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All eyes on Ohio prize

Published: Tue, March 6, 2012 @ 12:01 a.m.

By David Skolnick



  Romney Visits Youngstown

Mitt Romney visited Youngstown today.

Mitt Romney visited Youngstown today.

With 10 states, including Ohio, holding primaries or caucuses today, known as Super Tuesday, the Republican presidential race is likely to have a clear front-runner when the results are tallied.

Ohio is seen as the most important of the 10 with the two top Republican candidates, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, spending the past three days campaigning throughout the state, and polls showing a statistical dead-heat between the two in Ohio with Romney on the rise in recent days.

One of Romney’s Monday stops was a 45-minute town-hall forum at Taylor-Winfield Technologies, a metalworking-machinery company in Youngstown, one of the state’s most Democratic cities, on the day before Super Tuesday.

A standing-room-only crowd of about 500 people packed the company’s plant for the late morning-early afternoon Romney event. It was the only visit by any of the four GOP presidential candidates to the area.

At Monday’s event, Romney spoke for about 10 minutes and took questions for about 30 additional minutes.

Romney didn’t mention the three other Republican presidential candidates — Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul — by name, focusing most of his attention on President Barack Obama, the Democrat seeking re-election.

“This is a failed presidency,” Romney said of Obama. “He’s a nice guy, but he’s in over his head.”

Romney, a veteran of town-hall meetings, was at ease answering 11 questions from audience members.

When asked a question from a Delphi salaried retiree about the loss of her health-care and life-insurance benefits, and a cut in her pension, Romney took the opportunity to explain his opposition to the Obama-supported 2009 bailout of General Motors and Chrysler.

“Don’t give them a bailout; have them go through a managed bankruptcy,” Romney said.

The Republican added that he didn’t know the specifics of the Delphi salaried employees issue.

In response to a question from a high school senior about the cost of college, Romney said tuition is “expensive,” people should shop around for the best price, and students could save money by taking more classes to get a four-year bachelor’s degree in 2 1/2 years.

Romney suggested joining the military as a “way to get college for free.”

The former Massachusetts governor also said he’d repeal the health-care-reform act, called “Obamacare” by its critics, and to keep Social Security solvent, he’d propose raising the retirement age by a month a year, beginning in 2022, until two years are added.

At the beginning of Romney’s speech, he said, “Youngstown, you’re fighters. Been through tough times, you come through well.”

He then introduced his wife, Ann, calling her “the heavyweight champion in my life.” Realizing the reference was awkward, Romney said, “That didn’t come out right. She is a great fighter, that’s what I meant.”

His wife helped cover by saying, “If this goes on much longer, I will be the heavyweight champion.”

If Romney emerges as the Republican presidential nominee, the race will go on to the November general election.

Near Taylor-Winfield, about 15 people showed up to protest Romney.

At a press conference at the United Auto Workers Local 1714 hall in Warren after Romney’s visit, Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras thanked the Republican for coming to Youngstown because he said it “bolstered President Obama’s re-election chances.”

Betras attacked Romney for previously saying he would “let Detroit go bankrupt,” a reference to the bailout.

“He has no idea how it is to work on a line,” Betras said. “He’s willing to say anything to get elected.”

Betras said the Lordstown GM plant would have been “mothballed” along with the “thousands of other spinoff jobs” created by the plant had Romney been president at the time.

“I’m glad Mr. Romney is here [Monday] so we can remind voters just how wrong and wrong-headed he is,” said Dave Green, president of UAW Local 1714.

The reception for Romney at the rally was considerably warmer.

Lifelong Democrat Michele Bolchalk of Warren said she’s voting for Romney.

“I think he’s the best person to turn around the economy and get a balanced budget,” she said. “He’s worked in the private sector, he turned around the Olympics and been governor of a state. He’s willing to make tough decisions.”

Among those in the audience were about 75 students from Austintown Fitch and Lordstown high schools. Some, such as Hanna Steinker, a Fitch senior, will vote for the first time today.

She is thinking of voting for Romney or Santorum.

“He’s very different than my first opinion of him,” she said of Romney. “I first thought he was arrogant. But I don’t think that anymore. He answered the questions correctly. It was eye-opening to see real life rather than on TV. I’m leaning more toward Romney mainly because of what he said about education and bringing businesses here.”

Even with the Republican presidential primary and a few county races of interest, turnout is expected to be very light in the Valley, says election officials in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties. Turnout in the counties is expected to range from about 30 percent to 35 percent.

The races of interest in Mahoning County are Democratic primaries for prosecutor, sheriff and a commissioner’s seat being vacated by John McNally IV. In Trumbull County, there’s a Democratic primary for sheriff, and Democratic and Republican races for the 64th Ohio House District.

Contributor: Karl Henkel


1michael1757(490 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

Now,I ask you,I see this ad on tv about where mitt took his employes to new york to find his business partner's daughter. Hey,that's great! BUT,what in the hell does that have to do with being a president? I see that & I wanna puke. haha As for the other one,what's with the sleeveless sweater's? He think's he's still in college,& look's it. He certainly doesn't look like a pres.P.S. I'm a Democrat. Go Hillary!!! haha

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2redeye1(5656 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

Michael How many of your democratic friends would do omething like that? NONE, I'll bet!! This is the guy who really does care about people, not like that fool Obama and Hilliary are suppose to. They both talk out of both sides of their mouths.

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3walter_sobchak(2713 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

The ad is necessary because the MSM portrays Mitt as an elitist snob. They are just trying to demonstrate that he is a normal Joe living the American dream.Of course, it is a dream that was built on the back of privilege due to the family he was born in. However, he has earned his wealth and deserves it since he has obviously done the job for someone. He has the financial resources to do some great things and it is still his choice until the democrats take all of his assets. At least he has held many private sector jobs and knows what it takes to meet a payroll. You can't say that about the other candidates or the current president.

I would like to know who his campaign got to wear the knees out in jeans. I don't think he did that doing yardwork.

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4RoddAC(102 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

@Redeye1 - You should do a little more research instead of just ranting your cause. Demorcrats and liberals are known for being charitable, humanistic and compassionate. I always thought that is what you republicans didn't like. We WANT to help the young, the old, the disabled and destitute.

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5legend33(169 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

I voting for BETRAS as a write in!

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6thestatethatpickspresidents(2 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

After Mitt Romney won the Michigan primary, the shares of Detroit's Big Three have been going south. In the Washington caucuses where Mitt Romney won easily, the Boeing shares may follow suit in the downturn. The point is this, the Mitt Romney economics will be disastrious for America, the working people in Ohio in particular, at times when America cannot withstand an economic sellout frenzy. The Mitt Romney way of restructuring some cornerstone industries doesn't fly in mainstream America as advertised. The social issue of contraception: this sacred feminie issue brought up in the national politics for the first time is concurrent with Mitt Romney's winning in recent primaries. If Mitt Romney wasn't the candidate, this sacred feminine way of life wasn't such an issue at all. Given the fact that the Mormons never used the contraceptive measures, Mitt Romney the would be GOP nominee will seek either the ban or the regulation of the women's freedom of choice in the contraception matter. To the women of Ohio from all walks of life, would you like your freedom of choice, regardless of what may be, be taken away or regulated? The religious Mormon imposition on the women's freedom of choice in the cotraception matter is out of touch in mainstream America. Backed by some in Wall Street thirsty for power, the Mitt Romney candidacy is more interested in looting in the Republican primaries and caucuses than creating jobs. Be mindful. Think before you vote.

Vote smart. Vote for Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich. Otherwise, the best vote is no vote.
for more go to theweeklyaffairswatnh.blogspot.com

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7Silence_Dogood(1675 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

When you are done with your diatribe YOU might want to do your own RESEARCH.
It is a well known FACT that it is the conservatives that give more to charities then the liberals. It all boils down to the inherent philosophies of the two groups. Liberals want the Government to take care of everyone and conservatives believe that it is the individuals responsibility.
All you have to do is google the issue and the facts will present themselves to you. A link is provided for you if you would like to read just one example.

But you might not want to rely on just one source so do a little digging around on your own, the results just might shock you.

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8thestatethatpickspresidents(2 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

In the Mitt Romney candidacy backed by certain people in Wall Street thirsty for power, many of whom once were Obama's bailout beneficiaries, the ordinary people in this country and the foreign presses covering the U.S. Republican primaries have the chance to witness the economic and political betrayal rolled into the Mitt Romney candidacy. Nowadays the once grand Republican party is terrible and reduced into rubbish.
For more go to theweeklyaffairswatnh.blogspot.com

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9wcdon(3 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

Michael: So what with the sweater. Are you really going to base your vote on a fashion item that all 4 candidates have worn? Really?

To: the state that picks the president: So you are going to pick the President based on one week stock moves? Would anyone really pick a stock based on one week's activity and blame a slight downturn on one person not taking any other issues into account like rising gas prices or a weak presidential response to war in the Middle East that affects the market. Look at the last week the entire markets been down, oil is up, gold is all over the place. We need a leader who can understand the economy. Mitt Romney does. My area has 15 percent unemployment and 22 percent underemployment. Please join us in voting for Mitt Romney. Give America a fighting chance! Thank You for your consideration!

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10wcdon(3 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

To: thestatethatpicksthepresident: You say Wall street is Romney guys? Oh really? The treasury secretary Timothy Geitner is from Goldman Sachs as are 15 other top economic people in the Administration. 16 of 22 Key Obama administration economic positions are filled by Goldman Sach's people and Goldman Sach's donated Millions to Obama(Public Record)!! Those are the facts not the mis-informed info you put out with not a shred of truth to it! Mitt Romney is a smart guy who cannot be bought! Obama is just another lawyer with NO economic background what so ever! Thank You

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11redeye1(5656 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

RoddAC If the liberals are working for the old,young and disabled maybe you should look at the Social Security System. Who screwed that up? The D party,They started to borrow from it and have not paid back a dime. They were also the ones that taxed SS benefits. If that' s helping people , please don't. Secondly if they had left SS alone most people today would have better retirement help. . Instead of what they are getting.

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12wcdon(3 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

redeye1: Good points! Also consider that the current payroll tax deduction President Obama got takes 125 Billion more out of Social Security and this is what he calls a tax cut! Ha! All it really is, is more borrowing against our future in the guise of a tax cut! John Boenher is to blame to for going along with this sham!

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13redvert(2239 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

It is imperative that the voters of Mahoning county continue to vote across the board for the candidates that Betras instructs you to vote for. Look what that mentality has done for the valley (aka) the armpit of Ohio the last 50-60 years. Do you want that "progress" to end. Of course not.

Don't waver my friends!!!

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14young2012(10 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

Negative ad works. Spending $12 Million in two weeks on negative ads against Santorum, Romney is trying to get votes today. It is a well known fact that Insider knows better than outsiders. By focusing more on Obama and distorting his opponents records, Romney has been successful so far. Where is the moral outrage? Santorum frankly told us during the last debate that politics require a team effort. Thanks to Romney & his super PACS, the word "compromise or team" has become a "dirty" word. Although Romney like Newt have a lot of political baggage which could possibly ruin his candidacy in the fall, he has succeed to divert our attention from his flawed past records. If we don't wake up & demand a dirty politics of personal destruction to stop, i am very much concerned for our country's ability to get an honest and talented person to run for the presidency in the future.

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15Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

Sounds like a Tea party rat fight

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16peacelover(839 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

I heard Romney puts his blue jeans on over his suit pants when he campaigns before a blue collar crowd. Is that true? :)

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