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Published: Wednesday, 8/29/2012

Strickland: Romney bad for middle class, Medicare

Ex-governor's bus tour of Ohio stops in Toledo

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Ted Strickland says the GOP plan for Medicare would raise seniors' costs $6,000 a year. Ted Strickland says the GOP plan for Medicare would raise seniors' costs $6,000 a year.
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Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland bused from Toledo to Columbus Tuesday blasting GOP nominee Mitt Romney's plans for Medicare, Social Security, and student loans.

"As the Republicans are gathering in Tampa, we want to remind the people in Ohio the differences that exist between President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney," Mr. Strickland told Obama supporters at the East Toledo Family Center during his first bus stop of the day. "The fact is, as the bus says, Mitt Romney is wrong for the middle class."

The former governor, who has been stumping for the President on a three-day bus tour throughout Ohio, said the Romney-Ryan budget would give an additional $250,000 tax cut to multimillionaires.

The budget of Mr. Romney and his running mate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, "would destroy Medicare as we know it. Basically they want to turn Medicare into a voucher system," and that would cost seniors an additional $6,000 a year, he said. "The guarantee you receive for Medicare right now would be gone."

Mr. Strickland also said the Romney-Ryan plan at least partially privatizes Social Security. Up to 55 percent would be invested in the stock market -- jeopardizing the stability of seniors, he said.

Toledo City Council President Joe McNamara and Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates, both Democrats, backed up Mr. Strickland in the attack on Mr. Romney.

"With the choice of Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's message to seniors is the same as his message to Detroit -- 'Let them go bankrupt,' " Mr. McNamara said.

President Obama is to visit Toledo on Labor Day and is expected to visit the Cleveland area the same day. Three days later, at Bank of America Stadium during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, he is to accept his party's nomination for a second term.

Romney spokesman Chris Maloney hit back with an attack on Mr. Strickland.

"Under Ted Strickland's watch, Ohioans were forced to endure ballooning budget deficits, higher taxes, and a loss of nearly 400,000 jobs," Mr. Maloney said. "After three and a half years of failed policies from the Obama Administration, it's not shocking Strickland's dismal economic record qualifies him as an acceptable surrogate for the Obama campaign."

He contended President Obama has cut $700 billion from Medicare to pay for a government takeover of the health-care system. "President Obama's campaign has called these cuts an achievement. America's seniors disagree," Mr. Maloney said. "Cutting $700 billion in Medicare is far from an achievement. Under President Obama, Medicare is going bankrupt and his plan makes it worse, not better."

After the Toledo stop, Mr. Strickland headed on Tuesday to Columbus, where he spoke at the International Association of Firefighters Local 67.

On Monday, Mr. Strickland spoke in Youngstown, Lorain, and Parma Heights, as well as to students at Kent State University. For the third day of the bus tour today, Mr. Strickland was scheduled to speak before groups in the Dayton and Cincinnati areas.

Contact Ignazio Messina at: imessina@theblade.com or 419-724-6171.



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