Loading…
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
Published: Monday, 11/5/2012

President blisters foe’s ‘real change’

BY JIM PROVANCE
BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU CHIEF
President Obama urges supporters at a rally at the University of Cincinnati to move ‘forward’ with him. About 13,500 turned out for the event Sunday. President Obama urges supporters at a rally at the University of Cincinnati to move ‘forward’ with him. About 13,500 turned out for the event Sunday.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

CINCINNATI — Stevie Wonder summed up Pres­i­dent Obama’s key mes­sage Sun­day night by add­ing two lines to the be­gin­ning of his hit song “Su­per­sti­tion:” “We’re on the right track. We can’t turn back.”

Mr. Obama sought to seal the deal in a key city in a key bat­tle­ground state, urg­ing an es­ti­mated 13,500 in the Univer­sity of Cin­cin­nati’s Fifth Third Arena to move “for­ward” with him and not to fall for the “real change” that op­po­nent Mitt Rom­ney claims to of­fer.

He re­acted to his Re­pub­li­can op­po­nent’s claim on the cam­paign trail that Mr. Obama has burned too many bridges to work with Con­gress while tough de­ci­sions lie ahead.

“If the price of peace in Wash­ing­ton is cut­ting deals that kick stu­dents off of fi­nan­cial aid, or get­ting rid of fund­ing for Planned Par­ent­hood, or let­ting in­sur­ance com­pa­nies dis­crim­i­nate against peo­ple with pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tions, or elim­i­nat­ing health care for mil­lions of Med­ic­aid [re­cip­i­ents] who are poor, or el­derly, or dis­abled, then that’s a price I'm not will­ing to pay,” Mr. Obama said.

“That's not bi­par­ti­san­ship,” he said. “That’s not change. That’s sur­ren­der to the same sta­tus quo that has hurt too many fam­i­lies for too long. I’m not ready to give up on that fight. ... I hope you aren't ei­ther, Ohio.”

Four years ago, Mr. Obama was on the same cam­pus on the Sun­day night be­fore the elec­tion to close out his Ohio cam­paign. This year he will end his Ohio cam­paign to­day at Na­tion­wide Arena in Co­lum­bus with singer Bruce Spring­steen.

Ar­gu­ing that Mr. Rom­ney's “real change” is a re­pack­ag­ing of failed pol­i­cies from the George W. Bush era, Mr. Obama said Mr. Rom­ney, then a Senate can­di­date from Mas­sa­chu­setts, crit­i­cized as job-kill­ing the pol­i­cies of Demo­cratic Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton, who raised taxes on the wealthy.

“Turns out his math was just as bad back then as it is now, be­cause by the end of Pres­i­dent Clin­ton’s sec­ond term, Amer­ica had cre­ated 22 mil­lion new jobs, in­comes were up, pov­erty was down, and our def­i­cit be­came the big­gest sur­plus in his­tory ... ” he said.

“Now, the other guy’s ideas were put to the test also, be­cause af­ter Pres­i­dent Clin­ton we had eight years in which we tried giv­ing big tax cuts to the wealth­i­est Amer­i­cans, we tried giv­ing in­sur­ance com­pa­nies, and oil com­pa­nies, and Wall Street a free ride to do what­ever they pleased,” Mr. Obama said. “And all we got was fall­ing in­comes, and record def­i­cits, and the slow­est job growth in 50 years, and an eco­nomic cri­sis that we're still work­ing our way out of.”

Both cam­paigns are vy­ing heav­ily for Ham­il­ton County, a swing county that went for Mr. Obama four years ago by roughly 30,000 out of about 430,000 votes cast.

Pres­i­dent Bush won the county by roughly 23,000 votes in 2004, and Mr. Rom­ney is count­ing on du­pli­cat­ing Mr. Bush’s per­for­mance in or­der to carry bat­tle­ground Ohio in 2012.

Much of the rest of the south­west­ern cor­ner of the state is ex­pected to be firmly in Mr. Rom­ney’s camp. On Fri­day night, the for­mer Mas­sa­chu­setts gov­er­nor led a rally that his cam­paign es­ti­mated at 30,000, a record for his cam­paign, in ex­tremely friendly GOP ter­ri­tory in West Chester about 30 miles to the north.

Mr. Rom­ney ral­lied in Cleve­land Sun­day, an­other ex­am­ple of the im­por­tance of Ohio's 18 elec­toral votes, while both run­ning mates, Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Biden and Wis­con­sin Con­gress­man Paul Ryan, also cam­paigned in the state.

Such last-minute cam­paign­ing is lost on the roughly 20 per­cent of the state’s nearly 8 mil­lion reg­is­tered vot­ers who’ve al­ready cast their bal­lots.

Sec­re­tary of State Jon Husted re­ported that, as of Fri­day, more than 1.6 mil­lion Ohio­ans had cast their bal­lots in per­son or by mail, and that was be­fore fi­nal week­end early vot­ing. In the last pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, that was the bus­i­est early vot­ing pe­riod.

Most polls show the race to be tight but trend­ing to­ward the Demo­cratic pres­i­dent.

Jon An­gerer, a Univer­sity of Cin­cin­nati ac­count­ing ju­nior, was in the Obama crowd with his girl­friend, Ginny Sha­fer, a ju­nior in ed­u­ca­tion, even though both sup­port Mr. Rom­ney. Ms. Sha­fer has al­ready voted, and Mr. An­gerer plans to do so on Tues­day.

“Num­bers don’t lie,” Mr. An­gerer said. “There's fis­cal data be­hind Barack Obama’s pre­vi­ous four years as pres­i­dent. There needs to be a change, be­cause oth­er­wise we're go­ing to in­herit a mas­sive amount of debt.”

Janet Douglas, 54, a bank loan-clos­ing spe­cial­ist, is firmly in the Pres­i­dent’s cor­ner. “I think he rep­resents my in­ter­ests as a mid­dle-class in­di­vid­ual,” she said. “He’s go­ing to look out for us be­cause of­ten­times we're over­looked in terms of health care, as­sis­tance, So­cial Se­cu­rity, and things of that mat­ter ... [Mr. Rom­ney] has to­tally dif­fer­ent po­si­tions on ev­ery­thing ... from his prior po­si­tions.”

Con­tact Jim Pro­vance at:

jpro­vance@the­blade.com

or 614-221-0496.



Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.