Strickland Campaign Statement on Portman Fundraising with President Bush

In response to news that Senator Portman will fundraise with President Bush, today Strickland campaign spokesman David Bergstein issued the following statement:

From David Bergstein, Strickland Campaign Spokesman: “We welcome President Bush to campaign with Senator Portman whenever he wants because it is the perfect opportunity to remind Ohioans about Portman’s devastating record of hurting our working families: as President Bush’s Budget Director Portman exploded the deficit, proposed cutting Medicare by $66 billion, tried to eliminate student loan programs and wanted to privatize Social Security – and as President Bush’s Trade Czar Portman led the charge to implement unfair trade deals that outsourced hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs to places like China. Working for President Bush, Portman’s policies torpedoed our economy and hurt Ohio’s middle class families, and in the Senate Portman has only continued to push the agenda of his rich and powerful friends at the expense of Ohio’s working people.”

Here’s a look at Portman’s budget priorities as OMB Director under Bush:

  • Slashed hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to combat drug abuse: Areport from the Akron Beacon Journal revealed that Portman’s budget proposed hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to substance abuse programs. [Akron Beacon Journal,2/4/16]

  • Eliminated a college loan program that 25,000 Ohioans now rely on: Portman’s budget proposed eliminating the Perkins Loan program. [Office Of Management and Budget, February 2007; U.S. Department Of Education, Federal Student Aid, Accessed 10/2/15]

  • Cut Medicare by $66 billion: Portman’s budget cut Medicare by $66 billion over five years. [Associated Press, 2/2/07]

  • Spiked the federal deficit: Portman’s budget nearly tripled the annual federal deficit from $161 billion to $458 billion. [Innovation Ohio,6/3/16]

  • Privatize Social Security: Portman’s budget proposed privatizing Social Security. [FY 08 Budget Proposal Social Security Administration, Accessed 6/17/16]

And here’s a look at Portman’s outsourcing, job-killing, China-first record as USTR under Bush:

  • World Trade Review: Portman said anti-currency manipulation legislation is  “counter-productive.” [World Trade Review,1/15/05]

  • Politico: As USTR, “Portman urged the President not to impose restrictions on cheap Chinese steel imports, causing a drop in sales and job losses for the U.S. steel industry.” [Politico, 7/24/12]

  • Youngstown Vindicator: Portman filed only four enforcement cases as Bush‘s trade representative, a “significant” decline from the number filed during the Clinton Administration. [Youngstown Vindicator,9/21/10]

  • Associated Press: Portman “didn't fare particularly well in stemming China's trade advantage” as USTR. “He didn't fare particularly well in stemming China's trade advantage, either. Under Portman's watch, the U.S. trade deficit with China soared by 25 percent in 2005, and the next year it climbed more than 15 percent.” [Associated Press,8/30/12]

  • PolitiFact: When Portman was USTR, America’s deficit with China spiked 21 percent. [PolitiFact, 9/9/10]


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