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We’re not making up this Thanks Don Carcieri quote

August 29, 2012

One of our favorite ProJo reporters is Washington correspondent John Mulligan, who is covering the Republican National convention in Tampa and doing his usual fine job on the national political beat.

But I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry at Johnny’s piece today on Page One of the Projo. The article deals with the latest Republican anti-Obama trope: That if you built a business, you don’t deserve credit because the government helped.

First off, the “You didn’t build that’’ quote attributed to Obama in Republican and Mitt Romney campaign advertising is badly taken out of context and is quite frankly, silly and specious. Kind of like the Democratic-leaning Super PAC ad about a woman dying of cancer because she lost her health insurance when a company controlled by Romney laid off her husband.

What has to gall Rhode Islanders is the quotes Mulligan harvested from Rhode Island GOP delegates who are in Tampa to cheer on Romney’s nomination. The most through-the-looking glass of all these Republican sentiments came from former Gov. Donald Carcieri – yes Thanks Don himself – and John Robitaille, a top Carcieri aide who was the GOP candidate for RI governor in 2010.

Mulligan tells the tale of Robitaille and his wife, Lynda Adams-Robitaille, who worked on their own small business. They worked hard, put their all into it but the firm eventually didn’t make it.

Then John Robitaille went to work for Carcieri at a six-figure state job as the governor’s communications director. How many failed small business people can get rescued by a juicy state job with high pay and vague duties?

“Regrettably, the Robitailles argued, spending prudently and paying debts are not high on the list of public policy priorities for Democrats.’’

Huh? Wasn’t Robitaille the only major gubernatorial candidate in Rhode Island in 2010 to support the most reckless economic development deal – the Curt Schilling 38 Studios – the state arguably has ever entered into. Paying debts apparently weren’t high on Curt Schilling’s list.

And Carcieri, who has been hiding for months from the RI media, shows up in Tampa to bask in the reflected glory of his friend Romney’s nomination and struts arm-in-arm with former First Lady Sue Carcieri on the convention floor.

“What we’re really suffering from badly in this nation today is an administration and a president who doesn’t understand that you don’t trash the business community, you don’t trash the banks,’’ said Carcieri in the ProJo story.

Well, governor, what say you about a purported conservative Republican  Rhode Island governor who gambled with the taxpayers money, made the most reckless  crony capitalism economic development loan in the state’s history (38Studios, which is now bankrupt) and left the taxpayers hanging for $100 million in loan guarantees. Then this very same governor leaves office, goes into virtual hiding, refuses to answer to anybody to justify his actions and finally turns up in Tampa at the Republican National Convention to lecture the president on business.

Thanks Don indeed.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Roger Harris permalink
    August 29, 2012 10:02 pm

    Politics as usual here! Gov. Carcieri does a cameo appearance and probably end up back in hiding from Rhode Islanders upon his return home…

  2. tim1999 permalink
    August 29, 2012 11:29 pm

    With Johnny Mulligan in Tampa who’s babysitting Jack Reed??

  3. jim riley permalink
    August 30, 2012 1:58 pm

    Sounds like Carcieri heard you. I understand he’s coming out of the closet when he returns from the Spin Convention.

  4. August 30, 2012 3:41 pm

    Obama bailed out, not trashed, the banks with billions of dollars. Capitalists and Republicans scold Obama for doing so, but they solicited and took every penny.

  5. August 30, 2012 4:27 pm

    Here’s wagering that Carcieri won’t have a news conference to take questions about his Curt Schilling fiasco. He will likely pick one of the talk radio or television personalities who gave him cream puff coverage during his governorship. Expect this will be one of his happy little puppies like John DePetro, Helen Glover or Gene Valicenti.

  6. Patrick Samuel permalink
    August 30, 2012 4:43 pm

    Just so there is no confusion…here is the video link

    “If you have a business, that you didn’t build that, somebody else made that happen”

  7. Mister Guy permalink
    August 31, 2012 12:40 am

    “’you don’t trash the banks’’’

    Both sides have been trashing a lot of the banks, because, of course, they deserve to be trashed for the ways that they recklessly operated under deregulation that was pushed overwhelmingly by the GOP.


  1. Carcieri Always Represented Conservatives, Not RI

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