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Published: Tuesday, 9/4/2012

Dozens in Romney camp greet President at Scott

But Obama supporters drown out protesters

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Supporters of Mitt Romney protest at Scott High School in Toledo's Old West End as the President's motorcade arrives. About 40 people carried placards along Collingwood Boulevard on Monday. Supporters of Mitt Romney protest at Scott High School in Toledo's Old West End as the President's motorcade arrives. About 40 people carried placards along Collingwood Boulevard on Monday.
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The thousands of cheering Obama supporters heading inside Scott High School on Monday and the hundreds of motorists honking and booing didn't deter Martin Braun.

Ohio is likely split down the middle but Mr. Braun, a construction engineer from Maumee, knew he was outnumbered in Toledo's Old West End neighborhood with President Obama on his way.

"I don't support him," Mr. Braun said of the President. "It is the state of the economy, the liberal government policies, Obamacare, inappropriate bailout, so he doesn't share my views."

RELATED: President fights back during rally in Toledo

He was joined by dozens of other Romney supporters and one man with a "Ron Paul 2008" sign -- all of whom protested outside Scott High. Lucas County Republican Party Chairman Jon Stainbrook was among the anti-Obama group and waved a Romney-Ryan sign as the motorcade passed by.

The chairman said after the rally that the protesters represented several GOP groups, including students from the University of Toledo.

He added that he believes the President has tried to take credit for Ohio's and Gov. John Kasich's successes.

The protesters' efforts were backed by a charter bus with Mr. Romney's name on the side that circled the school.

At the protest's peak, about 40 people in the group carried placards along Collingwood Boulevard near Scott High School. There were outnumbered by pro-Obama spectators waving, cheering, and taking pictures of the President's motorcade.

Among their signs, the protesters had a row of people holding up signs bearing the number 15 along with 12 zeros (15,000,000,000,000) to indicate the $15 trillion federal debt.

One protester held up a sign saying "Shame on you Barack Obama" and another displayed a large poster of Hillary Clinton, who uttered that phrase during the 2008 primary. There were also anti-war and anti-health care reform signs.

The protesters were shouted-down and booed by passing motorists.

Matt Toepher, a board of elections worker from Holland, said the President has not done anything to help the economy since he was elected.

"Obamacare is taking money away from us," Mr. Toepher said. "People think it is free, but it is not."

Delores Latson, a volunteer for the event, said it was a mistake for the Romney campaign to come to Scott.

"They have the freedom to come through but they have the wrong neighborhood. This is Obama country," she said.

Romney spokesman Christopher Maloney said the President's speech was "laden with flat football metaphors and a lack of new ideas."

Like Mr. Romney, many of his supporters are critical of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act -- called Obamacare by opponents.

Carrie and Craig Turner of Montpelier, Ohio, were among the Obama supporters thankful to President Obama for the law.

"In October, 2005, my 9-month-old son Travis was diagnosed with Stage 4 hepatoblastoma -- liver cancer -- that had spread into his lungs," Ms. Turner said.

The boy ran through his $1 million insurance after a liver transplant in February, 2008. Just this year, the family's insurance started covering the boy again without the prior cap, a benefit of the new law.

Later on, President Obama addressed the debate over Medicare while mocking the GOP platform.

"You know they call it Obamacare," he said. "That's right, I care. I guess the other side's is the 'Romney doesn't care plan.' "

Staff writer Tom Troy contributed to this report.

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



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