three great challenges: jobs, debt, and a deficit of trust.”

Massachusetts’ junior senator urged “pro-growth policies:”

Creating jobs, growing our economy, and cutting wasteful spending are too important to let partisan politics get in the way. There is a D next to your name and an R next to mine. And while we don’t always agree, I hope we can work together to support pro-growth policies that will put people back to work and make the hard choices necessary to lead our country toward a fiscally responsible path….

— Another Republican, former Gov. Mitt Romney, penned a more pugnacious op-ed in today’s Herald:

Instead of unemployment coupled with inflation, we have a toxic blend of unemployment, debt, home foreclosures, and bankruptcies. Their sum total is what we can call the Obama Misery Index. It is at a record high; indeed, it makes even the malaise of the Carter years look like a boom.

Romney stressed his private sector experience and alluded to a presidential challenge: “What the occupant of the Oval Office needs to do, and do now, is focus on getting Americans back to work.”

(The Globe’s Glen Johnson reminded us today that Brown and Romney share some media advisers.)

— But Democrats haven’t been all silent. This morning, Reps. Mike Capuano and Jim McGovern and former Rep. Joe Kennedy II stood outside the East Boston home of an elderly couple who are likely to see their fuel assistance cut, following Obama’s proposal to slash home heat aid (LIHEAP) in half as a way to control spending.

WBUR’s Steve Brown reports that McGovern took a friendly swipe at the president:

It’s cold here. And when it comes to the LIHEAP program, I want the president to be a little bit more Chicago and a little less Hawaii. This is about doing what’s right.

Brown also called low-income heating assistance a worthy program in his letter.