U.S. Senator Rob Portman Helps Open Mitt Romney’s OH Campaign HQ

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GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets a voter.(Photo: MittRomney.com)
GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets a voter.(Photo: MittRomney.com)

U.S. Senator Rob Portman today opened the Columbus campaign headquarters for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. WOSU spoke with the senator about some of the top issues on the presidential campaign trail.

Super Tuesday is less than two weeks away. And the campaign for Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney set up shop on Dublin Road near Grandview Heights.

Senator Rob Portman, who’s backing Romney, told the packed office space November’s election is critical.

“I just feel like we cannot afford another four more years. Do you agree with me? Amen!”

And as the GOP tries to make up its mind about which front runner they’ll support – Ronmey or Rick Santorum – Portman said Ronmey is the candidate who can beat President Obama.

“This is a guy who combines the personal traits, the knowledge and the experience to be a true leader,” the Senator said.

The GOP has yet to coalesce around a candidate. Here in Ohio, Republicans seem split. Last week, Attorney General Mike DeWine announced he was switching his support from Romney to Santorum. Portman said the lack of unity within the party lends to a lackluster campaign season.

“I think we will come together. I just would like it to happen sooner rather than later because I think that improves our chances of winning in November,” he said.

While legislators have not made up their minds, many independent voters have not decided either. The economic situation for some is a top issue. Ohio’s unemployment rate hovers around eight percent. But the issue has taken a back seat recently to contraception. The president recently compromised on a proposal he made to require religious employers to provide birth control after it ignited a firestorm of criticism from some conservatives. Portman said the key issue of this election is jobs.

“Particularly here in this state where we’ve had so many manufacturing jobs lost, where we have such a concern about whether we’re going to be able to leave to our kids and grandkids and better country and a better state. The focus ought to be on jobs and the economy,” Portman said.

Romney’s campaign will be in full swing in the coming days as Ohio’s primary voters prepare to go to the polls March 6.

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