In Ohio, Obama touts success of auto-industry bailout

September 4, 2012

By Dave Boyer-The Washington Times

TOLEDO, Ohio — As his allies in big labor savaged Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, President Obama told a heavily union crowd in this auto-manufacturing town Monday that he saved the industry while Mr. Romney would have allowed it to collapse.

“When the auto industry was flat-lining, what was in Gov. Romney’s playbook was to let Detroit go bankrupt,” Mr. Obama told about 3,100 supporters at a high school gymnasium. “You would have been benched for good. We weren’t going to give up on your jobs. I stood with American workers. Three years later, that bet is paying off for America.”

The president is on a four-state campaign swing through battleground states on his way to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., where he will arrive Wednesday. Mr. Obama has visited Iowa, Colorado and Ohio on this trip, with a trip to Norfolk, Va., set for Tuesday.

Ohio is one of the most hotly contested states in the race — no Republican has ever won the White House without carrying Ohio — and Mr. Obama is playing heavily on his bailout of the auto industry to win here. The president mocked Mr. Romney with football analogies, playing on the Republican’s comment in Ohio last weekend that America needs a new coach.

“He said he’s going to be the coach that leads America to a winning season,” Mr. Obama said. “The problem is, everybody’s already seen his playbook.”

On first down, Mr. Obama said, Mr. Romney “hikes taxes,” although the president fumbled the delivery of his line.

On second down, he said, Mr. Romney “calls an audible and undoes reforms that are there to prevent another financial crisis and bank bailout.”

On third down, “he calls for a Hail Mary — ending Medicare as we know it,” Mr. Obama said.

He told Ohioans of the Romney-Ryan plan: “Punt it away. You don’t need that coach. That’s a losing season.”

Mr. Obama got an assist on Labor Day from union officials, who deployed some of the most heated rhetoric of the campaign. Speaker after speaker preceding the president at the rally blasted Mr. Romney, with AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka suggesting that the Republican is exploiting racial and social divisions in the campaign.

“The Republican candidate for president has decided to target people like you and me,” Mr. Trumka told the crowd. “He wants to target us with ads and with mail that make sly appeals to ugly, ugly emotions and social divisions. His goal is to pit the American people against each other so we won’t vote. What he’s doing is beneath the dignity of the American people, and we won’t let him win. It’s time that we take a stand against intolerance and for American values.”

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