On Thursday, President Obama and Mitt Romney will lay out their contrasting views on the economy in dueling speeches both made in the same state. Not surprisingly, the relatively close quarters (the candidates will still be miles apart) are coming in the key battleground of Ohio, a state both men desperately want to win in November.
On a Wednesday conference call with reporters, top Romney adviser Russ Schriefer sketched out Romney’s message to voters in the state, where the economy has seen a marked improvement in recent months: Your governor is responsible for the improvements, not your president.
“Anything that’s happened in Ohio, certainly [Republican Gov. John] Kasich has been helpful to encouraging business to Ohio,” he said. “And it just shows that whether it’s Ohio or New Jersey or Indiana, when you have Republican governors who encourage business, things are better.”
Schriefer made no reference to other states governed by Republicans like Florida, where the economy is not performing so well.
Schriefer was picking up on a classic dichotomy from the 2012 race: GOP governors touting their states’ growing economies while national Republicans say the economy is in tatters thanks to Obama.
Team Romney is trying to have it both ways, admitting economic gains in places like Ohio, but insisting it’s only thanks to brave governors like Kasich, who are pushing past the anti-business barriers put in place by an Obama administration bent on dramatically expanding government at all costs.
“The problem is they still have this weight of the White House and the Obama administration on top of them. And this weight of an uncertain future, of Obamacare, of what regulation are they going to think up next, what new tax are they going to think up next in order to create more government is a real impediment to business,” Schriefer said. “And I think that what you’re going to see is that Gov. Romney is going to be much more like Gov. Kasich and Gov. Christie [R-NJ] and Gov. Daniels [R-IN] in those states and operate with much much more pro-business, less-hostile-to-job-creators attitude.”