CLEVELAND, Ohio – Rob Portman delivered a defining win in tonight’s final debate against failed former Governor Ted Strickland. Not only did Strickland fail to outline a positive vision for the future, but he again failed to change the dynamic in the race in any way. Rob's win comes on the heels of receiving the endorsement from the Cleveland Plain Dealer and four separate newspaper endorsements over the weekend - the Akron Beacon Journal, the Youngstown Vindicator, the Martins Ferry Times Leader, and the Highland County Press. For those keeping track, Rob has been endorsed by nine newspapers while Strickland has only been endorsed by one. Following the debate, the Portman for Senate Campaign issued this statement:
“Tonight's debate highlighted the differences between Rob and failed former Governor Ted Strickland while also showcasing why Ohio unions and Ohio newspapers, like the Cleveland Plain Dealer, are supporting Rob. While Rob is getting results for Ohio, passing over 45 bills into law - including efforts to combat Ohio’s addiction epidemic and fighting back against human trafficking - Ted Strickland is growing increasingly desperate as national Democrats abandon his campaign and as he fails to defend his record as governor when Ohio lost more than 350,000 jobs and ranked 48th in job creation.
"While Strickland had no problem telling Ohioans that 'Cleveland's biggest enemy is Cleveland' until he decided to run for Senate, the truth is that Cleveland's biggest enemy is Ted Strickland because he was the worst governor for Cleveland in a lifetime. Tonight, Ohioans saw first hand why Strickland has the worst record and is running the worst campaign in the country. The bottom line is, Strickland was 'horrible for Greater Cleveland,' and Ohio simply cannot afford a return to Retread Ted’s failed policies of higher taxes, burdensome regulations, and bigger government."
Here are Five Takeaways From Tonight’s Final Debate:
1. Rob is getting results for Ohio, passing over 45 bills into law - including efforts to combat Ohio’s addiction epidemic and fighting back against human trafficking.
2. Rob is fighting for Ohio workers and is a leader when it comes to leveling the playing field on trade so Ohioans can compete and win. He’s passed legislation, including the Level the Playing Field Act and the ENFORCE Act, to protect Ohio workers from unfair trade. In fact, Rob’s leadership to protect Ohio workers has earned him endorsements from unions representing over 100,000 Ohio families – including the Ohio Conference of Teamsters, the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, the IUOE Local 18, and the United Mine Workers of America – who all previously supported Strickland.
3. Ted Strickland never met a job he couldn’t outsource to another state or country, including his own when he moved to D.C. for a high paid gig running the lobbying arm of a D.C. special interest group. Ohio lost more than 350,000 jobs while ranking 48th in job creation during his time as governor.
4. Ted Strickland talks tough on China but like so many issues, his actions don’t match his words. In Congress, Ted refused to hold China accountable for unfair trade practices. As governor, despite his strong rhetoric, his administration opened a trade office in China and he even gave a $4 million taxpayer-funded loan to a now-bankrupt company with a Chinese factory.
5. Ted Strickland was "the worst governor for Cleveland" in a lifetime:
Following Strickland’s 2010 defeat, he blamed his loss on voters in the Cleveland area, who he believed were not appreciative of his efforts. He also charged that “Cleveland’s biggest enemy is Cleveland.” (Plain Dealer, December 21, 2010)
While Ted was governor, the Greater Cleveland area lost more than 76,000 jobs. (OhioLostJobs.com; Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 3/25/16). Despite the devastating job loss in Cleveland, Ted Strickland said, "We did a lot for Cleveland. Cleveland, quite frankly, got more than their fair share." (Reginald Fields, Plain Dealer, December 21, 2010)