REMARKS: Chairman Redfern Says Kasich Should Credit Obama, Brown, Dems for Ohio’s Improving Economy in State of the State Address

Kasich, like Romney, opposed auto industry investments championed by Dems; has refused to admit mistake in opposing auto rescue

COLUMBUS – Today Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern held a press conference to preview Governor Kasich’s State of the State address and highlight efforts by President Obama, Senator Sherrod Brown and other Democrats that have improved Ohio’s economy.

Chairman Redfern’s prepared remarks follow:

“Tomorrow in Steubenville, Governor Kasich will deliver his second State of the State address. In his remarks, we expect him to give himself credit for Ohio’s improving economy. And while we agree wholeheartedly with Governor Kasich that Ohio’s economy is getting better, we disagree very much on how we  got on this road to recovery.

“I have next to me here a chart that shows month-by-month changes in employment over the last four years. The red bars on the chart represent the 4.6 million private sector jobs we lost in the year before the President took office. The blue bars represent job creation under President Obama.

“President Obama took office at a time when our country was losing jobs at a rate of more than 700,000 per month. From day one of his administration, the President worked with Senator Sherrod Brown and others to take swift, bold action to address the immediate jobs crisis. Working together, they stopped the bleeding and invested in America.

“America’s businesses have now added jobs for 23 straight months. More than 3.6 million private sector jobs have been created in the past two years. In the last month alone, 240,000 jobs were added.

“Democratic efforts were essential in saving our economy from free-fall. For instance, by cutting taxes for middle-class families, President Obama, Senator Sherrod Brown and other Democratic leaders worked to make sure Ohio families had a little more money in their wallets to pay for essential items like groceries, gas and home bills.

“And the Making Work Pay Tax Cut, part of President Obama’s 2009 Recovery Act, provided 4.5 million Ohio families with a collective $2.2 billion in tax relief. On top of that, President “Obama’s 2010 Payroll Tax Cut provided 5.7 million Ohio workers with a collective $3.6 billion in tax relief, and Democrats are fighting to extend the payroll tax cut through 2012 – all in an effort to make sure that our economy recovers, Ohioans have what they need to pay their bills, stay in their homes and put their kids through school, among other priorities.

“Republicans have a different approach when it comes to taxes. Mitt Romney and his Republican rivals believe that our tax system should instead benefit big corporations and the wealthiest Americans. And John Kasich’s budget imposes backdoor tax increases by passing the burden down to the local level. Because of Governor Kasich’s budget, local officials will need to raise taxes or take drastic measures like laying off police and firefighters.

“And we can’t forget the courageous efforts of President Obama, Senator Brown and Congressional Democrats to save the American auto industry – which  is now thriving.

“Because of the Obama Administration’s bold action to extend a loan to Chrysler and GM to give them the ability to re-structure and compete in this economy, Ohio has added more than 8,000 auto manufacturing jobs, since July 2009, and we are set to add more in the near future.

“President Obama’s efforts to rescue the auto industry were not politically popular at first, but he believed in the auto workers in Toledo and Lordstown and the communities affected by the auto industries because as we know, the auto industry here supports a full 12.4% of the state’s workforce!

“Republicans didn’t share in the President’s judgment on the auto industry. In fact, Mitt Romney suggested that we sit back and allow the auto industry to go bankrupt. And John Kasich criticized Democratic efforts to save GM and Chrysler.

“And now Mitt Romney is claiming that what he did as a corporate buyout specialist is no different than what the President did to save the US auto industry. Well, that assertion is just absurd on its face.

“To this day, Governor Kasich still won’t admit that he was wrong to oppose these efforts. If John Kasich and Mitt Romney had their way, the 848,000 Ohio jobs supported by the auto industry would have been in jeopardy.

“President Obama, Senator Brown and other Democratic leaders also understood that we needed to take quick action to stop Wall Street fat cats from once again engaging in the abusive practices that drove our country into recession. That’s why they passed Wall Street reform and that’s why the President appointed Ohio’s own Rich Cordray as America’s top consumer watchdog. Republicans like John Kasich didn’t support the President’s Wall Street Reform Act. And Republicans like Mitt Romney even want to repeal it.

“And on a number of issues including Kasich’s anti-union bill, supporting a so-called ‘Personhood’ amendment that would completely eliminate a woman’s right to choose, and pushing through an egregious assault on voters’ rights, Kasich is proving he’s not only out of touch with Ohio’s values, he’s out of touch with who stood up when it wasn’t politically expedient to do so, in order to save the nation and Ohio’s economy from going off the cliff.

“While our state and our nation are on a road to recovery, we of course have a lot more work to do. And that’s why President Obama, Senator Brown and other Democratic leaders are laser-focused on continuing to help our economy improve.

“We hope that John Kasich and his allies in the Statehouse will join Democrats in focusing on building upon the steps of economic recovery we’ve seen instead of continuing their extreme agenda of attacks on workers’ rights, women’s rights and voting rights.”

BACKGROUND

Kasich “Refused” to Take Sides on Auto Rescue Debate, Wouldn’t Say that Romney Was Wrong to Oppose It. “Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Wednesday he is grateful for the recovery of the American automobile industry, a cornerstone of Ohio’s manufacturing sector for decades. But in an interview with CNN, the Republican refused to wade into an ongoing dispute between Democrats and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney over the federal bailout of the auto industry.” [CNN, 12/1/11]

Kasich’s Spokesman Wouldn’t Say Whether Kasich Supported The Auto Bailout. Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, in a tight re-election fight against Republican challenger John Kasich, railed against those who opposed the bailout. “They have long since written off manufacturing in Ohio,” he said. In so doing, Strickland said, opponents turned their backs on GM, on Lordstown and on the plant’s 4,500 auto workers. “For anyone who had given up, I have four words for you,” Strickland said. “Look at this car.” Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols declined to say whether Kasich supported the GMbailout, though he said Kasich is “glad GM is here today.” [Plain Dealer, 9/9/10]

On FOX, Kasich Said of Auto Rescue: “We Shouldn’t Throw Good Money After Bad.”  Discussing plans to bail out the automakers while guest hosting The O’Reilly Factor in 2008, Kasich said, “Americans will say we don’t mind helping them if they’re going to be viable. If they’re not going to be viable, we shouldn’t throw good money after bad. And so I think the public’s even going to put pressure on them.” [O'Reilly Factor, 12/19/08]

On The Stump, Kasich Criticized Auto Rescue Efforts.  Speaking about Americans’ attitude towards politicians at the Lake County Republican Party Convention in August, Kasich said, “So we don’t trust the politicians then we find out there is bunch of em in Washington hatching up these schemes. They’re gonna run an automobile company, they’re gonna tell us which doctor we’re gonna go to.” [Lake County GOP Convention, 8/29/09]

Kasich: Government Shouldn’t Run a Car Company.  At a September Tea Party event in West Chester, Kasich said, “What’s happening is there’s a handful of people who’ve taken control of things for too long who are now trying to be in a position to run our lives, that’s what we don’t want. They want to tell us how to run a car company. They want to tell us how to do medical care. They want to – and they’re bankrupting our children.” [West Chester Tea Party, 9/5/09]

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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.