© 2024 Ideastream Public Media

1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
(216) 916-6100 | (877) 399-3307

WKSU is a public media service licensed to Kent State University and operated by Ideastream Public Media.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
To contact us with news tips, story ideas or other related information, e-mail newsstaff@ideastream.org.

Romney Visit Raises Questions

In the hours leading up to Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s visit, newpaper headlines proclaimed the GOP Presidential candidate was coming to Cincinnati to endorse Issue 2, the collective bargaining referendum and Issue 3, the proposal dealing with federal health care mandates -- but that’s not what happened. In his 45 minute visit to the phone bank operation where volunteers were making calls on behalf of the issues, Romney did not directly endorse or oppose either issue, and he didn’t do interviews with reporters. In a teleconference with news reporters, Ohio Democratic Party Chair Chris Redfern said Romney’s visit raises questions.

"Why on Earth would he be in Cincinnati Ohio to visit a Republican call center that is focused on turning out the vote for Issue 2 and 3 if he doesn’t have a position on Issues 2 and 3? Why would any serious presidential candidate allow his press shop to cultivate the notion that he was visiting Cincinnati to support Issue 2 and 3, allow the Cincinnati Enquirer and Associated Press to frame the visit accordingly and then less than 24 hours, walk away from that commitment?"

Redfern said the answer is simple. Romney saw a new Quinnipiac Poll that shows the opponents of the collective bargaining issue have a 25% lead in the polls -- and that same poll shows support for Ohio Governor John Kasich is dropping. Redfern said Romney is playing the part of a politician who’s afraid to embrace the politics of his own state Republican leader -- but at the same time Redfern was raising questions, Ohio’s Republican Attorney General was endorsing Romney in his bid for president.

"He’s the best candidate to be elected president of the United States, to beat Barack Obama and to bring the Republican party together. And I think really this campaign is going to be about jobs and the economy and people working and I think Romney is in a great position to explain to the American people about why Barack Obama’s policy has failed."

DeWine said he’s not concerned that Romney didn’t endorse the two state issues and didn’t speak to the press.

"He’s going to be through here many many many many times in the future. There will be a point in the campaign where it will be every three or four or five days you are going to see Mitt Romney travelling this state campaigning so there will be ample opportunity for Ohioans to judge him, listen to him and for him to listen to Ohioans."

Romney is considered by most political pundits to be one of the more moderate Republican presidential contenders. That’s the same way Attorney General DeWine has been viewed in the past. Asked whether he thinks Romney will have enough appeal to the conservative Republican base, DeWine responded this way.

"Romney can appeal to our base in the party and do the other thing a presidential candidate has to do and that is to reach out to independents. Anybody who is successful in Ohio has to do both."

Democratic leader Redfern said Romney is looking out for his political well being. And Redfern said that’s why Romney didn’t endorse the two issues, particularly the one that cuts negotiating power of public employee unions.

"This issue attacking Ohio’s middle class is a loser. It’s not just a loser from a policy standpoint and the implication it has for Ohio’s middle class. It’s a loser if you want to run statewide. Hell, it’s a loser if you want to run for dog catcher -- and in the case of Mitt Romney, he supported yesterday what he’s now not taking an issue on today."

Conservative bloggers and political pundits are taking Romney to task for not embracing the two issues and also not embracing the policy agenda of Governor Kasich -- but Romney didn’t run away without saying anything. During his brief speech at the call center, Romney lashed out at President Obama and his policies.