Well, maybe. Â Some of them. Â This from today’s edition of FirstRead:
This is a fascinating story, per the AP: â€œA half-dozen Republican governors are considering turning down some money from the federal stimulus package, a move opponents say puts conservative ideology ahead of the needs of constituents struggling with foreclosures and unemployment.â€ Who are these GOP governors? Theyâ€™re a â€œwhoâ€™s whoâ€ of possible presidential candidates in 2012 — Sanford (SC), Jindal (LA), Palin (AK), Perry (TX), and Barbour (MS). What say you, Mitt Romney? This could become the ultimate litmus test for Republicans. But what will happen if residents decide they need the assistance and don’t want to lose out on the money? Can governors block this aid? Will state legislatures allow it? Remember, governors have to balance their budgets, so if these Republicans decide not to accept the money, will they get blamed for the future spending cuts or tax hikes that have to follow?
Some great questions by Chuck Todd and company.
There are lots of varying outcomes to these scenarios. Sure, it is likely that a Republican governor who turns down stimulus money may save face with GOP colleagues, but ultimately elected officials answer to their constituents. However, if a governor turns down the federal money and then has to raise taxes to make ends meet in their state, my guess is that a re-election bid will become extremely difficult.
Oh, and I’d be very interested to hear thoughts on this from people like Romney, Huckabee, Crist, etc. If this does become a GOP talking-point for the 2012 election, these are definitely the folks to go to for a soundbyte right now. Get them on record.
[cross-posted at ThePajamaPundit.com]