COLUMBUS, OH -- At the Akron Press Club on Monday, former Governor Ted Strickland laid out the central contrast between himself and Senator Rob Portman: Strickland is fighting for Ohio's working people because that's where he comes from, while Portman is only looking out for the Washington establishment he's part of and the wealthy special interests he serves.
With personal anecdotes, Strickland highlighted how this contrast is demonstrated through 5 key policy areas: wages; the auto-rescue; trade policy; college affordability; and retirement security.
Here's what they're saying:
From the Akron Beacon Journal:
"The former minister used personal anecdotes to show how the cost of living has outstripped wages as the American dream has slipped further out of reach for a shrinking middle class. Strickland’s father worked midnights at a steel mill. When the family house burned down, 'board-by-board' they converted their barn into a home. His niece now lives there. With eight siblings, it was college that separated the politician from his brothers, who toiled as concrete finishers." [...]
"'Education gave me a chance to live the American dream,' Strickland said. Now, he lamented, most college graduates walk away with $30,000 or more in student loan debt. His plan to make college more affordable hinges on closing tax loopholes for businesses that shelter profits overseas" [...]
"Strickland considers Portman, a Beltway politician for nearly 30 years, as partly the reason Ohioans have grown disgusted in politics 'We suddenly have a surplus of anger in American politics. The problem is we have a deficit of courage,'said Strickland."
From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
"In the middle of a point about his opposition to the North America Free Trade Agreement in the 1990s (a measure he broke with the national Democratic party on), Strickland threw an elbow at Portman." 'Rob Portman, he's the best senator China has ever had," Strickland said. 'Rob Portman and I fundamentally disagree about how to protect Ohio jobs and industries. I continue to oppose give-away trade deals.'" [...]
"Senator Portman says that he talks to a CEO every week. Maybe this week instead of talking to a CEO he should talk to a struggling Ohio college student, or an auto worker, or a concrete finisher," Strickland said. "Maybe then he could see what we see."
"Strickland was endorsed last week by a group seeking to overturn the so-called Citizens United decision. He told the Akron Press Club that one of the most important issues in the 2016 elections is the makeup of the high court, four of whose members are nearing or over age 80." [...]
"Strickland says making his case to voters includes contrasting his positions on maintaining Social Security and Medicare and other public safety nets with Portman’s, along with criticizing trade deals Portman not only supported, but helped engineer as U.S. Trade Representative in President George Bush’s White House."
From the Associated Press:
"Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Ted Strickland made the case Monday that his positions on labor, education and economic issues differ starkly with Republican incumbent Rob Portman's and are a better fit for average Ohioans." [...]
"Strickland accused Portman of siding with wealthy benefactors, including the billionaire Koch brothers, over the working class. He says as senator he'd support college affordability and protect Social Security and oppose raising the retirement age.
"'When you spend your life finishing concrete, and you're still working into your 60s, your fingers are gnarled. You are likely to have bum knees. Your back is bent," Strickland said. "Now imagine having to tell a 67-year-old concrete finisher, woman or man, 'Well, I'm sorry but millionaire Republican senators with baby soft hands have decided you're too young to retire.' That's outrageous.'"