Friday, July 20, 2012 at 6:36 AM
In his message to the Plumbers and Pipefitters union in Columbus yesterday afternoon, Biden told union members Ohio’s manufacturing industry is a successful comeback story. But Republicans supporting former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney say Biden isn’t telling the whole story. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports.
About 600 backers of the president gathered at a union hall in downtown Columbus to hear Vice President Joe Biden explain Ohio is adding manufacturing jobs now because of President Obama’s bold decision to bail out the American auto industry.
BIDEN: “We are betting on Ohio. We are betting on the United States of America.(applause)”
Biden said the president and Democrats in Congress want to pass legislation to give incentives to companies that move jobs overseas back to the United States, but he says Republicans won’t even allow the issue to come up for a vote. And when it comes to betting on America, Biden said it’s fair to question Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s record at his financial firm, Bain Capital.
BIDEN: “So this guy is saying look at my experience. He’s not running on his experience as governor where he had a couple of good ideas in health care and some things that he did (applause). He’s running as the chairman of the board and the founder of Bain, so I honestly think it’s totally appropriate to judge whether he was a job creator, and if he did create them, where did he create the jobs? I have to admit, after going into detail, he did create jobs. But they were in Singapore, China, India. They weren’t in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania.”
Biden said President Obama believes in growing the economy from the middle class out instead of from the top down. Biden said Obama understands the problems of middle class Ohioans.
BIDEN: “Romney said the president is out of touch. Out of touch? A guy who has a swiss bank account? A guy who has apparently millions of bucks invested in the Cayman Islands? And my guy’s out of touch? Guys, think about it. I’m being very serious. Let me say this to the press. Did you ever think you’d see a presidential race where you are choosing between one guy who has millions of dollars in the Cayman Islands and a swiss bank account, and the other guy is invested in America? (wild applause and chants of “four more years”)”
After the event, Al Caldwell of Columbus, a member of the United Steelworkers union, said he liked what Biden had to say.
CALDWELL: “Well it means to me that you have someone who is trying to keep the jobs here and brings the ones that are gone back which, to someone in my shoes with little kids and a family to provide for, that means a lot to me.”
But Republican Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said Biden is not telling the whole story.
JINDAL: “Obviously, both candidates and Governor Romney, especially, want a strong domestic auto industry. But look, it’s still too early to declare success. You still have tens of thousands fewer jobs. The federal government is still tens of billions of dollars in debt in terms of money we have not recovered.”
Jindal said Romney would take a hard line with China, would have an energy policy that uses coal to make energy more affordable and available, and lower the corporate tax rate. Jindal said there’s one thing that would make Ohio’s manufacturing base stronger—create more jobs.
JINDAL: “If we want our automotive companies to really be successful though, we need a growing economy. When you have 23 million underemployed/unemployed Americans, they are not going to be able to buy enough new cars, trucks and vehicles to power the automotive industry. So if you want a stronger automotive industry, we need Governor Romney in the White House.”
It’s clear that Ohio is a presidential battleground. Within the past week, President Obama, presidential candidate Romney, Vice President Biden and several surrogates for each have appeared in various parts of the state to try to sway voters. And it’s not even Labor Day yet.
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