With Mandel’s Anti-Auto Rescue Buddy Marco Rubio In Town, Does Josh Agree Social Security & Medicare “Weakened Us As A People?”

Tea Party Senator Marco Rubio To Raise Money For Mandel In D.C. And Ohio Over Next Few Days

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Today “Treasurer” Josh Mandel will continue ignoring his responsibilities to Ohio taxpayers by not doing his job and instead welcome his Senate Idol Marco Rubio to town. Rubio, like Mandel, would have voted to let Ohio’s auto industry die despite the nearly 850,000 Ohio jobs that would have been in jeopardy. Unfortunately for Ohio voters, that’s not all they have in common.

While both have pledged to support an extreme Tea-Party budget proposal that “would inexorably subject Social Security and Medicare to deep reductions,” Marco Rubio has stepped even further outside the mainstream, declaring that the landmark programs have “weakened us as a people.”

Does Josh Mandel agree with Sen. Rubio that Social Security and Medicare have “weakened us as a people” and is that why Mandel supports GOP attempts to devastate both programs?

Nearly 850,000 Ohioans have jobs tied to the auto industry and millions more rely on Social Security and Medicare. It’s time for Josh Mandel to finally explain his anti-middle class agenda.

“Marco Rubio would have voted to let Ohio’s auto industry die and believes Social Security and Medicare have ‘weakened us as a people,’ so it’s no surprise that he’s in town raising cash for his good buddy Josh Mandel who agrees that the auto industry shouldn’t have been saved and supports gutting important protections for our seniors,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Andrew Zucker. “Now that he’s the nominee Josh Mandel should finally explain why he thinks 850,000 Ohio jobs tied to the auto industry weren’t worth fighting for and why he supports making devastating cuts to Social Security and Medicare.’”

BACKGROUND

Almost 850,000 Jobs In Ohio Are Supported By The Auto Industry.  According to the Center for Automotive Research, there are 848,304 jobs in Ohio supported by the auto industry.  [Center for Automotive Research - Industry Contribution Report, April 2010, pg. 48]

Marco Rubio On The Auto Rescue:  “The Jobs Will Be Gone And We’ll Still Owe The Money.”  In May 2009, American Spectator reported “Rubio was critical of the recent automaker bailouts, saying ‘The jobs will be gone and we’ll still owe the money.  Washington should just get out of the way.’”  [American Spectator, 05/19/09]

Rubio Said Social Security and Medicare “Weakened Us As A People.”  In August 2011, Politifact reported “Sen. Marco Rubio, in a recent speech from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, said Social Security and Medicare “weakened us as a people.” [Politifact, 8/25/11]

Sen. Rubio Voted For Republican Budget Plan With “Significant Cuts” To Medicare.  In May 2011, Senator Rubio voted for the Republican budget plan that called “for significant cuts to future Medicare benefits.”  [Vote 77, 5/25/11; The Hill, 5/25/11]

Mandel Said He Was Developing A Plan To Save The Auto Rescue.  The Youngstown Vindicator reported “Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, said he is developing a plan to ‘rescue the auto industry.’” [Youngstown Vindicator, 3/2/12]

  • Mandel: “I’m Not Saying The Bailout Didn’t Work.”  The Youngstown Vindicator reported “‘I’m not saying the bailout didn’t work,’ Mandel said.” [Youngstown Vindicator, 3/2/12]
  • Next Sentence: Mandel Disagreed That Auto Rescue Save The Auto Industry.  The Youngstown Vindicator reported “But Mandel said he ‘respectfully disagreed’ that it saved the American auto industry.” [Youngstown Vindicator, 3/2/12]

Josh Mandel Has Signed the Cut Cap and Balance Pledge [Cut Cap Balance Act.com Senate signers, accessed 11/09/2011]

Politifact: Republican Budget Would Cost Ohio Seniors Over $6,000 A Year More Than Current System.   In May 2011, Politifact wrote “Using CBO projections, the folks at Kaiser did the math, and determined that if a person who turned 65 in 2022 were to remain in the traditional Medicare system, the out-of-pocket costs would be just $5,630 – a full $6,870 less than it would be under the new program.”  Politifact went on to note “In his speech, Tim Ryan said said that those new out-of-pocket costs would amount to $6,000 each year, a bit of less than what the CBO calculated. So although perhaps undersold, Tim Ryan’s claim is accurate with nothing significant missing for an understanding.” [Politifact, 5/25/11]

Center On Budget And Policy Priorities:  Cut, Cap And Balance “Would Inexorably Subject Social Security And Medicare To Deep Reductions.”  According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, proponents of Cut, Cap and Balance “seek to foster an impression that the measure would protect Social Security and Medicare.  Such an impression would not be accurate.  The legislation would inexorably subject Social Security and Medicare to deep reductions.”  [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 7/16/11]

REMARKS: Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern Denounces Josh Mandel for Opposition to Auto Rescue, Anti-Middle Class Agenda

Unlike Sen. Brown, Mandel Would Have Voted To Let Auto Industry Die, Leaving Nearly 800,000 Ohio Jobs Hanging in the Balance

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A day after Ohio Republicans made Josh Mandel their nominee for U.S. Senate, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern held a press conference call to denounce the absentee Treasurer for opposing the auto rescue championed by Senator Sherrod Brown and for continually aligning himself against Ohio’s middle class.

Please see below for Chairman Redfern’s prepared remarks:

“Unfortunately for the secretly funded special interests backing Josh Mandel, Ohio Republicans are now stuck with a candidate who would have voted to let our auto industry die while nearly 800,000 Ohio jobs hung in the balance.

“There are two things that are clear about Josh Mandel. First, Josh Mandel has repeatedly demonstrated that he’s not on the side of Ohio’s middle class. That’s why he opposed the critical investments championed by Senator Sherrod Brown that rescued the auto industry. If Josh Mandel had his way, there would be no auto comeback in Toledo, no thriving plant in Lordstown where they build the Chevy Cruze, and our state’s auto industry would be devastated.

“Had he been a Senator, Josh Mandel would have voted to let thousands of middle class families lose their jobs.

“And Josh Mandel’s anti middle class agenda doesn’t end with the fact that he would have let the auto industry die. Josh Mandel stood shoulder to shoulder with Governor’s Kasich’s brutal assault on public workers and he refuses to support Senator Brown’s bipartisan bill to crack down on China’s currency manipulation, a practice that has cost Ohio thousands of jobs.

“Secondly, it’s clear that Josh Mandel doesn’t do his job on behalf of Ohio’s taxpayers because he believes the rules don’t apply to him. Mandel has been to zero Board of Deposit meetings despite the fact that billion dollar decisions are made about where to invest Ohio’s tax dollars. Instead, he filed papers to run for Senate almost immediately after his swearing in and began taking out of state fundraising trips weeks into his new job.

“These fundraising trips were initially paid for illegally, and like his 6 month refusal to disclose his finances and his numerous instances of taxpayer funded self-promotion, these trips are one of many ways that Josh Mandel has demonstrated he doesn’t think he has to play by the rules.”

BACKGROUND

Mandel Said He Was Developing A Plan To Save The Auto Rescue.  The Youngstown Vindicator reported “Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, said he is developing a plan to ‘rescue the auto industry.’” [Youngstown Vindicator, 3/2/12]

  • Mandel: “I’m Not Saying The Bailout Didn’t Work.”  The Youngstown Vindicator reported “‘I’m not saying the bailout didn’t work,’ Mandel said.” [Youngstown Vindicator, 3/2/12]
  • Next Sentence: Mandel Disagreed That Auto Rescue Save The Auto Industry.  The Youngstown Vindicator reported “But Mandel said he ‘respectfully disagreed’ that it saved the American auto industry.” [Youngstown Vindicator, 3/2/12]

Nearly 800,000 Auto Industry Jobs In Ohio.  In January 2012, the Youngstown Vindicator reported “According to a 2010 study by the Center for Automotive Research, more than 792,000 Ohio jobs depend on the auto industry.  That figure includes 120,285 direct jobs, 276,330 indirect jobs and 395,981 spinoff jobs.” [Youngstown Vindicator, 1/20/12]

Ohio Democratic Party Statement on Republican Primary

COLUMBUS – Tonight, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern issued the following statement:

“Tonight Mitt Romney managed to eek out an embarrassingly narrow victory in Ohio and the race came at an extremely high cost to his candidacy. Governor Romney constantly demonstrated that he is out-of-touch with our middle-class families by embracing an extreme, far-right agenda that does not reflect mainstream Ohio. Romney’s constant pandering to the most extreme elements of his party has wounded him among women, moderate and blue-collar voters, without whose support he simply cannot win Ohio in the general election.

“Mitt Romney showed Ohio voters that he is more interested in looking out for the biggest corporations and wealthiest Americans than the needs of middle-class Ohioans. He stood with his party by stating that an employer should be able to deny female employees coverage because of that employer’s beliefs. And he failed to explain why he would have allowed the auto industry – an industry that supports 1 in 8 Ohio jobs – to go bankrupt.

“Should Mitt Romney be his party’s nominee, he will find it difficult to win the support of Ohio voters. From his support of John Kasich’s attack on Ohio workers, to his desire to end Medicare as we know it, to his lack of concern for struggling homeowners, to his tax plan that helps the wealthiest Americans at the expense of the middle class, Ohioans simply won’t buy what Mitt Romney is selling.”

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MEMO: No Matter What Happens, Democrats are the Real Winner of Tonight’s Ohio Primary

FROM: Ohio Democratic Party
TO: Interested Parties
RE: Ohio Republican Presidential Primary
DATE: March 6, 2012

The following memo outlines the impact of the Ohio Republican presidential primary campaign on Democrats’ chances in November and the adverse effect the campaign has had on GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney’s candidacy.

A Race to the Far-Right

Mitt Romney demonstrated throughout his campaign that he is out-of-touch with the Buckeye State, embracing an extreme, far-right agenda that does not reflect mainstream Ohio. Romney is more interested in looking out for the biggest corporations and wealthiest Americans than the needs of middle-class Ohioans, as evidenced by his tax plan that bolsters the wealthy but does little for everyday Ohioans. Romney also wants to allow Wall Street to write its own rules and even opposed Ohio’s own Rich Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

After saying we should allow the American auto industry to go bankrupt, embracing John Kasich’s attack on workers and advocating for a plan that would end Medicare as we know it, Mitt Romney has weakened his standing among independent voters. Moreover, Romney’s war on women has damaged him among female voters. From supporting a policy that allows an employer to deny women coverage because of that employer’s religious belief to his support of a “Personhood” amendment that would ban abortion even if the life of the mother is at risk, Ohio women are fleeing Romney at a fast pace.

Little Enthusiasm for the GOP Frontrunner

Two weeks ago, Governor Romney opened his state headquarters here in Ohio with few supporters and an extreme lack of enthusiasm. In the GOP stronghold of Southwest Ohio, Romney held an event that NBC’s First Read said had “a noticeable lack of energy from the crowd” and “people applauded only sparingly” for Romney. And when Romney won the Ohio GOP straw poll last summer, members of the audience booed.

While Romney’s supporters are barely excited about his candidacy, Democrats are energized and mobilized for President Obama, Senator Sherrod Brown and Democrats up and down the ticket. The Atlantic reported yesterday about a “surge of enthusiasm” among Ohio Democrats due to an improving economy and GOP attacks on women’s rights that have Ohio Democrats “fired up.”

Weak GOP Infrastructure

Real Clear Politics said it best: “You need not look further than [Ohio] to see just how badly Mitt Romney’s vaunted campaign organization lags behind President Obama’s.” Rather than building a strong grassroots organization in Ohio as Democrats are doing, Republican presidential candidates have relied solely on negative television ads. Mitt Romney has carpet-bombed his opponent, with his campaign and his Super PAC spending $4 million on TV and radio ads, and outspending Rick Santorum and his Super PAC 4-to-1.

Campaign Missteps and Embarrassment

From his very first campaign stops in the Buckeye State, Mitt Romney has shown a lack of discipline as a candidate. After embracing John Kasich’s attack on Ohio workers last summer, Mitt Romney came to Greater Cincinnati to headline a phone bank in support of Issue 2. After he left the phone bank, he said that he was “not taking a position” on Issue 2, but in Virginia the next day he said that he “fully supported” John Kasich’s bill. Issue 2 failed by a 62-38 percent margin. Last week, in an interview with the Ohio News Network, Romney was asked about the Blunt-Rubio Amendment, and said, “I’m not for the bill.” An hour later, he backtracked, stating that “of course” he supports the bill.

Mitt Romney also continues to be unable to explain why he turned his back on Ohio’s autoworkers and said that we should let the auto industry go bankrupt. If it were up to Mitt Romney, GM and Chrysler would not be in business today, but because of President Obama, Sen. Sherrod Brown and Democrats, those automakers and their suppliers are creating jobs across Ohio today. Nearly 850,000 jobs are supported by Ohio’s auto industry, so questions about Mitt Romney’s inexplicable stance will continue to dog him in Ohio should he become his Party’s nominee.

The Bottom Line

Whether or not Mitt Romney wins tonight’s Ohio primary, the campaign here has come at a high cost for him. Should he become his Party’s nominee, he will be damaged by his out-of-touch nature and the extreme, far-right policies he has embraced. He has put himself in an extremely weak position among blue-collar, independent and women voters – key voting blocs in the Buckeye State.

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Ohio Women Leaders Decry Mitt Romney’s War on Women Romney Flip-Flops in Ohio, Says Any Employer Should Be Able to Deny Women Health Coverage Because of that Employer’s Beliefs

Audio from today’s conference call can be accessed here.

COLUMBUS – Ohio women leaders joined together today decrying Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s war on women, evidenced by his support for the “Blunt Amendment” – a measure that would allow any employer to deny female employees coverage because of that employer’s beliefs.

Yesterday, after telling the Ohio News Network’s Jim Heath that he opposed the Blunt Amendment, Mitt Romney reversed himself, saying that he “of course” supports the amendment. Romney’s support for the Blunt Amendment is the latest demonstration that he is out-of-touch with Ohio women

U.S. Congresswoman Betty Sutton, who was unable to join the call today due to congressional obligations, said Romney sees women’s health as a political wedge issue – a way to score points.

“Women’s health is a personal and private issue, not a political opportunity for Mitt Romney,” said Sutton. “If Mitt Romney finally decides on a consistent position on this issue, I hope he decides to stand on the side of women.”

State Representative Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) said the Blunt Amendment is only the most recent example of how Mitt Romney and the Republican Party have launched a war on women.

“This isn’t Romney’s first flip-flop when it comes to women, and it isn’t the first time he’s ended up on the wrong side. In fact, every time Romney has flip-flopped on a women’s issue, he’s ended up on the wrong side,” Clyde said. “Romney used to be pro-choice. When he was running for governor of Massachusetts, he said he would “preserve and protect a women’s right to choose. Our reproductive health is an intensely personal and private issue between us, our families and our doctors. By embracing extreme policies like the Blunt Amendment, Romney is trying to impose his will on women across the country. That would have real-life consequences for millions of women.”

Stating that the Blunt Amendment doesn’t just apply to contraceptive coverage, but to any aspect of health care an employer chooses like mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, maternity care, HIV/AIDS treatment, Nan Whaley, Dayton City Commissioner said Romney won’t find much support among Ohio’s women for his latest position on this seriously concerning policy.

“For decisions critical to women’s health, Mitt Romney and the Blunt Amendment he supports would take them away from women and give them to their bosses,” said Whaley. “This is more extreme than even what the Catholic Church is calling for. A recent poll showed that less than a third of Ohio women have a favorable opinion of Romney – and taking the wrong side in his party’s war on women isn’t going to help him.”

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern closed the conference call today pointing to Romney’s support of an amendment to the Massachusetts constitution similar to the so-called “Personhood amendment” that defines life as beginning at the moment of conception, which right-leaning groups in Ohio are collecting signatures to place on Ohio’s ballot this November.

“This is an extreme and radical step, even for Mitt Romney. Personhood would outlaw many forms of birth control, including IUDs and morning-after pills. A “personhood amendment” would ban all abortions – even if a woman is a victim of rape or incest or if she would die otherwise. Most Ohioans, including people on both sides of the abortion issue, see this as an extreme and radical step. It’s time Romney and the rest of the Republican Party ended the war on women they’ve started.”

Mitt Romney Admits Comments About His Wealth Hurt Campaign

At a press availability in Michigan on Tuesday morning, Mitt Romney admitted that his campaign has been wounded by some of his comments in recent days that had the unintended effect of highlighting his wealth.

During a stop at his campaign headquarters in Livonia, Mich., a reporter asked Romney whether he realized that comments accentuating his wealth were hurting his campaign.

“Yes. Next question,” Romney simply stated.

In just the past week, Romney has made several statements that reinforce the impression that he, as a multi-millionaire, is out of touch with the economic concerns of working Americans — a perception that the Obama campaign and his Republican opponents have been trying to emphasize.

On Friday, Romney said his wife drives “a couple of Cadillacs.”

During a visit to Florida’s Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, Romney was asked whether he follows racing.

“Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans, but I have some friends who are NASCAR team owners,” he replied.

He also approached a group of fans wearing plastic ponchos and said, “I like those fancy raincoats you bought. Really sprung for the big bucks.”

Ohio Democrats: Romney Would Have Let Jeep Die

At Press Conference in Toledo, Democrats Call Out Romney for Opposing Auto Rescue

TOLEDO – Today, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern, State Representative Michael Ashford, 5th District Congressional candidate Angela Zimmann and Lucas County Democratic Party Chairman Ron Rothenbuhler stood in front of a podium sign reading, “Romney: Let Jeep Die” and held a press conference in Toledo to highlight Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s out-of-touch record when it comes to manufacturing and the auto industry. The event followed Mitt Romney’s appearance at American Posts LLC in Toledo.

The Ohio Democrats opened the event by pointing to comments made by Romney earlier in the day in which he said, “I gotta push a button. That’ll be my heavy-lift in terms of manufacturing.”

“How out-of-touch can Mitt Romney possibly be?” Lucas County Democratic Party Chairman Ron Rothenbuhler asked. “Mitt Romney simply does not understand the struggles that blue-collar manufacturing workers and middle-class Ohio families face every single day. And if he thinks that he can swoop into Lucas County and press a button and somehow relate to hard-working Ohioans, then he is sorely mistaken.”

State Representative Mike Ashford of Toledo talked about the autoworkers he represents and the autoworkers across America. “Since President Obama stood up for the auto industry, more than 1.4 million jobs have been saved, 200,000 created and more than 150,000 expected in the next few years. And Chrysler will soon invest $500 million in the Jeep plant, right here in my district.”

Ashford invited Mitt Romney to visit the Jeep plant and meet his constituents to hear how the auto industry has been helped through the rescue efforts that he opposed.

5th District Congressional Candidate Angela Zimmann slammed her Republican opponent, Congressman Bob Latta, for voting against the auto rescue.

“This region of Ohio runs on cars,” Zimmann said. “The auto industry runs in our blood. But if Bob Latta had his way, our auto industry would not exist as it does today. It’s a real slap in the face that he thinks we won’t remember how he voted against our autoworkers.”

“When more than a million American jobs were on the line, Mitt Romney said that we should just sit back and let the auto industry go bankrupt,” Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern added. “Let me be clear: Mitt Romney would have let Jeep die. When Mitt Romney said we should let the auto industry go bankrupt, he told thousands of Jeep workers and their families to get lost. He owes the people of Toledo and Northwest Ohio an explanation why.”

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Ohio Dems: Welcome to Ohio, Mitt Romney

Don’t Expect a Warm Welcome

COLUMBUS – Tonight, following Mitt Romney’s incredibly poor showing in the Michigan Republican presidential primary, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern issued the following statement:

“By his incredibly poor showing in Michigan – his ‘home’ state and where his father was a governor – Mitt Romney has demonstrated his weakness in Midwestern states like Ohio that rely heavily on manufacturing and the auto industry. Despite his narrow win, Romney’s constant pandering to the extreme right wing has wounded him among moderate and blue-collar voters, without whose support he is sure to lose both Ohio and the general election.

“He now goes to Toledo, a city that is starting to turn around because of the very industry he wanted to let go bankrupt – a city in which he is unlikely to find much support. He has offered no logical explanation for his opposition to the auto rescue, and the fact is that if Mitt Romney had his way, the American auto industry would not exist as it does today. Try explaining that to Toledo voters.

“As the Republican presidential primary comes to Ohio, Governor Romney will need to explain to Ohioans why he supported John Kasich’s attacks on workers, why he has no plan to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure, and why he thought hundreds of thousands of Ohio jobs supported by our auto industry were not worth saving. We say good luck.”

Mitt Romney Launches Ohio Campaign; Hardly Anyone Notices

COLUMBUS – At a lightly attended State Campaign Headquarters Opening in Columbus today, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney launched his campaign. Only a few dozen people attended the event, despite the event being headlined by Senator Rob Portman, one of Romney’s most prominent supporters in the country.

“Just two weeks before Super Tuesday, Governor Romney opened his state headquarters here in Ohio with few supporters and an extreme lack of enthusiasm, shedding light on the organizational advantage Ohio Democrats hold over Republicans heading into November,” said Columbus City Councilman Zach Klein.

Klein joined a group of members of Service Employees International Union 1199, who held signs and spoke out against Romney’s out-of-touch policies that would harm middle-class Ohioans.

The event in Columbus today came at the same time that the Romney Campaign gave a speech to an empty football stadium in Detroit, MI. During the address Romney proposed a fiscally irresponsible plan that would increase the deficit by $5 trillion over the next decade, provide millionaires with tax breaks 800 percent larger than those for the middle class, hollow out retirement security and allow the wealthiest who earn their income off of investments to pay a lower tax rate than middle class Americans.

The launch of Romney’s Ohio campaign comes just days after Mitt Romney’s Cincinnati event, which was widely panned as underwhelming. NBC’s First Read said the event had “a noticeable lack of energy from the crowd” and “people applauded only sparingly” for Romney.

Added Klein, “The Romney campaign demonstrated today that there is no enthusiasm for their candidate in Ohio, no enthusiasm for their candidate in his home state of Michigan, and quite frankly no enthusiasm for his candidacy anywhere. While Romney’s supporters are barely excited about his candidacy, Democrats are energized and mobilized for President Obama, Senator Sherrod Brown and Democrats up and down the ticket.”

Ohio Democratic Party Statement on Former Sen. Mike DeWine’s Switch of Support from Romney to Santorum

COLUMBUS – Today, Ohio Democratic Party Communications Director Seth Bringman issued the following statement:

“As is true for countless Ohioans, the more Mike DeWine learned about Mitt Romney, the less he liked.”

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Paid for and authorized by the Ohio Democratic Party, not authorized by any federal candidate or campaign committee. Chris Redfern, Chairman, 340 East Fulton St, Columbus, Ohio 43215.