Romney takes sides in Ohio union fight
October 26th, 2011
11:56 AM ET
2 years ago

Romney takes sides in Ohio union fight

(CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday expressed his support for a referendum that would curb collective bargaining rights for public employees in Ohio, after he avoided directly weighing in on the battle Tuesday.

"I support question two and Gov. Kasich's effort to restrict collective bargaining in Ohio in the ways he's described," Romney said at an event in Virginia Wednesday. "So I fully support that."

He also apologized if he created any confusion with his earlier comments upon which rival candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry quickly pounced.

"As a true conservative, I stand with Gov. Kasich in promoting S.B.5 for fiscal responsibility and job creation in Ohio," Perry said in a statement to CNN Tuesday. "Gov. Kasich and the Republican leadership of Ohio are to be commended for their efforts."

During an appearance Tuesday in Ohio, Romney issued generic support for Kasich's efforts to curtail union rights, but he would not say whether he supported or opposed the specific measures.

"I am not speaking about the particular ballot issues," Romney said Tuesday, only after repeated questions from reporters. "Those are up to the people of Ohio. But I certainly support the efforts of the governor to reign in the scale of government. I am not terribly familiar with the two ballot initiatives. But I am certainly supportive of the Republican Party's efforts here."

Two hot-button measures that will be on the Nov. 8 ballot are attracting attention from those on both sides of the political aisle.

One of them, Issue 2, would overturn Senate Bill 5 –the controversial legislation backed by Republican Gov. John Kasich that curbs collective bargaining rights for public employees.

Another measure, Issue 3, would amend the state constitution to forbid the state and federal government from imposing a mandate to buy health insurance.

– CNN's Peter Hamby and Alison Harding contributed to this report.

Also see:

Perry sidesteps 'birther' question


Gingrich cites fundraising spike

Poll: Cain takes top position, Perry falls to fifth


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Ohio
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. chill

    The chameleon strikes again!

    October 26, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  2. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Does Mr. Romney ever get tired of flip flopping? Geez! Guy, get a clue!

    October 26, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. Indy

    Flip Romney will make a better weatherman then he would a President.

    October 26, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. 2buttercups

    This election will be if anything, the funniest one yet. Too much.

    Peace.

    October 26, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    According to republicans, union thugs are teachers, firemen, nurses, policemen, snow plow drivers, postal workers, and anyone who makes up the middle class.

    October 26, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  6. michaelam

    The GOP/Teahadists-–will always be on the losing side of each important human issue every time.

    Thank you, Willard for helping President Obama secure a second term!

    October 26, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  7. Niki

    Taken in context: "....I am not terribly familiar with the two ballot initiatives. But I am certainly supportive of the Republican Party's efforts here." Never mind anything about flip-flopping, he's supporting the initiative without understanding what's in it? Come on! Is this so he can change his position later when he discovers that people don't like the bill?

    October 26, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  8. ATL Guy

    Sounds like he realized his vulnerability.

    October 26, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. eric calderone

    The only position that Romney truly believes in is that he should be President. Everything else, for him, is negotiable or changeable.

    October 26, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. RINO Bil

    Nice way of relating to the average voter Mitt. While I am no fan of unions, I'd trust anyone of them over your "values" any day.

    October 26, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  11. Joe

    Well, no matter. No working man was going to vote for this shallow flip-flopper anyway.

    October 26, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. YoMama

    It's time to keep the union thugs out of the taxpayers' pocket! I see Romney finally grew a pair, I guess it takes him a day!

    October 26, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. Dixie

    It's happening! GOP hopefuls are imploding! Perry has revealed his low IQ, and now Mitt has surely flip-flopped for the final time. Michele the Christian can't run her own "camp-pain." Cain thinks we want a new tax plan, when what we really want is the 1% to pay their share. Newt has had too many women in his life. Frothy is a shrill know-it-all. Paul has carried common sense to a scary degree. Where are the real Republicans? Is this it?

    October 26, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  14. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    There is no clear good GOP candidate except for Huntsman. The problem is that he won't get the nomination at all. The reason why is that he is too level headed and moderate for the GOP.

    October 26, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  15. dennis freeman

    Hope he's the nominee and keeps doing and saying this type of stuff...loser.

    October 26, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  16. Texas Billy

    This pole cat just can't help the way he is. He would sell his soul for term in the White House. (do politicians actually have
    souls?) The truth is feel sorry for this guy. He gets up everyday to the fact that he only has 25% of the republican vote. It doesn't matter how much money he spends, 75% of the Republican voters won't vote for him.

    LIFE IS TOUGH IF YOUR NAME IS MITT.

    October 26, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    I hate to say it, but Romney lacks leadership. He didn't say this yesterday because it meant leading the way. It meant making a decision and taking responsibility for the consequences. Romney punted yesterday. That is not the right stuff.

    October 26, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  18. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I would like to know if this will sway, phoenix86, betty the birther, self made millionaire terry, va, and demo class warfare, to support Mittens the spineless jellyfish.

    October 26, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  19. PA_outof work

    The answer is: end public employee unions altogether or end public employee unions giving money to the Politian altogether. The taxpayer is not being represented, public employee unions donate money to the Politian for sweet heart deals, (deals the normal taxpayer does not get) and this is Politian buying votes.

    October 26, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  20. Lynda/Minnesota

    "I support question two and Gov. Kasich's effort to restrict collective bargaining in Ohio in the ways he's described," Romney said at an event in Virginia Wednesday. "So I fully support that."

    In other words - and, as usual - Romney hasn't a clue what he's supporting, or why.

    October 26, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The call him Flipper, Flopper...!

    October 26, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  22. normajean @ verizon ,com

    To all of you who like to refer back to Ronald Reagan..... he said " WHERE FREE UNIONS AND COLLECTIVE BARGAINING ARE FORBIDDEN, FREEDOM IS LOST"..........As to Mr. Romney......he talks and says nothing!!!
    !

    October 26, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  23. Ronald

    Which Mitt?

    Again Romney has place us in a position to ask 'which Mitt'? Previously, he was silent on the issue which meant he didn't support it, now he's being noisy supporting it. There's no doubt that Romney is more and more demonstrating that he is s flip flopper. He actually, has nothing else to do to drive home the point that he's several different Mitts on several different issues.

    Which Mitt will we see nex?

    October 26, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  24. Lolo

    Bye BYe Mitt!!!!!!!!!!! You have put the final nail in your coffin pandering to the tea partiers. People really see who the republicans are for, Only The Rich and their poorest followers don't have a clue or they are just stupid. Vote Democrat across the board!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 26, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  25. Sandy

    Flipper! LOL. Too funny! Romney wouldn't say he supported it until Perry called him out for being spineless. Too late, you can't come back the next day after being bashed and support it and then say you have a spine!

    October 26, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
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