Ohio in Spotlight as Obama, Romney Make Economic Pitch
President Obama speaks at Ohio State University in March. Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images.
Both men on the Nov. 6 presidential ballot will appeal to Ohio voters Thursday with events aimed at showcasing how each would be a better steward of the economy.
Mitt Romney is punctuating his push with a television ad, keeping alive President Obama's awkward remarks about the private sector from Friday.
The new ad features no narration other than text. Instead it stars the president saying three times, "The private sector is doing fine."
Watch the spot here or below.
Reporter-producer Tiffany Mullon was on a call with Romney operatives on Wednesday as they outlined how they see the dueling Ohio events. The president speaks at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland at almost the same time Thursday afternoon that Romney takes the stage at his rally near Cincinnati.
Top Romney strategist Russ Schriefer previewed the message Romney hopes to deliver, but he acknowledged a more immediate problem for his candidate: Economic conditions in Ohio have been steadily improving, bucking the national trend. But, Schriefer credited the state's success to its governor, John Kasich, not the president.
"Gov. Romney is going to be much like Gov. Kasich ... and operate with a much more pro-business attitude," he said.
The national unemployment rate of 8.2 percent may help Romney's case and with the crowd in conservative southwest Ohio.
The president will be 250-odd miles northeast, touting the state's now 7.4 percent unemployment rate -- down from a high of 10.6 in late 2009 -- and claim that the policies he's put in place are responsible. At the time Mr. Obama took office, Ohio's unemployment rate stood at 8.6 percent and the national rate was at 7.6 percent.
House Speaker John Boehner is welcoming the president to the Buckeye State with a long web video criticizing Mr. Obama for not agreeing to the GOP's jobs plan.
Watch it here or below.
The Washington Post has more on how the president will present his economic pitch.
The Post writes:
Obama is expected to argue that Romney's proposals to extend and expand tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, and to slice deeply into government spending without committing to new revenue, reflect the policies of George W. Bush's presidency, which ended with huge deficits and a recession.
A recent Purple Strategies Poll shows Romney with a three-point lead in Ohio, 48 percent to 45 percent. Other polls have it similarly locked up.
But the Obama campaign's attacks on Romney's background at Bain Capital could carry weight in Ohio: 49 percent of respondents there said that private investment firms hurt workers and cut jobs, while only 33 percent believed they foster economic growth and create jobs.
Asked about that figure, Schriefer said the Obama campaign "is going to do what ever they can to try and put the free enterprise system on trial."
"The real thing in that poll is that people believe that the country is going in the wrong direction and for the last three years President Obama has been taking it in that direction," he said.
The call was the first time the Romney campaign provided Schriefer to talk to the press, and it wasn't all quite so serious. A conservative blogger on the call asked if Team Romney knew where the president would be traveling: "I'm hoping he's not going to be in northwest Ohio, because he always ties up traffic. So if he's going to be up here I may stay home tomorrow."
Schriefer added, "I hope that doesn't screw up your traffic plans."
Starting Friday, Romney will create his own traffic pattern, embarking on a five-day, six-state "Every Town Counts" bus tour focused on small towns. He'll make a Father's Day swing through Ohio, with stops in Brunswick, about 25 miles southwest of Cleveland; Newark, 35 miles east of Columbus; and Troy, about 20 miles north of Dayton.
Gwen Ifill will meet up with Romney's bus tour in Ohio on Sunday. Tune in to the NewsHour Monday for her report and follow her @pbsgwen.
REDISTRICTING INFLUENCES NOVEMBER
With most of the primaries behind us, the NewsHour took a look at the battle for control of the House. One of the factors that will determine whether the Republicans retain their hold on the chamber is redistricting.
In Judy Woodruff's piece Wednesday, Roll Call's Shira Toeplitz and Nathan Gonzales of the Rothenberg Political Report explained how the GOP was able to maintain an advantage when it comes to the state-level mapmaking.
But Democrats see opportunities in several pockets of the country, especially in California and Illinois.
Watch the segment here or below.
Christina also wrote a post highlighting some of the most interesting redistricting-fueled races on the ballot this year.
Finally, our partners at Arizona Public Media have a report on the race to replace Gabrielle Giffords and Ron Barber's victory. You can watch that here.
MAKING OUR OWN LUCK?
The NewsHour took a break from politics Wednesday for a new type of segment exploring one of the most talked about videos on the Internet last week: author Michael Lewis' Princeton University speech about luck.
It was one of those addresses that might just be memorable for graduates, but also struck a chord, and sparked debate, about the role of fortune in society, especially within the Ivy Leagues.
We collected thoughts about the speech that you can read here, and then Jeffrey Brown talked with Lewis about his intentions. The "Moneyball" author told Jeff that Ivy League students are "encouraged to believe that you're very special, that you have passed through all these very fine filters our society has created, and you got this road ahead of you that's deserved and earned."
"I do think it's very easy for people sitting in those seats to forget that they're lucky, that there's a huge amount of chance in life, and accident plays a very big role in life. And they ought to dwell on that a minute. They ought to dwell on just how fortunate they are," Lewis said.
He said it's important to remember a spirit of service and added, "even to put the question into the minds of young people of what they owe is maybe a novel concept, because there are an awful lot of people who sit on top of the society who don't feel that way."
Watch the segment here or below.
2012 LINE ITEMS
The pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA is putting this ad on the airwaves in New Hampshire ahead of Romney's Friday visit.
Obama for America's latest web video riffs on Romney soundbites, such as "I'm also unemployed" and "some of my friends are Nascar owners," to paint the Republican presidential candidate as being out of touch. This one includes some snappy guitar music.
Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is ponying up $10 million for the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future, report Alicia Mundy and Sara Murray of the Wall Street Jounral.
This Reuters column by Rachelle Younglai assesses Romney's approach to business in China.
The Center for American Progress has a nifty graphic on the states in which unregistered voters could swing an election if they take part this November.
Judy Woodruff channels Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" in her blog post about the Florida voter-roll purge.
The New York Times explores Ann Romney's wardrobe choices.
Michelle Obama made a guest appearance Wednesday night on Food Network's "Restaurant: Impossible." The show had two days to create a dining room, build a kitchen and plant a fruit and vegetable at a Washington, D.C., area community center before the the first lady's arrival.
Romney raises $3m in Cincinnati Thursday night.Donor Craig Lindner says that's a new record for Ohio political event. #2012
— Steve Peoples (@sppeoples) June 13, 2012
Romney's old Iowa headquarters at a former Des Moines Blockbuster looks very different now... instagr.am/p/L1PICxjYQz/
— Sarah Boxer (@Sarah_Boxer) June 13, 2012
Rubio's much-hyped immigration proposal still unwritten bit.ly/ODv4Pn
— Amy Hollyfield (@amy_hollyfield) June 13, 2012
Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura no longer flies because he won't let the TSA touch him huff.to/KtqcyL
— HuffPost Politics (@HuffPostPol) June 14, 2012
Excited to enter 21st century and get on Twitter at last. Join me to discuss money and politics and latest campaign finance developments.
— Michael Toner (@michaeletoner) June 13, 2012
OUTSIDE THE LINES
Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker brought to Washington the message that his state is "open for business." He'll also be attending a Christian Science Monitor breakfast Thursday. Watch our site for more on that talk.
Politico's Jake Sherman uncovers the data dump that reveals Congress' richest members. But it doesn't go far enough, he writes.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is campaigning Thursday with former Virginia governor, senator and current senate candidate George Allen at a family-owned flower shop in Arlington, Va.
Wired Magazine shows you how close you live to the nearest drone military base on U.S. soil.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., proposes ways to limit drone surveillance.
Itching for more day-to-day coverage of the happenings on the Hill? C-SPAN and National Journal plan to pump up their congressional reporting in a new partnership.
Former vice presidential candidate John Edwards gets a second helping of good news. The Justice Department has dropped the campaign finance charges on which a jury had deadlocked.
Roll Call says it again: Get ready for a nailbiter elections in Virginia.
Stuart Rothenberg writes in Roll Call that this year's swing states don't smell like 2008.
The New York Times on the Supreme Court and the broccoli metaphor that's blossomed into a life of its own.
Matt Bai in New York Times Magazine profiles Bob Kerrey, the former senator determined to get back into Washington after more than a decade away.
Jamie Dimon wore cufflinks bearing presidential seal while testifying before the Senate Banking Committee Wednesday.
New York Times media columnist David Carr makes the case that a loss of reporters means a loss of accountability in the public interest during a tense NewsHour discussion with the New Orleans Times-Picayune editor Jim Amoss.
HBO trains its lens on George H. W. Bush in "41," a documentary film set to air Thursday. In the film, the 41st president shares personal anecdotes from his childhood, his family, serving in World War II and in politics
Cassie M. Chew, Terence Burlij and Alex Bruns contributed to this report.
ON THE TRAIL
All events are listed in Eastern Time.
President Obama delivers remarks at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland at 1:45 p.m.
Vice President Joe Biden gives the commencement address to Tallwood High School graduates in Virginia Beach at 1 p.m. and attends an event for his son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, in Wilmington at 6:30 p.m.
Mitt Romney holds an event at Seilkop Industries in Cincinnati at 1:50 p.m.
All future events can be found on our Political Calendar:
For more political coverage, visit our politics page.
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Questions or comments? Email Christina Bellantoni at cbellantoni-at-newshour-dot-org.