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The two major party presidential candidates will go toe-to-toe today in the battleground state of Ohio at almost exactly the same time -- but at opposite ends of the state.
In Cleveland, Democratic President Obama is scheduled to speak at 1:45 p.m. in the Cuyahoga Community College recreation center. Likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney scheduled a policy address in Cincinnati for 1:50 p.m.
The Blade will report in person on both of the speeches.
Both candidates are returning to Ohio for the first time in more than a month.
According to the Obama campaign, the President will outline the choice in the election as between "a vision for moving our country forward, ensuring that our economy is built to last and restoring economic security for the middle class, and Mitt Romney's vision, based on the same failed economic policies that brought on the worst crisis since the Great Depression."
"Romney Economics is familiar and troubling: more budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy; fewer rules for Wall Street -- the same formula that benefited a few, but that crashed our economy and devastated the middle class," the Obama campaign said.
Chris Maloney, Ohio spokesman for the Romney campaign, said the campaign timing was mere coincidence. Mr. Romney was already scheduled for a campaign fund-raiser Wednesday evening in the Cincinnati area.
"Governor Romney will outline his vision for his first 100 days in office and address American competitiveness with China," Mr. Maloney said.
Russ Schriefer, senior adviser to the Romney campaign, said in a telephone conference call with reporters that Mr. Obama's campaign messaging is falling flat because he's failed in his pledge to fix the economy in three years.
"Just last Friday we heard the president say the private sector economy is doing just fine. He later on had to backtrack, and Democrats have come out and said of course it's not doing fine," Mr. Schriefer said. He said Mr. Obama has had to "pivot" frequently to address jobs.
It's going to be more of the same, more spending, more taxes," Mr. Schriefer said.
He said it would be the first time both candidates are in the same state on the same day.
Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich had been scheduled to lambaste President Obama in a telephone conference call with reporters, but he canceled because it would have undermined the tone he had set earlier in the day in a speech to the state Senate on bipartisanship.
Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said the governor had just given somewhat impromptu remarks to the Ohio Senate reviewing the accomplishments of the legislative session.
"The speech was talking about bipartisanship and all we've accomplished. We've passed legislation that fundamentally improved the state," Mr. Nichols said.
He said Mr. Kasich continues to believe, and will continue to say, that "the President's policies are bad for Ohio."
"However, there is a time and a place to make those arguments, and unfortunately this is not either the time or the place, given his speech earlier today," Mr. Nichols said.
Contact Tom Troy at email@example.com or 419-724-6058.