What They’re Saying: Rob Portman’s RNC Nightmare (Day 3)

COLUMBUS, OH -- It’s day three of the Republican National Convention -- and for Senator Portman the end of the week can’t come fast enough. Portman is running as fast as he can away from the Convention festivities, but he can’t escape the barrage of stories and questions about his support for the most toxic and divisive candidate in modern history. The word of the day to describe Portman’s situation appears to be “tightrope” -- and he’s in real danger of falling off.

See for yourself: 

MSNBC: SPOTTED At Republican National Convention: Trump ♥’s Portman. 

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Medina Gazette: Portman, Gibbs hopeful about Trump candidacy“‘The choices are clear. I think we’re better with Donald Trump,’ [Portman] said.”

Columbus Dispatch: Rob Portman balancing Donald Trump's effect on Senate candidacy“When it’s time for reporters to ask about his campaign, all they want to talk about is Donald Trump. Welcome to Rob Portman’s 2016 [...] Trump has spurred Portman to walk a more delicate tightrope than, say, Kasich...“Democrats have fairly leapt on Portman’s decision to endorse Trump. While Portman had an event honoring volunteers Monday, a cluster of Democrats stood outside, with one wielding a giant cutout of Portman’s head – complete with a photoshopped “Making China Great Again” hat and another wielding a giant cutout of Trump’s head. [...] ‘In Ohio you win on your ground game,’ Pepper said, adding ‘No matter what Rob Portman does, I don’t think anything can make up for the lack of a presidential ground game.’”

Ohio Public Radio: In Tough Reelection Fight, Portman Stops By RNC“Some Ohio Republicans are worried that Donald Trump’s controversial candidacy may drag down Portman’s chances to beat Democratic former Governor Ted Strickland.”

Politico: Ohio’s nearly Trump-less morning after“A longtime advocate for multinational trade deals, Portman has struggled to align his message with Trump’s calls for sharp slowdowns in foreign trade and renegotiations of existing deals.”

Cincinnati.com: The Portman Convention? Senator navigates in Party of Trump“Portman would much rather be kayaking than answering questions about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump...That leaves Portman to walk a tightrope that Democrats, especially Strickland, try to jostle frequently...Portman spent time at his Monday volunteer rally fielding questions from reporters about Trump – again.”

Ohio Public Radio: In Tough Reelection Fight, Portman Stops By RNC“Some Ohio Republicans are worried that Donald Trump’s controversial candidacy may drag down Portman’s chances to beat Democratic former Governor Ted Strickland.”

New York Times: Rob Portman’s Alternate Universe Convention. “The moderate Republican Ohio senator, now caught in a fierce re-election fight against the former Ohio governor Ted Strickland, lobbied hard in 2014 for Cleveland to host the Republican National Convention this summer. Two years later, he’s trying to stay as far away from the convention limelight as possible.

  • Democrats have capitalized on Mr. Portman’s self-exile from convention festivities. Outside the auditorium where Mr. Portman was speaking, the Ohio Democratic Party protesters wore judge-like robes, to highlight Mr. Portman’s decision to not vote to have a hearing for Merrick B. Garland, President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. Another one held up a big blown up portrait of Mr. Portman’s head sporting a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat.”
  • “‘Donald Trump’s campaign in many ways is Rob Portman’s worst nightmare,’ said David Pepper, the chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party. ‘If you really are troubled by him on all these issues, then to me, you own up to it like John Kasich does and simply say, ‘I can’t support him.’ That’s what leadership looks like.’”

Wall Street Journal: Sen. Rob Portman Treads Lightly Around Republican Convention“He is walking a tightrope as he runs for his second Senate term against former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland. To win, he will need support both from Trump loyalists and from swing voters who may be put off by the New York businessman.” 

  • “A pillar of the Democratic Senate campaign has been to wrap Mr. Portman around his party’s nominee. Mr. Strickland’s campaign launched a convention week website, PortmanAllInForTrump.com, and a web video replays a clip of Mr. Trump at a recent campaign appearance praising the senator.”

Cleveland.com Opinion: Ohio's Latino vote could be anti-Trump factor in November. “Senate Republicans, including Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, decided to put politics ahead of doing their job and now more families across Ohio will face the impacts of an eight-justice court.” 

For a full roundup of Portman’s negative press from Monday and Tuesday of the Convention and to stay up to date with all of the Strickland Campaign and Ohio Democratic Party’s activities during the RNC visit our digital hub, www.PortmanALLinForTrump.com.


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