September 8th, 2010
12:17 PM ET
4 years ago

Endangered Ohio Democratic congressman will attend Obama speech

 Ohio Rep. John Boccieri will attend President Obama’s speech Wednesday.
Ohio Rep. John Boccieri will attend President Obama’s speech Wednesday.

(CNN) - Freshman Ohio Democratic Rep. John Boccieri has decided to attend President Obama's Cleveland speech on the economy Wednesday.

The fact that a Democrat joining the president for a speech in his home state is news is a sign of the political times – especially in the battleground of Ohio.

Boccieri is in a neck-and-neck race to save his seat in a district that voted for John McCain over Barack Obama in 2008, and where the president's agenda since he took office has been highly controversial.

As of Tuesday night, Boccieri had not decided whether to attend the speech in Cleveland, which is about an hour's drive from his Northeastern Ohio district.

But his spokeswoman tells CNN he decided to go because the president is "talking about jobs – and that's a message that John Boccieri supports." It's unclear if Boccieri would go as far as pledging to vote for the presidents proposal, which includes a total of $300 in corporate tax breaks, and $50 billion in infrastructure spending.

When visiting Boccieri's district a few days ago, the overwhelming message we heard from Democratic voters who supported President Obama was frustration that he is not focusing enough on the economy.

"He hasn't addressed any of the issues he campaigned on," said Bill Keating, who voted for President Obama in 2008, "the economy being a primary one."

As we walked through the Stark County fair with Boccieri, he was careful not to criticize the president, as other Democrats in trouble have done.

Instead he pleaded for patience, and promised to do more.

"Its very clear that the economic solutions and the investments that we've made are going to take time to recover," said Boccieri. "We're putting folks back to work. No, it's not fast enough. It needs to be faster and we need to do more to help jumpstart our economy."

Ohio's Democratic Governor Ted Strickland, himself in an uphill reelection fight, and Democratic Senate candidate Lee Fisher - who trails Republican Rob Portman - also plan to attend the president's speech.

Two other embattled House Democrats, Mary Jo Kilroy and Steve Driehaus, say they will not attend. But both insist it is for logistical reasons and not because they are trying to avoid being seen with the president.


Filed under: 2010 • John Boccieri • Ohio • President Obama
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. David

    Come on Canton, you can do better than this guy!!!

    September 8, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. Fair is Fair

    Dude just committed political suicide. Buh-bye.

    September 8, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. President Obozo: On vacation and OUT TO LUNCH

    Boccieri is in a neck-and-neck race to save his seat in a district that voted for John McCain over Barack Obama in 2008, and where the president's agenda since he took office has been highly controversial.
    ====================================================
    I guess he's looking to be fired come November! He's obviously too dumb to be an elected representative.

    September 8, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  4. Colorado Liberal

    Keep up your spirits, Dems. Get out those votes.

    The Republicans don't deserve to win this (or any) election after what they have done to destroy and ransack this country.

    If the American people only knew the truth about the GOP–underneath the expensive suits, manicured hair, flags...

    September 8, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    One of the sheeple. Must be another union toady.

    September 8, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. Joshua M. Patton

    "The fact that a Democrat joining the president for a speech in his home state is news" is not "a sign of the political times," but indicative of important it is for the media to drive home a narrative. The 24-hour news cycle has turned CNN and its ilk into the Ouroboros.

    September 8, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. BJ

    Good for him. Boccieri can stand up to those lying southern backward and cheating Repubs. Maybe someother Dems will find their backbone. I am sending you some money today bro.

    September 8, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  8. abby

    Maybe if you Democrats learn to stick together like the republicans does, this wouldn't have been such a hard decision.

    September 8, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. T'SAH from Virginia

    WOW – did Boccieri hear the Democratic Drum Beat and decided to "STICK with the PROGRAM???!!

    Really, Democrats should STICK TOGETHER and fight for what we believe will bring this country out of the Economic turmoil!!! The RepubliCAN'Ts are using nothing but FEAR to try and SCARE us away!!

    It won't work – the RepubliCAN'Ts don't have a solid ground and they are allowing the Tea Party to RUN THE SHOW – it AIN'T gonna happen!!!

    POSITIVE MASS brings STRENGTH...... STRENGTH brings NUMBERS – NUMBERS bring VOTES and we already outnumber the RepubliCAN'Ts!!!! Yes We Can!!

    September 8, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  10. Eric

    Endangered Ohio Democratic congressman will attend Obama speech, (screaming, "Help I'm drowning! Throw me a cinder block!")

    September 8, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  11. Got a laugh?

    "The fact that a Democrat joining the president for a speech in his home state is news is a sign of the political times – especially in the battleground of Ohio."

    This is not even a quote. CNN is just flat out opining here. Isn't that interesting? CNN decides that this is 'news', and the proceeds to make conclusions on the sign of times based on that decision!

    September 8, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  12. Rob

    He just committed political suicide. Anything Obama is around falls apart.

    September 8, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    How nice of him. Hack

    September 8, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  14. Riley

    He's poised to loose his seat anyway. So why not stand with Obama. Maybe Obama will give him a job next year.

    September 8, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  15. Eric

    People, these plummetting poll numbers we're seeing... they are but the first gentle drops of rain in what will turn into a Cat 5 electoral hurricane by November.

    We are witnessing, before our very eyes, the death of liberalism for a generation. The socialists have really, really stepped in it this time.

    September 8, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. jim

    I can't believe any one would want to be out campaigning with Obama unless they agree with his agenda to turn America into a socialist utopia.

    September 8, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  17. dont care what you Demoncrates say

    do use a favor and leave with him

    September 8, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  18. usualone

    He has good principles. He is showing respect for the Presidency. That should count for something in these days when most of those who oppose the President attack him viciously and don't seem to know how to disagree with him in an adult manner. Americans should be ashamed of their vile behavior. I guess we are heading for a scenario similar to that portrayed in the movie, "Streets of NY."

    September 8, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  19. skip

    Silly boy!

    September 8, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  20. Louisiana Man

    Ohio must have an extremely SHORT MEMORY.

    The past administration relegated our country to its fiscal knees.
    The economy was in the toilet when bush left office-
    Thousands of our kids killed in a useless war-
    Squandered a surplus and created a gazillion in deficits-
    Bestowed an extremely charitable gift of tax cuts to his wealthy contributory for the past ten yrs-
    Borrowing from our good friends, the Chinese, to pay for above expenditures-

    Wall St bailouts, foreclosures, auto industry plunges and unemployment commenced on his watch-

    And so did the 9-11 attacks!!!!!

    September 8, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  21. Danny Cali

    Here you go Mr. Boccieri don't be a Chicken man, stand strong with your Party because the economic is not your party or President Obama it was before Obama took Office.

    September 8, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. Another unemployed politician

    Nice knowing you kid.

    September 8, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  23. Did you Know That the Gallup Poll Yesterday Said that last weeks Widely-Reported 10 Point G.O.P. Lead was now . . .

    Nothing, nada, a big fat zero

    Don't you think maybe after reporting last weeks 10 point lead, CNN might just mentions this week's tie?

    Nah, that would interfere with the media's pending republican tsunami story.

    September 8, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  24. James, AL

    Good for the congressman! If any democratic legislator believe in what they voted for they should stand with the President. Anyone who thinks that the President could turn this mess around in two years is DEFINITELY not dealing with a full deck. We did not get into this overnight, it took eight years, and it will take sometime to get out of it. If we were making no progress and still shedding jobs at 600k a month. MAYBE, and that is a big maybe, I would possibly think about voting republican this time, but they have not told us anything that merits my vote. After all they are rightfully the ones who got us here and for them to have done nothing to help our economy for the last two years just to make sure the President fails is the worse kind of politics one could play. It takes the issues of the people for granted and at this point anyone of us (voters) would have to be out of our heads to vote them back in. And even if they win the worst possible thing would happen– for two years no more business for the people would get done because whatever they pass they President would not sign unless he truly believed in it.
    Every man is entitled to his opinion and I mine is that I believe that we have a President that truly cares about people and is trying to make a good balance between middleclass success and corporate profits.

    September 8, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "The fact that a Democrat joining the president for a speech in his home state is news is a sign of the political times "

    No, it's a sign of a media outlet's carefully chosen advertising-revenue-oriented narrative. Moving on...

    September 8, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
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