Fla. Senator Marco Rubio stumps for Mandel, speaks to 60 at Packo’s at the Park

Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, center right, embraces Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel before speaking to a packed room of supporters.
Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, center right, embraces Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel before speaking to a packed room of supporters.

Stumping on behalf of Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel’s candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Sherrod Brown, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) visited a downtown Toledo restaurant at lunchtime Friday to rally supporters.

“You did a great job in 2010 sending us [U.S. Sen.] Rob Portman [R., Ohio],” Mr. Rubio told the crowd of about 60 people in a room reserved at Packo’s at the Park, 7 S. Superior St. “And now you’ll have to do it again and send us Josh Mandel so we can change this country.”

Mr. Rubio then listed the United States tax code, energy policy, and national debt as key problems that so far haven’t been solved because of “too many people” in Washington who “view these things as opportunities to lay traps for their political opponents for the next election.”

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He also alleged “we have a President that was elected four years ago on the promise to bring us together and, as much as anything else that he has failed to do, that one is the most disappointing because Americans today are as divided as they’ve ever been in modern times.

“And it's been done deliberately for political purposes, women against men, the rich against the poor, the worker against the owner.”

Lucas County Republican Party chairman Jon Stainbrook said Mr. Mandel’s challenge to Senator Brown “is one of the closest Senate races that we’ve had in the United States, and the Democrats are bringing in every surrogate they have for President Obama and also Sherrod Brown, so the Republican party is doing the same.”

He asked Alfonso Narvaez, the treasurer of the Central Committee of the Lucas County Republican Party, who is “also a Latino,” to say “what having somebody like that to come up here” means to him.

“This is truly is amazing that we have someone like Marco Rubio coming down here and showing the support for [Republican presidential nominee] Mitt Romney because it encourages Latinos, encourages conservatives, and [encourages] a young kid that can actually support someone who can get the job done, like Mitt Romney,” Mr. Narvaez responded.

Chris Redfern, Ohio Democratic Party chairman, said later Friday in a telephone interview, “It shouldn’t be any surprise that this Republican gathering could only muster 60 people. After all, Toledo is home to the Jeep. And it's politicians like Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio and Josh Mandel who oppose the auto rescue. Their empty rhetoric will fall flat on Election Day.”

Contact Mike Sigov at: sigov@theblade.com or 419-724-6089.