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Entries in Ohio (98)

Friday
Oct052012

Obama Campaign, Democrats Win in Ohio Early Vote Case

Comstock/Thinkstock(TOLEDO, Ohio) -- The Obama campaign has won a legal victory in Ohio that, like other recent decisions, should make it easier for voters to cast their ballots.

A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of the Obama campaign and local Democratic National Committee officials who challenged Ohio’s early in-person voting system.

Friday’s ruling is the latest to favor Democrats in cases challenging voter restrictions in the weeks leading up to the election.

In 2011, the voting deadlines in Ohio were changed to allow only military and overseas voters to participate in early voting three days before the election.

Democrats -- who challenged the change -- argued that a significant number of Ohio voters would be precluded from voting without the additional three days of in-person early voting.

On Friday, a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Democrats. The court affirmed a lower court’s issuance of a preliminary injunction against the change in the law.

“While we readily acknowledge the need to provide military voters more time to vote,” the court ruled, “we see no corresponding justification for giving others less time.”

The court said it was returning discretion to local boards of elections to allow all Ohio voters to vote from Saturday, Nov. 3, through Monday, Nov. 5.

The court said, “The state must show that its decision to reduce the early voting time for non-military voters is justified by a ‘sufficiently weighty’ interest. The state has proposed no interest which would justify reducing the opportunity to vote by a considerable segment of the voting population.”

John Husted, Ohio’s Republican secretary of state, has argued in part that the reduced voting hours were necessary to address the needs of the Ohio elections board as it prepared for Election Day. The state also claimed that military service members and their families had unique challenges when it came to voting so that in-person early voting should be extended to them, but not to other Ohio voters.

Husted issued a statement Friday: “My office is reviewing today’s decision by the court as we determine the best course of action moving forward. … No action will be taken today or this weekend.”

Husted has the option of appealing the decision to the full panel of judges on the 6th Circuit.

An Obama campaign official, meanwhile, hailed the decision and touted it as the latest in a string of legal victories for the campaign involving voting rights.

“Ohio joins Wisconsin, Florida, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania as states that turned back restrictions on voter access and limitations on voter participation,” Obama for America general counsel Bob Bauer said in a prepared statement. “The appellate court today affirmed the district court’s decision in ‘OFA v. Husted’ and held unanimously that every Ohioan should have equal access to early voting. As a result of this decision, every voter, including military, veterans, and overseas voters alongside all Ohioans, will have the same opportunity to vote early through the weekend and Monday before the election.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep272012

Obama Uses Rhetoric of a Frontrunner in Ohio

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(KENT, Ohio) -- Buoyed by favorable battleground-state poll numbers, President Obama Wednesday night used rhetoric of a frontrunner, telling a crowd of 6,600 at Kent State University in Ohio that he will be a president to “represent everybody.”

“I say to the whole state of Ohio, I don’t know how many of you will be with me this time around but it doesn’t matter because I’m running to be your president, to represent everybody,” Obama said.

“I’m not fighting to create Democratic jobs or Republican jobs.  I’m fighting to create American jobs.  I’m not fighting to improve schools in red states or blue states.  I’m fighting to improve schools in the United States of America,” he said, underscoring a theme of education, which he highlighted all day.

The president’s remarks mirrored those he gave earlier in the day at Bowling Green State University in the northwestern part of the state, with one small off-the-cuff exception.

Launching into his five-point plan to boost the middle class, Obama slipped up his words as he addressed his vision for American manufacturing.

“First thing is, I want to see us export more jobs… export more products, excuse me,” Obama said, catching himself.

“I was, I was channeling my opponent there for a second,” he quipped, referring to rival Mitt Romney.  “ I wanna see us export more products and outsource fewer jobs.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep262012

Mitt Romney: ‘Pleased with Some Polls, Less So with Other Polls’

JEWEL SAMAD/FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images(TOLEDO, Ohio) -- On the same day that polls in two key battleground states -- Ohio and Florida -- showed President Obama growing his lead over Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate acknowledged that he is, “pleased with some polls, less so with other polls.”

“Frankly at this early stage, polls go up, polls go down,” Romney said in an interview on Wednesday with ABC’s David Muir on the campaign trail in Toledo, Ohio.

Romney pointed to the first presidential debate -- to take place in one week -- as a potential turning point in the race.

“We have a chance during the debate to make our message clear to the American people,” the former Massachusetts governor told Muir, “and I’m absolutely convinced that when people see the two of us talk about our direction for America they’re going to support me because I know what it takes to make the economy going [sic] again, and the president has proven he does not.”

Romney spoke to Muir at the end of his busiest day of campaigning in the Buckeye State in months. Romney held rallies in Westerville and Toledo and a manufacturing roundtable in Bedford Heights.

[Read a transcript of David Muir's interview with Mitt Romney]

A New York Times-CBS News-Quinnipiac University poll out Wednesday morning found President Obama’s edge over Romney in the crucial state growing to double digits, 53 percent to 43 percent. That’s up from the president’s 50 percent to 44 percent lead in a similar poll released on August 23.

In response to Wednesday’s new numbers as well as a series of other public polls in the state, ABC News moved the state of Ohio, with its 18 electoral votes, from “Toss Up” territory to “Lean Obama.”

But Romney said he was not deterred.

“I’m tied in the national polls, both Gallup and Rasmussen have the numbers at even,” he told ABC News. “State by state you’ve got some advertising going on from the Obama people, which expresses their views on my positions which frankly, I think are inaccurate, and in some cases, dishonest.”

In the interview, Romney declined to respond directly to the voices of critics, some from within his own party, who have been urging him to shift his strategy after several trying weeks for his campaign.

“There are critics and there are cheerleaders, we have people of all different persuasion,” Romney said, noting that “every day there are improvements and new messages that come out.”

“What the president said just the other day about ‘bumps in the road’ with regards to the events in the Middle East,” he added. “That obviously was a whole new area to be discovered and discussed.”

The Republican presidential hopeful was making his way across the state on the same day that President Obama campaigned at two Ohio colleges -- Bowling Green State University and Kent State University. At those events the president did not miss an opportunity to refer to the comments made by Romney in a hidden camera video released last week showing the GOP candidate saying that “47 percent” of the American people are dependent upon government and would not vote for him.

While some critics of the negative poll numbers point to oversampling of Democrat respondents -- which would skew the numbers in favor of President Obama -- Romney said he will be offering a different message to voters in the battleground states he will be visiting between now and Election Day.

“Mine is a campaign about 100 percent of the people, not 99 and one, not any other percent,” Romney said. “It’s about getting 100 percent of the people in this country to have a brighter future, better job prospects and higher take home pay.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep262012

Obama Compares Romney to a Sly Fox in Ohio

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(BOWLING GREEN, Ohio) -- In the opening salvo of Wednesday’s Ohio campaign showdown, President Obama accused Republican rival Mitt Romney of “newfound outrage” over Chinese trade practices and disingenuous claims that he would hold the Asian power accountable.

“When you hear this newfound outrage, when you see these ads he's running promising to get tough on China, it feels a lot like that fox saying, you know, we need more secure chicken coops,” Obama told a crowd of 5,500 supporters at Bowling Green State University.  “I mean, it's just not credible.”

The president wryly conceded, however, that Romney’s tough talk is “better than what he’s actually done about this thing,” referring to China’s alleged unfair behavior that many Ohioans see as threatening manufacturing jobs.

“It sounds better than talking about all the years he spent profiting from companies that sent our jobs to China,” Obama said.  Earlier on Wednesday, the Obama campaign put out a web video and research memo highlighting Romney’s investments in Chinese companies over the years as a corporate buyout specialist with Bain Capital.

The president sought to cast himself as a warrior for American workers, highlighting trade cases his administration has brought -- and won -- against China at the World Trade Organization.

Romney, who is also in Ohio Wednesday, has claimed on the stump and in TV ads running in the state that Obama has not been consistent or tough enough in defending American companies against abusive foreign competitors.

“A lot of people can talk.  Talk is cheap,” Romney said of Obama at a rally in Bedford Heights.  “You can be extraordinarily eloquent and describe all the wonderful things you can do but when you cut through the words you can look at the record and when you can see policies that have not created the jobs America needs then you know it is time to choose a new leader, get a new coach, get America growing again.”

A Romney campaign spokeswoman noted that Obama has refused to label China a “currency manipulator” and argued that the actions the administration touts have “failed, expired or been described as mere ‘peanuts’ by trade analysts” at restoring a level playing field for American companies.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep262012

Romney Hits on Rare Polling Bright Spot as Ohio Seems to Slip Away

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WESTERVILLE, OHIO) -- After waking up to daunting poll numbers that show him trailing in Ohio by double digits, Mitt Romney on Wednesday attempted to showcase a rare bright spot in the polls: that he leads President Obama on his perceived handling of the federal budget deficit.

“There’s something else he wants to do that’s the same as he’s done in the past, and that is trillion dollar deficits,” Romney said Wednesday in Westerville, Ohio, of his differences with Obama on budget-deficit reduction.  “If he were re-elected, I can assure you it will be almost $20 trillion in debt.”

When asked who would do a better job on the budget deficit, Ohio voters preferred Romney over Obama 49 percent to 45 percent, the new Quinnipiac University poll shows.

The numbers were one of the few favorable results for the Romney campaign among the myriad of polls out recently showing that the crucial swing state of Ohio seems to be slowly slipping out of his grasp.

Smack dab in the middle of a two-day, four-city bus trip of Ohio, the Romney campaign on Wednesday rolled out the National Debt clock, a campaign stagecraft staple early on in the campaign that now only makes brief appearances, perhaps to visually underscore his lead on this issue.

“Do you know what the interest bill is on that debt?” Romney asked the crowd at Westerville South High School as the large debt clock ticked up over his shoulder.  “The interest rate, the interest that you’re paying on that debt every year is more than we pay for housing, for agriculture, for education and transportation combined.”

Romney said the “crushing” course on which Obama has put the nation is “immoral” to pass on to the next generation and, as Romney aides say his bus tour intended to do more succinctly, outlined the “choice” that voters have.

“I do not want an intrusive, massive, larger debt-spending government that crushes the American dream,” he said.  “This really matters.  The choice we make is going to determine what kind of take-home pay people in America have.  It’s going to determine what kind of jobs we have.”

Tapping into a more emotional side, Romney recalled meeting a woman in her 50s Tuesday who has been out of work since May with no good job prospects on the horizon.

“My heart aches for the people I’ve seen,” he said.  “I know what it takes to get this economy going again.  I care about the people of America.  And the difference between me and President Obama is I know what to do and I will do what it takes to get this economy going.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep252012

Despite OH Polling, Romney Camp ‘Confident’ They Are ‘Inside Margin of Error’

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Obama campaign is “spiking the ball at the 30-yard line” if they think recent poll numbers prove the president has clinched victory in the critical swing state of Ohio, one of Mitt Romney’s top advisers said Tuesday.

A Washington Post poll out Tuesday found President Obama with an eight-point lead, but Romney advisers said their own internal polls paint a much more favorable picture for the Republican presidential nominee.

“The public polls are what the public polls are,” Romney Political Director Rich Beeson said on a flight between New York and Ohio Tuesday afternoon. “I kind of hope the Obama campaign is basing their campaign on what the public polls say. We don’t. We have confidence in our data and our metrics."

“They’re sort of spiking the ball at the 30-yard line right now,” Beeson said of the Obama campaign’s view of Ohio. “There’s still 42 days to go. We are by any stretch inside the margin of error in Ohio. And the Obama campaign is going to have some problems there.”

Beeson said they “feel confident,” in Ohio and “each one of our states,” with “great faith” in their own data. Beeson pointed to places like Mahoney Valley, in eastern Ohio, a blue-collar Democratic area of the state, and the I-75 corridor on the other side of the state, as examples of places they are targeting that they believe are "going to have some problems” for the Obama campaign.

The new Washington Post poll, which found that Obama holds an eight-point lead in Ohio, 52 percent to Romney’s 44 percent, is just the latest to show the president with a big lead in the Buckeye State.

Beeson implied that their campaign’s internal polls show differently, giving them more confidence, but refused, when asked repeatedly, to divulge specifically what their polling numbers are showing for the critical swing state of Ohio.

“I’m not going to get into the specifics of what our polls say or don’t say,” he said. “I say that I trust our numbers and that’s what we’re basing our decisions off of, not the Washington Post.”

Beeson predicted that Ohio will “come down to the wire,” but he’s “confident” that Romney will “win.”

Advisers refused to call Ohio make-or-break for their campaign, insisting that there is a “wide open path” to 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

“We’re not in a situation where we’re forced into this boxed canyon to say ‘we have to win this string of states,’” Beeson said. “This is a wide open map."

Romney campaign Digital Director Zac Moffett made the case for their ground game, which he says will make a real difference in the last six weeks of the election.

“The ground game is good for a field goal,” Moffett said. “If you’re within three points it can make a difference. That’s the bottom line metric, three points, give or take, you know, give or take a point, but it’s good for a field goal.”

The Romney campaign has knocked on 2 million more doors than they did in 2008, and they will knock on more than 10 million doors in the target states before Election Day, he said.

“When you look through the polling, both public and our internal polling, we are matching the Obama campaign on the ground,” Beeson said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep182012

New Obama Ad Hits Romney’s Bain Career in Ohio, Virginia

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(CHICAGO) -- President Obama’s campaign will air yet another ad attacking Mitt Romney’s business career at Bain Capital, this one in the swing states of Ohio and Virginia.

The ad has already begun airing in the Youngstown, Ohio media market, according to Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political ads.

In it, a narrator says:

"When Mitt Romney led Bain, hundreds of plants, factories and stores were shuttered. Workers saw their wages slashed, their jobs sent overseas. Romney made a fortune. Now, he wants to bring that business experience to us. He’d keep tax breaks for outsourcing and hand new tax cuts to millionaires, all while raising taxes on the middle class. Romney’s not the solution, he’s the problem."

The Obama campaign and its allies have hammered Romney for his business career, a significant part of the credentials Romney’s campaign has touted.

Obama for America memorably aired this ad on reports that Bain Capital-owned firms were involved in outsourcing. The pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action produced a controversial ad insinuating Romney’s activity at Bain led to a woman’s death, after a factory closed -- an ad that has been criticized by fact checkers.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Sep092012

Biden Recounts Near Arrest in His College Years

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(ATHENS, Ohio) — Vice President Joe Biden told the story of a run-in with the cops he had back in the 1960s during a college trip to Athens, home of Ohio University where he was nearly arrested for stepping foot in a women’s dorm where men weren’t allowed.

“As a matter of fact, the last time I was here, I want to make clear to the press, I didn’t get arrested, but I almost did,” Biden said at the Athens Community Center, though the last time he came to the town was actually in 2008, not his college days.

“Because back in those days, you students won’t appreciate this, men weren’t allowed anywhere near the women’s dorm,” he said. “And I got invited into a dorm, I thought I was walking into the, into the waiting room, I got brought into the hallway. And I got escorted out very quickly by an Athens policeman.

“True story, unfortunately,” he added.

Biden told this same story in 2008 when he campaigned here in Athens, the place where he also famously spelled out “a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S.”

On this football Saturday, Biden recounted his first trip to Athens in 1963 when he was playing football at the University of Delaware, declaring, “I still am a football nut.”

“I came here in 1963 and I had to go back. I just double checked my memory, you know, you get my age you’re not so sure you remember. You know, your glory days look more glorious than they really were,” Biden said.

“I went back in the Internet and I just want you to know I came here on October 19, 1963 and we beat you Bobcats 29-12,” Biden said. “Now, wait a minute now, wait a minute. And that’s why I was so happy. I was so happy, that when the Bobcats went to Happy Valley they learned what a Bobcat was because now I got bragging rights. Y’all beat Penn State, I can say, ‘Well, they beat Penn State and 500 years ago we beat them once.’”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug312012

VP Joe Biden-opoulos: ‘The Most Greek Irishman?’

Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images(WARREN, Ohio) -- Vice President Joe Biden gave himself a new nickname Friday when he introduced himself to three Greek men seated at a table at the Mocha House in Warren, Ohio.

“I’m Joe Bidenopoulos,” Biden said.

The vice president, who is of Irish ancestry, chatted briefly with the trio telling them to “Ask George who’s the most Greek Irishman he’s ever known.”

As he made his way through the restaurant greeting customers, Biden stopped with a few people to talk about rice pudding and shared how he was surprised to stop at a Greek restaurant last week that didn’t serve the dish.  But Biden made sure to leave with some rice pudding after Friday afternoon‘s stop.

“Can I get some rice pudding to go?” Biden asked.

Lawmakers embracing other cultures is nothing new. President Obama once talked on St. Patrick’s day about his Irish roots, as he did ahead of a trip to Ireland in 2011.

And former Sen. Rick Santorum, during his bid for the GOP presidential nomination, referred to himself as Senadore Puertoriqueno because of his support for the island as a lawmaker. Santorum won the Puerto Rico primary back in March.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug212012

President Obama Shifts Aim to Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan Education Plan

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GettyImages(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- President Obama kicked off a two-day campaign swing through Ohio and Nevada Tuesday by shifting the focus of his attacks from Medicare and taxes to education, slamming the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan plan to cut student aid.

“Whether it’s a four-year college [or] a two-year program, higher education is not a luxury, it is an economic necessity that every family in America should be able to afford. And that’s what’s at stake in this election,” the president told supporters.

Obama’s education pitch, which he is outlining in visits to two colleges and a high school in critical battleground states, is part of a broader effort to show how the Romney-Ryan budget cuts would negatively impact Americans.

Speaking at Capital University, the president told students heading back to school that his rivals’ plan would slash education funding to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, hurting the nation’s ability to compete in the global economy.

“It’s a vision that says we can’t help young people who are trying to make it because we’ve got to protect the folks who already have made it,” the president said to boos from the crowd of 3,000.

Arguing the GOP plan would leave you “on your own,” Obama recounted how Romney recommended students “borrow money if you have to from your parents” and “shop around” when asked how he would make college more affordable.

“What Gov. Romney is offering is not an answer,” Obama said. “As we’re fighting back from the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, you’ve got a lot of parents who are out there struggling just to make ends meet. And I don’t accept the notion that we should deny any child the opportunity to get a higher education.”

The president drew stark contrasts with his opponent’s wealthy background as he explained how he and his wife understood “first hand” the burden of student loan debt.

“We’ve been in your shoes,” he said. “Neither of us came from wealthy families. Both of us graduated from college and law school with a mountain of debt. When we married, we got poor together.”

In response, the Romney campaign slammed the president’s track record on education, saying “too many young Americans are suffering from higher college costs, more debt and a lack of good jobs when they graduate.”

“Today’s policies are just more of the same from a president who hasn’t fixed the economy or kept his promises to the young people who supported him four years ago. The Romney-Ryan plan will deliver 12 million new jobs to help recent graduates -- and all Americans -- enjoy a more prosperous future,” a Romney campaign spokeswoman said.

The president also spent time visiting with Ohio students Tuesday. Before his speech, Obama made a surprise stop at Sloopy’s Diner, a popular Ohio State University hangout, for lunch.

The president then worked his way around the restaurant and posed for photos, including one with a group of three students pantomiming O-H-I-O for Ohio State. Obama put his hands up as the letter “I.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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