Obama to visit Poland Friday

By David Skolnick



President Barack Obama will talk about his efforts to get the nation’s economy back on track during a Friday morning campaign speech at Dobbins Elementary School in Poland.

The Vindicator reported Tuesday the president was expected to make a campaign stop in Mahoning County as part of his two-day bus tour through northern Ohio that ends in Pittsburgh.

The president’s campaign didn’t make Friday’s stop at Dobbins official until about 4:45 p.m. Tuesday.

His campaign considered other locations in the Mahoning Valley before selecting Dobbins.

Obama’s speech at Dobbins is supposed to start at 10:45 a.m. Friday, the last day of the bus tour.

Unlike his Thursday stops in Maumee, near Toledo, Sandusky and Parma, as well as to Pittsburgh on Friday afternoon, it appears the Poland visit likely won’t be open to the general public.

The campaign statement about the Democratic president’s “Betting on America” bus tour describes the Poland event as Obama delivering “presidential remarks.”

The Sandusky event is called an “ice cream social,” and the others are called “grass-roots events.”

The campaign’s announcement about the tour states Obama “will talk about his efforts over the last three years to get our economy back on track, doubling down on American workers by saving the auto industry, investing in manufacturing, and bringing jobs back to America.”

The General Motors complex in Lordstown is one of the Mahoning Valley’s major employers. The complex builds the Chevrolet Cruze.

The announcement states Obama’s vision “stands in stark contrast” to Mitt Romney, his Republican challenger.

“The president is rebuilding an economy meant to last — one that restores middle-class security by investing in education, energy, innovation and infrastructure, and reforms the tax code,” the statement reads.

Christopher Maloney, a Romney spokesman, said, “President Obama’s tour will offer him the opportunity to see firsthand the devastating impact his administration’s policies are having on job creators and communities across northern Ohio and the Mahoning Valley.”

The president also is expected to make what is called an “unscheduled stop” while in the area.

On a Tuesday conference call, before the Dobbins visit was confirmed, ex-Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, an Obama re-election campaign national co-chairman, said he’d be in Boardman, which borders Poland, on Friday.

Ohio is expected to be a key state in the presidential election.

This would be Obama’s first re-election visit to the area, but his eighth stop in the area.

Obama made two noncampaign visits as president in September 2009 and May 2010.

During the 2008 campaign, he came to the area five times, including three after Ohio’s March 4 Democratic primary.

David Betras, the Mahoning County Democratic Party chairman, said the president’s visits to the area show how important the Valley is in statewide politics.

“There are counties and regions that never see the president,” Betras said. “This is his eighth time here. I’m glad he’s coming. It’s great for the area.”

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