Romney Bus Campaign Steers Toward Swing-State Ohio’s Rural Vote
The presumptive Republican nominee is spending today, Father’s Day, in Ohio, where he’ll campaign with two of his sons and Ohio Republican and U.S. House Speaker John Boehner.
Romney’s interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation,” taped yesterday, also is scheduled for broadcast today. It’s the former Massachusetts governor’s first national Sunday morning news show interview this election on a network other than Fox.
Yesterday, Romney rode through eastern Pennsylvania, promising to boost the economy with a friendly regulatory climate for energy jobs and industry. He avoided a firm stance on immigration policy and detoured away from protesters and Obama supporters.
In campaign stops, he offered no alternative position to Obama’s announcement on June 15 of a policy that would prevent deportation of illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. Romney also switched a planned campaign stop from one Wawa convenience store, where he’d planned to sample the popular sandwiches, to another nearby after former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, a Democrat and Obama campaigner, and anti-Romney protesters showed up at the first location.
“The president wants to talk about the economy a little -- not as much as I want to talk about the economy,” Romney told the hundreds of people gathered yesterday at the Weatherly Casting and Machine Co. in Weatherly, his first stop of the day. Obama’s recent comment that the private sector was “doing fine” runs counter to what business people say, Romney said.
While “hope and change” was Obama’s 2008 campaign slogan, Romney said, “Now I think he’d like to change it to ‘Hoping to Change the Subject.’”
Romney veered briefly from the economy message yesterday while speaking via satellite to the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s annual conference in Washington.
He said the U.S. should help arm those in Syria fighting against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad “by encouraging our friends there, like the Turks and the Saudis, to provide weapons to the insurgents.”
Romney also suggested Obama wasn’t sufficiently tough on Iran to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Romney’s stop at the Weatherly foundry and machine shop, which employs 74 people, came on the second day of his six- state, “Every Town Counts” bus tour through rural areas of states that Obama won in 2008. He began the tour in New Hampshire, and after Ohio will move to Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan.
Mary Dunn, 60, a furniture store owner, said she looks to Romney to bring more jobs to “a very depressed area.”
“The mines, the factories, they’re gone,” she said.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, a Republican who attended the Romney event in Cornwall, said while Pennsylvania is “not an easy state” for Romney to win, “it is winnable.” If Romney prevailed there, he would almost certainly win the election, Corbett said. While registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in the state, Obama’s track record since is “not appealing” to many who supported him in 2008, he said.
Pennsylvania, with 20 electoral votes of the 270 a candidate needs to win the presidency in November, has leaned toward Democrats.
Ohio, with 18 electoral votes, may be a closer contest. Obama won Ohio four years ago with 52 percent of the vote, while Bush won Ohio with 51 percent in 2004.
Ohio ranked fifth on the Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States Index when assessed from the start of 2009.
The state through May added back 157,300 jobs of the 438,200 jobs it shed from June 2007 to December 2009.
At 7.3 percent, the state’s unemployment rate has improved from 10.6 percent in January 2010, though remains higher than its 2007 average of 5.6 percent.
Home prices statewide through March have declined by 10.05 percent since 2007, compared with 16.29 percent nationally.
The Bloomberg State Equity Index of Ohio has 186 members, including Procter and Gamble Co., First Energy Corp. (FE) and American Electric Power (AEP) Co. Companies in the state through Friday have outperformed the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. Since the start of 2009, the Ohio stock index has increased by 67.74 percent, compared with the 48.67 percent increase in the S&P.
Pennsylvania ranked 12th on the Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States Index when assessed from the start of 2009.
The state through May added back 143,400 jobs of the 255,300 jobs it shed from April 2008 to February 2010.
At 7.4 percent, the state’s unemployment rate has improved from 8.7 percent in March 2010, while it remains higher than its April 2007 low of 4.2 percent.
Home prices statewide through March have declined by 5.77 percent since 2007, compared with 16.29 percent nationally.
The Bloomberg State Equity Index of Pennsylvania has 271 members, including Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (PNC), and HJ Heinz Co. (HNZ) Companies in the state through Friday have outperformed the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. Since the start of 2009, the Pennsylvania stock index has increased by 119.34 percent, compared with the 48.67 percent increase in the S&P.
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