McKelvey discusses job losses on Fox program
NAFTA is causing Ohio's job losses, the mayor said.
YOUNGSTOWN -- This city's Democratic mayor, George McKelvey, who announced his support for President Bush's re-election Monday, said Democratic presidents were in office during major job losses in Ohio.
"The battle cry in Ohio is that NAFTA has been the problem. I kind of remember that NAFTA was a Clinton initiative," McKelvey said during an appearance Wednesday on the "Hannity & amp; Colmes" program on the Fox News Channel.
The Ohio AFL-CIO has determined that between 1995 and 2003, Ohio lost between 8,000 and 15,000 jobs due to the North American Free Trade Agreement, the mayor said. "I think the majority of those years were under Bill Clinton," he added.
The mayor said the current national unemployment rate is 5.6 percent, and Sean Hannity, program co-host, said that is about where it was when President Clinton won re-election in 1996.
What about 9/11?
"I feel that my party forgot about 9/11 and the devastating impact that it's had on our economy. We're pretending that 9/11 doesn't exist," the mayor said. "Since 9/11, the trend line has gone to a job loss, and now we are rebounding," McKelvey said.
"Our greatest job loss was on Sept. 19, 1977, when President Carter was in office. We lost in three years 29,000 jobs," McKelvey said, referring to the major Youngstown steel mill closings.
"The unemployment rate was 30 percent. So, we've gone from 30 percent under Carter to around 10 percent under President Bush. And we have a lot of work to do, and we're going in the right direction," the mayor said of the city's jobless rate.
"The war on terrorism and national security trump all other issues," the mayor said. However, he added, "This refighting the Vietnam War ... I'm totally against it," referring to the current political debate about Sen. John Kerry's Vietnam War service record and Kerry's opposition to that war.