Governor Chet Culver is defending one of the centerpieces of his administration – the I-JOBS bonding program. His Republican opponents have blasted the program saying they oppose borrowing tens of millions of dollars.

Culver was in Coralville today for the groundbreaking ceremony for a big flood protection project. He said I-JOBS is coming to the rescue of flood-stricken communities. “We plan on winning on November 2 and one reason we’re going to win is we have stepped up and fought for flood victims,” Culver said. “We have fought for flood impacted communities like Coralville and Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Oakville, Palo…a long list.”

One of Culver’s Republican challengers, former Governor Terry Branstad, was quoted this week using the word “folly” to describe I-JOBS. Culver fired back today. “I say it’s our duty. I-JOBS is a duty we owe the citizens of this state,” Culver said. “There are 78 different projects in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, Linn County, and Johnson County alone. What does he want us to do? Have a bake sale?” Culver repeated his charge that Branstad also approved the borrowing of tens of millions of dollars while he was in office. Culver called Branstad “out of touch.”

The two other Republican candidates for governor have also criticized Culver for putting the state in debt through the I-JOBS program.