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Entries in Ohio (98)

Monday
Nov052012

Stevie Wonder Rocks Obama Rally in Ohio

Kevin Mazur/WireImage via ABC(CINCINNATI) -- President Obama often exits the stage at the end of his campaign rallies to the recordings of Motown legend Stevie Wonder.  On Sunday night, he left the stage to the real thing.

As Obama wrapped his rally in Cincinnati, his third of four campaign events on Sunday, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” blasted through the University of Cincinnati’s Fifth Third Arena.

The president started to wave to the enthusiastic crowd and then did a double take.  There, off to the side of the stage, was Stevie Wonder, belting out his classic tune.

Obama walked back up to the mic and announced, “Stevie Wonder,” although he could barely be heard above the impromptu concert.  The president swayed back and forth and enjoyed the music briefly before getting to work, shaking hands and posing for pictures.

Stevie Wonder also revved up the crowd before the president’s speech, putting Obama’s “fired up, ready to go” rallying cry to music.

Stevie Wonder is one of the many famous musicians coming out to support the president in the final days of the campaign.  Katy Perry and Dave Matthews performed at his rallies on Saturday.  On Monday, Bruce Springsteen and Jay-Z will lend their star power to the president’s last day on the trail.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov052012

Joe Biden’s Prediction: Ohio Will Win it for Obama

Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images(LANCASTER, Ohio) -- Vice President Joe Biden wrapped up his campaigning in Ohio Sunday night, telling a crowd packed into the gymnasium at Rushville Middle School that Ohio will tip this election in President Obama’s favor Tuesday night.

“Folks you’ve been incredibly patient.  Forty-eight more hours and it will be all she wrote.  We’ll know what’s going on, and we’re going to be able to declare because of Ohio that we have won the election in 48 hours,” Biden said to applause from the crowd.

In an interview Sunday afternoon, Biden predicted the Obama-Biden ticket would have a decisive victory in the electoral college with the help of their firewall of states in the Midwest -- Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

“I think that we’re going to win.  I don’t think it’s going to be close in the Electoral College.  I think we’re going to win clearly,” Biden said in an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews in Lakewood, Ohio.  “I think we’re going to win this state, Ohio.  I’ve been in here 23, 24 days, something like that.  I think we’re going to win Iowa, we’re going to win Wisconsin, we’re going to win Nevada, we’re going to win New Hampshire.  I think we’ve got an even chance of winning Virginia and Florida.”

“It could be a big win, and it also could be close.  But I think the firewall here of Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa -- I think it’s going to hold firm,” the vice president added.

In one of his shortest speeches to date -- clocking in at around 16 minutes -- Biden outlined how the GOP ticket has abandoned the principles of their party and even joked about who is leading the Republican ticket -- Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan.

“One of the fundamental differences between Barack and me and Ryan and Romney, and Romney and Ryan,” Biden said correcting himself.   “That’s the right order although they’re not sure sometimes.”

Biden will spend his last day on the trail campaigning in Virginia Monday, and on Tuesday, he will cast his ballot in Wilmington, Del., before heading to Chicago for Tuesday night.  But before he left Ohio, a state he’s visited 11 times this year, Biden made one final declaration of how the Buckeye State will help the Democrats solidify a win in this election.

“Folks, we need you.  Together we can win Ohio, and if we win Ohio, we win this election,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov052012

Joe Biden Makes Final Sales Pitch in Ohio, Calls Romney ‘Shameless’

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(LAKEWOOD, Ohio) -- Kicking off his last day campaigning in Ohio, Vice President Joe Biden made his final sales pitch to Buckeye State voters, telling them President Obama is the candidate they can trust.

“My guy Barack Obama has character,” Biden told a crowd of 1,200 at Lakewood High School.  “And that cannot be said of Gov. Romney…The American people, where I come from, like here, they’re asking themselves with 48 hours to go, who can I trust?  Who will stand up for me?  Who will level with me?  Who will help the middle class?  Well, it’s clear in the last hour of this campaign, Romney and Ryan and have become desperate.  Romney will say anything to win.”

“Why would they be having the policies they have?” he asked as a man in the crowd shouted, “They’re shameless!”

Biden replied, “They are shameless.  The shamelessness of them is they’re running away from what they believe.  That’s the shameless part.”

Biden accused Romney and Ryan of playing a “con game” by trying to change their positions in the final weeks of the campaign.  He said Romney supported budget cuts championed in Congress by Ryan, then disavowed them on the campaign trail.

“When it passed, Romney called it a marvelous, a marvelous document and said he would have signed if he were president,” Biden said.  "Here’s the point: these guys are trying to play a con game here in the end.  They’re trying to say the two things that really created  this new Republican Party they no longer subscribe to.  They no longer subscribe to.  When in fact, it’s exactly who they are.  The fact is these guys are shameless.”

Biden again hammered away at Romney for a “pernicious” ad in Ohio, which suggests the Obama administration would let Chrysler export Jeep auto workers’ jobs to China.  But the vice president slipped up, incorrectly referring to Bill Clinton as the president Romney is targeting in the TV spot, not Obama.

“That ad you’ve seen, it says President Clinton bankrupted Chrysler so that Italians could buy it to ship jobs overseas to China,” Biden said.

Biden, who was on his 12th trip to Ohio, also held events in Fremont and Lancaster as the president and vice president try to seal the deal in a state that could determine their fate.

“We need you Ohio.  We need you.  We win Ohio, we win this election,” Biden said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov022012

Axelrod: Obama’s Closing Argument ‘Coming from His Loins’

ABC/ DONNA SVENNEVIK(LIMA, Ohio) -- With four days to go until the election, President Obama has never been more fired up, according to senior campaign strategist David Axelrod.

“I’ve known him for 20 years… I’ve never seen him more exhilarated than he is right now,” he told reporters traveling with the president in Ohio Friday. “He believes in what he’s doing. He believes in what he’s fighting for.”

“You can see in the speech he’s delivering… that this is coming from his loins,” he said, adding, “I just wanted to say ‘loins.’ I wanted to see if I could get ‘loins’ in the story.”

(He’s succeeded.)

The president spent the day laying out his closing argument at three stops in this key battleground state, where he is leading in most polls. “We always said this was going to be a close state,” Axelrod said. “Virtually every poll we’ve seen in the last week shows the president in the lead. So we anticipate it’s going to be a hard-fought close race, but we’re going to win that race.”

The Obama campaign feels the president’s position in the Buckeye State has been strengthened by GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s misleading ads that suggest automakers GM and Chrysler could be moving jobs out of Ohio to China.

“I think that they have created a huge gulf of trust with the voters of Ohio,” Axelrod said.

“It’s been a disaster for them this week,” senior advisor David Plouffe said. “To have this atmospheric [sic] in the close in Ohio as those few remaining undecideds are making their decision, this ad, the auto industry issue again being the paramount issue in Ohio, we think [Romney's] Election Day job just got appreciably more difficult.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct292012

Biden, Clinton Campaign in Ohio as Obama Monitors Hurricane Sandy

John Moore/Getty Images(YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio) – While Hurricane Sandy punished the East Coast, Vice President Joe Biden and former President Bill Clinton stayed on the campaign trail Monday, speaking at the Covelli Center in Youngstown, Ohio Monday afternoon. President Obama canceled his campaign appearances for Monday and Tuesday to monitor the hurricane from Washington.

“Folks, I know you were expecting the real president, the present president. Reverend, I just want you to know he asked me to express his regrets for not being able to be here, but you know, he’s doing the job a president should be doing,” Biden told the crowd of 4,800 at the Covelli Center.

“I want to thank all the first responders throughout this country,” he said. "They’re coming from all over. There’s folks from Ohio heading east. There’s a whole lot of folks all over the country. And it’s further evidence, further evidence that when America stands together we’re all better off.”

The campaign later announced that Biden’s two events in Ohio Tuesday and a rally in his hometown of Scranton, Pa. were canceled, bringing the number of events canceled for Hurricane Sandy to 30.

Clinton, in Ohio, apologized on Obama’s behalf.

“We went to Florida last night, and he got up this morning and called me and said, ‘I got to go back right now. This storm’s getting out of hand. I got to handle it.’ And I said, 'Mr. President, that is the right call,’” Clinton said. “I spoke in Orlando and then I got on a plane and flew through the edges of that storm to come here and be with Vice President Biden, who came to join us.”

Biden and Clinton, campaigning together for the first time this election cycle, did not let up on their attacks on the GOP ticket, furthering the criticism of Mitt Romney for a misleading campaign ad suggesting President Obama allowed Jeep operations to move to China. President Clinton called Romney’s ad, “the biggest load of bull.”

“I saw the reports of Governor Romney’s latest ad saying that the president had allowed Jeep to move to China. And so this morning, before he left Florida and went back to Washington, he said, ‘You know, of all the things Governor Romney has said, that probably hurts my feelings the most,” Clinton said. “He said, you know, 'I never had any money when I was a kid and the first new car I ever owned, I was 30 years old, and it was a Jeep. I would never move Jeep to China.'"

“Now it turns out, Jeep is reopening in China because they’ve made so much money here, they can afford to do it and they are going on with their plans here. They put out a statement today saying it was the biggest load of bull in the world that they would ever consider shutting down their American operations. They are roaring in America, thanks to people like the people of Ohio.”

“This guy is -- pirouettes more than a ballerina,” Biden said. “It’s an absolutely, patently false assertion.”

However, a BloombergBusinessweek.com story published Monday floated the idea Jeep production may very well be moving to Italy. After the auto bailout, the Treasury Department sold its share of Chrysler to Fiat at a loss, and now as an attempt to boost Fiat's bottom line, the company reportedly discussed interest in a possible plan to build Jeeps in Italy for export to the U.S.

Biden undeterred, denied Jeep was going anywhere. “Ladies and gentlemen, have they no shame? I mean, what? Romney will say anything, absolutely anything to win, it seems. But he can’t run from the truth. He said in that article entitled, that he wrote, ‘Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" -- repeating an already-debunked but oft-repeated claim. The New York Times chose that headline. Still, Biden soldiered on, "Only the head of Bain Capital could think that liquidating an industry is the same thing as saving it. Because that’s what he did at Bain Capital,” Biden said. “Well look, we didn’t take Gov. Romney’s advice.”

Ryan Williams, spokesman for the Romney campaign, said in a statement, “It appears the Obama campaign is less concerned with engaging in a meaningful conversation about President Obama’s failed policies and more concerned with arguing against facts about their record they dislike. The American people will see their desperate arguments for what they are.”

Clinton has served as one of the Obama campaign’s top surrogates in the campaign, but the former president joked with the crowd about his frequent appearances on the trail, saying it’s only because his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is barred from campaigning.

“You’re only stuck with me because Hillary has one of the two jobs in the government that doesn’t permit you to campaign,” Clinton said. “But when you reach a certain point in your life you realize elections come and go but the only thing that really matters when all is said and done is whether people are better off from when you started, whether our children have a brighter future, and whether things are coming together instead of being torn apart.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct292012

How Sandy Affects Early Voting in Swing States

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- There are five battleground states in Sandy’s path including Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and North Carolina.

Pennsylvania and New Hampshire do not offer in-person early voting, so it’s likely that the storm won’t have much of an impact on voting in either of those states, but in Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina early voting is increasingly popular. Below is a look at how the storm has impacted early voting in these battlegrounds.

VIRGINIA

Virginia is the state where Sandy is having a strong impact on early voting, looking at the size of the voting population in the affected areas. In Virginia, 21 voter offices were closed Monday, according to a list provided by the State Board of Elections. The affected counties encompass several large metropolitan areas in the northern portion of the state, including both Democrat and Republican friendly areas.

For the Democrats, the normally Dem friendly counties of Arlington and Fairfax, as well as the city of Alexandria closed their offices today. For Republicans, GOP-leaning Loudoun County was also closed.

As of now only one county, Accomack County, has announced that the voter office is going to be closed Tuesday as well. Accomack is located on the Eastern Shore and makes up part of the Delmarva Peninsula.  McCain narrowly carried this county in 2008 with 50.1 percent to Obama’s 48.7 percent, but there were less than 20,000 votes cast there in total.

More closings could be announced as the storm continues to smash into the East Coast.

OHIO


It appears as though Sandy hasn’t affected early voting in Ohio in any noticeable way. The Secretary of State’s office tells ABC News that they haven’t received any reports of issues from any of the 88 counties in the state. Every county in Ohio is required to file emergency plans with the Secretary of State’s office as part of their elections proceedings.

Vote-by-mail appears to be a significantly more popular means of casting an early vote in Ohio. As of the most recent report from the Secretary of State’s office, out of the 800,000 plus votes that have come in so far in Ohio, a little more than 600,000 have come from mail-in absentees, while less than 200,000 have come from in-person voting.

NORTH CAROLINA

The State Board of Elections reports that over the weekend the early voting sites in Dare County, which includes the Outer Banks, and Ocracoke Island, which is located in Hyde County, closed on Saturday. Early voting sites in Pamlico County, located along the Atlantic in the middle portion of the state, closed on Sunday. The SBE reports on their website that Dare County early voting sites are closed “until tomorrow” and there is no word yet about when they will reopen. McCain carried Dare and Pamlico counties in 2008, while Obama narrowly carried Hyde County.

Sandy is not expected to affect the big vote centers of Raleigh/Durham, Charlotte and their surrounding counties where forecasts call for a few showers, cloud cover, and wind Monday and Tuesday.

ABC News rates Virginia, Ohio and New Hampshire as toss-ups. North Carolina is rated as leaning Republican while Pennsylvania is rated as leaning Democrat.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct292012

In Ohio, Romney Urges Supporters to Persuade Democrats

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(MARION, Ohio) -- Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan wrapped up a three-stop bus tour of the Northwestern part of Ohio on Sunday, striking a bipartisan tone with the top of the ticket urging the crowd to talk to their friends who may have cast a ballot for a Democrat in the past.

“Your friends may have voted last time, perhaps in the Democratic primary, they may have voted for who knows?  They may have voted for Hillary Clinton or they may have voted for Barack Obama, they may have voted for then-candidate Obama in the final election,” Romney, standing next to his running mate, told the crowd of about 5,000.

Romney continued, telling supporters he needed their help convincing those who may still be undecided.

“But I need you to convince them to vote for Paul Ryan and me and that’s not always easy but you can ask them this question: you can say, 'Do you think everything’s going just fine?,'” he asked, before telling the audience how to pitch his ticket to their friends.

“You’re gonna say, ‘Do you think should just go on like they’re going for the last four years?'  And if they have the same answer you just had then you have the number-one argument for why they should vote for us.  Because our campaign is about fundamental change, our campaign is about real change, taking a course correction in this country,” Romney said.

The Republican presidential nominee continued the theme saying under a Romney-Ryan administration he would work across the aisle, something his running mate also likes to mention when he’s on the stump.

“We’re going to have to do something that has been done in the past in this country and that is we’re going to have to reach across the aisle we’re going to have to find good Democrats, by the way Democrats love America too, we’ve got to reach across the aisle find ways to bring in people from the other party work together, collaborate, meet regularly and fight for the American people and we will!,” Romney said.

He added that working with Democrats is one of the reasons he selected Ryan as his running mate, saying “he's worked with people across the aisle and has their respect.”

Romney continues campaigning in Ohio Monday with a stop in Avon Lake, just west of Cleveland.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct262012

Meat Loaf Endorses Mitt Romney in Rocker’s First Political Endorsement Ever

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images(DEFIANCE, Ohio) – Forget swing state newspapers and major politicians -- Mitt Romney Thursday night received a premium endorsement that nobody was expecting when rock legend Meat Loaf took the stage in Ohio and threw his support behind the Republican presidential nominee.

“I have never been in any political agenda in my life, but I think that in 2012 this is the most important election in the history of the United States,” Meat Loaf said in a black silk shirt with sparkly buttons down the front and sequined designs on the sleeves. “Storm clouds [have] come over the United States. There is thunderstorms over Europe. There are hail storms, and I mean major hail storms, in the Middle East.

“There are storms brewing through China, through Asia, through everywhere,” Meat Loaf said. “And there’s only one man that on the other night, when President Barack Obama, God bless him, said to Mitt Romney, ‘The Cold War is over’ – I have never heard such a thing in my life.”

The singer was referring to the presidential debate earlier this week, during which President Obama ribbed Romney for once declaring Russia America’s No. 1 geopolitical foe.

“The man needs to understand Putin and Russia, so I want you to know that there is one man who will stand tall in this country and fight the storm and bring the United States back to what it should be – Gov. Mitt Romney,” Meat Loaf said to roars from a crowd packed into a football stadium.

“Like I said, never before have I endorsed a single candidate ’til now, so let me hear y’all repeat after me,” Meat Loaf said, leading a call-and-response with Mitt Romney’s name, the crowd repeating it after him.

Meat Loaf wasn’t done. After playing a musical interlude, the musician grabbed the microphone and continued his endorsement.

“Mitt Romney has got the backbone,” he said. “Go out and vote. Let me tell you what: I know there’s one thing that you’ve been taught your whole life, is that you never argue politics or religion with your friends. But 2012 is completely different."

“I have been arguing for Mitt Romney for a year,” he said. “I made three phone calls today to Democrats in California, and I got two of them to switch to Romney, so two out of three ain’t bad. So you get out there and you argue with your relatives, you argue with your neighbors, you get in fights over politics and religion, 'cause we need Ohio! God bless ya. We love ya. Thank you. Keep rockin’ – and Mitt Romney!”

When Romney finally took the stage, he didn’t wait to thank the musician, and appeared somewhat surprised.

“I mean Meat Loaf was here, can you believe it?” asked Romney.

“Look, these guys have other things to do, you know – they have lives,” Romney said. “They can go to a concert where they’re getting paid, but they decided instead, because this election counts so much, to come here, and I want to thank them for their generosity and support.”

At the end of the rally, as fireworks went off overhead, Meat Loaf joined Romney on stage and the two joined to sing “America the Beautiful” together.

In an amusing coincidence, Romney’s wife, Ann Romney, appeared earlier Thursday on the daytime cooking show hosted by Rachel Ray, during which she made her husband’s favorite dish: meatloaf.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct252012

President Obama Wraps Blitz With Air Force One Rally in Ohio

TOBY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) – After 37 hours, 6,500 flight miles and six grassroots rallies that drew tens of thousands of supporters, President Obama’s frenetic battleground-state blitz came to a close Thursday night with a rally on a small airport tarmac overlooking Lake Erie.

“This is the final stop on our 48-hour fly-around all across America. We’ve been going for two days straight,” a visibly tired but spirited Obama told a crowd of 12,000 after taking the stage under starry skies.

“We’ve been from the East Coast to the West Coast and now we’re going back east again,” he said. “So Ohio, I gotta tell you, even though I’ve been going for about 38 hours straight, even though my voice is kind of hoarse, I’ve still got a spring in my step because our cause is right, because we’re fighting for the future.”

The event was marked by the dramatic arrival of Air Force One – the smaller Boeing 757-model – on a landing strip several hundred yards from where the crowd was huddled. The plane taxied right up to the stage and bleachers, which were lit by giant floodlights for Obama’s final stump speech of his self-described travel “extravaganza.”

The crowd chanted “Obama! Obama!” as the president jogged down the steps of his bird and out onto the stage.

“Hello, Ohio!” he said.

Over the past two days, Obama has crisscrossed the country, visiting Iowa, Colorado, California, Nevada, Florida, Virginia, Illinois and Ohio. He addressed 68,000 voters combined at rallies across the country and spoke to tens of thousands more by phone in conference calls from Air Force One.

He arrived at Burke Lakefront Airport just hours after casting his own ballot in Chicago – the first time a sitting president has voted early in person for a general election campaign.

“I’ve come to Ohio today to ask you for your vote,” he said. “And I’m asking you to vote early. Here in Ohio you can vote now. You don’t have to vote later. I need you to vote now and I need your help to keep moving America forward.”

Ohio is viewed by Obama strategists and Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign as the decisive state in the 2012 election. President Obama has visited Ohio 18 times visit this year – making it his most-visited state of the election campaign, underscoring its importance.

“Ohio, I believe in you. And I need you to keep believing in me,” Obama said. “And if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves … we’re going to win this election and finish this election.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct242012

Biden in Ohio Calls Romney ‘One Quackin’ Duck’

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(MARION, Ohio) – According to Vice President Joe Biden, there’s a whole lot of quackin’ going on. During a campaign stop at Marion Harding High School here, Biden used one of his mother’s old sayings when he talked about Mitt Romney paying a lower tax rate than many other Americans because of the lower tax on capital gains, calling the GOP presidential nominee “one quackin’ duck.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, when asked on 60 Minutes — not by us, it was 60 Minutes — governor, you only pay 14 percent on $20 million because of this tax break, and the guy making 50 grand pays more. Do you think that’s fair? The governor said, yes, I think that’s fair,” Biden told the crowd gathered at the high school.

“This is one of these places where, my mom used to have an expression,” Biden said. “You know, I’d say mom … can I go hang in the corner with the guys?  She’d say,  ’Joe, they’re going to get in trouble.’ I said, well I won’t, mom. And she’d look at me and she’d say, ‘Joey, if it looks like a duck, and it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, it’s a duck!’

“Man, this is one quackin’ duck! This is one quackin’ duck! Folks, just use your commonsense, this is about commonsense!”

The vice president also criticized Rep. Paul Ryan for his unwillingness to detail the specific loopholes he and Romney would close to pay for the tax cuts they’ve proposed.

“On television he said the math is too complicated for us to understand. Look, that’s what he said, didn’t have time, the math is too complicated. I know the math! The math is the little guy gets crushed and the big guy gets rich! That’s the math! That’s how it works!” Biden said.

“Thank God you have Medicare and Medicaid. They eliminate Medicaid for a million of those people. Where are these folks gonna go? What are they going to do? And all in the service of tax cuts for the very wealthy. It is not fair. It is not right. It is not good economics. It is not good for growing the economy,” Biden said.

Biden explained that Romney and Ryan are taking the Republican Party down a new path and that those on today’s GOP ticket are nothing like the figure many Republicans revere – Ronald Reagan.

“They say it’s just like what Ronald Reagan did. Ronald Reagan did not do this. I served with Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan had a massive tax cut. When it didn’t work, he ended up raising taxes 11 times. … Ronald Reagan couldn’t even be their standard bearer this time based on what he did.”

“Vice President Biden and President Obama showed again today that their campaign is getting smaller and smaller as Election Day approaches,” Ryan Williams, a spokesman for Romney, said in a statement. “With no plan to grow the middle class, Americans know another four years of Obama-Biden policies will mean more of the same: falling incomes, higher taxes and more debt. In two weeks, they will choose Gov. Romney’s positive agenda over the Obama campaign’s increasingly desperate attacks.”

But wrapping up his third day straight campaigning in Ohio, Biden made known his love of the Buckeye State. “You probably heard the rumor that Ohio is going to pick the next president of the United States of America, and I’m happy about that,” Biden said later. “I think that there’s no better group of Americans we could put the presidency in the hands of to decide than the people of this great state.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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