WASHINGTON — Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, a former marketing firm owner who's proven adept at branding his hard-line conservative views with catchy phrases, released a biting online video Wednesday dramatizing why he'll observe a one-man boycott of President Barack Obama's address to Congress.
Set against spacey background music, DeMint's 90-second video has rapid-fire clips reporting dismal economic news, and it endeavors to turn Obama's soaring rhetoric against him.
DeMint doesn't appear in the video himself, but it was made by the senator's staff at his direction, aides said. The last half of the video plays part of the president's remarks on Feb. 17, 2009, as he signed the $862 economic-stimulus bill into law.
"The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that I will sign today ... is the most sweeping economic-recovery package in our history," Obama said.
As the president is heard promising that the stimulus plan will create or save 3.5 million jobs over two years, a bold red line moves across the screen showing the rising unemployment rate since then.
Like a slick campaign ad, the video displays the phrases "BAD PROJECTIONS," FAILED POLICIES" and "BROKEN PROMISES" as Obama speaks.
It ends with the admonition: "AMERICA NEEDS JOBS, NOT SPEECHES."
DeMint, a Republican, has emerged as a leader of tea party lawmakers by raising millions for them, vowing to make the new health care law Obama's "Waterloo" and dismissing an immigration overhaul as "amnesty."
DeMint posted the video on his YouTube channel and said in a news release that instead of attending Obama's speech he'd spend Thursday evening meeting with Boeing executives and workers at the firm's new jet-manufacturing plant in North Charleston, S.C.
"I'm excited to meet with folks in South Carolina who are creating jobs and moving our economy forward, not just talking about it," DeMint said.
The senator criticized the National Labor Relations Board, which he claims Obama has stocked with pro-union members, for trying to block Boeing from operating the factory in South Carolina, a "right-to-work" state, over allegations of union-busting in Washington state.
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