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CLEVELAND — President Obama is back in Ohio today with a retooled message aiming to persuade voters in swing state Ohio that he has a plan to jump start the economy — but he will also blast away at Republicans as obstructionists.
He will speak to a crowd of about 1,500 in the Cuyahoga Community College Recreation Center. Cuyahoga County has the biggest concentration of Democratic voters in Ohio, and the President has visited Cuyahoga County seven times since taking office in 2009.
Upon his arrival in Cleveland, Mr. Obama was greeted by local Democratic elected officials, including U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge of Cleveland and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, and campaign volunteers.
The waiting crowd broke out into the chant from Mr. Obama’s 2008 campaign, “Fired up — Ready to go.”
The President is airing campaign ads that attack Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s record of job creation when he was governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, as well as ads that promote a job-creating bill to spend heavily on infrastructure.
He also has an ad that says Congress is blocking his jobs bill that would hire construction workers, police officers, teachers, and firefighters.
Republicans accuse Mr. Obama of bungling the economic recovery, because of a national employment rate of 8.2 percent and an economy that is still about 3.7 million jobs short of where it was before the 2008 recession began. The President said the economy has grown by 4.3 million jobs since he started.
Following his usual practice, the President will be introduced by a local citizen. In this case it will be Angela Schafer from North Olmsted, a nurse and married mother of two, a living embodiment of “Julia,” the cartoon character in an Obama ad who goes through life getting help from the government.
Ms. Schafer says her education, at CCC, was subsidized by Pell Grants. The 2009 stimulus bill slashed her COBRA premiums in half at a time when she was unemployed and had a son who was sick with swine flu. And her family benefitted from the payroll tax cut and the so-called Making Work Pay tax cut in helping them afford every day expenses and begin a savings plan.
Mr. Romney is at Seilkop Industries in Cincinnati, and is to return to Ohio three days later as part of a bus tour of political toss-up states. Stops in Ohio are planned for Newark and Troy.
Republican Ohio Auditor of State David Yost said that in a previous visit to a Cuyahoga Community College branch in Parma, Cuyahoga County, in September, 2010, Mr. Obama promised he would act when the Simpson-Bowles deficit commission reported back.
Mr. Yost said the President did not make the tough choices he promised and instead the national debt has increased by $2.3 trillion.
In that speech, Mr. Obama was advocating some of the same kinds of remedies he has promoted recently — increased government spending on infrastructure and help to local governments.
Contact Tom Troy at email@example.com or 419-724-6058.