Strickland Campaign Statement on Portman’s Desperate Effort to Save His Own Political Skin

Today Strickland for Senate campaign spokesman David Bergstein issued the following statement:

“Just like the typical Washington politician that he is, Senator Portman is engaging in a desperate and transparent attempt to save his own political skin because he knows that his unabashed record of supporting Trump has put him badly out of step with the values that Ohioans believe in. For months, Senator Portman has stood by and propped up Trump as he has engaged in a campaign of hate and division -- even as leading Ohio Republicans like Governor Kasich have spoken out against him. Ohio voters will see Portman for what he is: a desperate and cowardly politician who will try and say anything to help himself.”  

BACKGROUND: PORTMAN’S RECORD OF SUPPORTING TRUMP: 

Portman: “I'm Supporting Donald Trump For President.” “Ohio Senator Rob Portman (R) has generally said he would support the Republican presidential nominee no matter the outcome of the primaries. On Friday, he exclusively told WTOL 11's Viviana Hurtado that he is endorsing presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump. ‘I have said for a long time that I intend to support the Republican nominee. Republican voters have now gone through the process, they have selected Donald Trump, and so I'm supporting Donald Trump for President,’ affirmed the incumbent Senator.” [WTOL, 5/6/16

When Asked Whether Trump’s Controversial Statements Outweigh His Issue Positions, Portman Said “I Think It’s Appropriate To Support The Republican Nominee.” “Portman, who is locked in a tight re-election bid against former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, was also asked if Trump’s controversial statements – which critics call racist – outweighs his positions on issues. Portman said he supports Trump’s stance on rebuilding the military and believes Trump is the better option for ‘getting the country back on track in terms of economic growth.’ He said he will ‘continue to disagree’ with Trump when he disagrees with him but ‘I think it’s appropriate to support the Republican nominee. The people have made his choice clear.’” [Columbus Dispatch,6/7/16]

Portman: “I Think There’s A Desperate Need For Change, And So I Am Supporting Donald Trump.” “Moving on to presidential politics, Portman described his meeting with Trump on Thursday as ‘a listening session.’ ‘It was a very good discussion,’ he said. ‘I thought both sides listened well, which is the first step toward understanding where somebody else stands.’ He also explained why he backs Trump. ‘I think there’s a desperate need for change, and so I am supporting Donald Trump, and I think these meetings yesterday were sort of a first step toward coming together with some common ground on some of these tough issues,’ Portman said.” [Yahoo, 5/13/16] 

September 2015: Portman Said Trump’s Message Was “Very Compelling.” In a September 2015 radio interview, Portman said: “These are people who are frustrated because they see Washington not getting stuff done. He is telling them, based on the polling that I’ve seen, something that is very compelling – and that is, I can get it done.” [YouTube, American Bridge 21st Century,12/17/15] (AUDIO) 

Portman: “I’ll Be Supporting Trump As I Said I Would.”U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) was at the Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission annual meeting at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station Thursday to discuss the importance of the air station in the Youngstown community. He commented on Kasich’s decision to pull out of the presidential race by quelling any thoughts that his name may appear on the ticket with Trump. ‘I am not interested in running with Trump. I am more interested in helping Ohio,’ Portman said. ‘Every day I get up and figure out how do you help Ohio and move Ohio forward. Whether it’s on jobs and the economy or ensure you have strong military bases. I’ve said all along I intend to support the Republican nominee. The Republican voters have spoken. I’ll be supporting Donald Trump as I said I would.’” [WKBN, 5/5/16] 

Portman Said Trump’s Stand On Tax Reform Would Strengthen The Economy. “U.S. Sen. Rob Portman on Tuesday provided a more detailed explanation for why he is supporting Donald Trump for president now that the New York Republican has emerged as the presumptive nominee of the party. […] Portman said Trump’s stand on tax reform would strengthen the economy.” [Dayton Daily News, 5/17/16] 

8/5/16: Portman Refused To Pull His Support For Trump, Saying He Agreed With Trump On Several Fronts Including The Economy, Regulation, And Strengthening The Military. “U.S. Sen. Rob Portman added himself to the list of high-ranking Republicans who say they disagreed with Trump’s comments against the Gold Star family of Capt. Humayun Khan after his parents spoke at the DNC. But Portman refuses to pull his support for the nominee, saying he agrees with Trump on several fronts such as the economy, regulation and strengthening the military. ‘So on those issues, policy issues, I agree more with the Trump approach and would prefer our candidate rather than Hillary Clinton,’ Portman said.” [WKSU, 8/5/16]

 

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