(CNN) – Campaigning in the battleground state of Ohio at same time as President Barack Obama, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney held a business discussion starring a man who has made a name for himself taking the jobs others don't want.
"Mike Rowe as you know is, well he is a guy that has made a name for himself by doing things other people don't want to do – really ugly, dirty jobs," Romney said. "Like standing with a politician, alright?"
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Rowe's website describes him as the "brave host and apprentice" of the Discovery Network television show "Dirty Jobs." (You may have also seen him in those Ford commercials.)
Romney and Rowe sat onstage alongside a half dozen Ohio business owners and leaders in Bedford Heights talking jobs and manufacturing.
"He's non partisan, he's not here to endorse me, he's not here to add support to one campaign or another," Romney said of his guest. "He's here to talk about his ideas about how to help America create more jobs."
Rowe described the importance of "the men and women who do the kinds of jobs that make civilized life possible for the rest of us," and said he attended the event at the invitation of Romney.
In the face of unemployment, Rowe said, "we can't just talk about opportunity and we can't just talk about training."
"The conversation needs to start in the kitchen, around the table with moms and dads and kids, and when these kids start to think about what's possible, mothers and fathers can't immediately push options off of the table because they've bought into the idea that some jobs are better than other jobs," he said. "This gets right to a really, really, really, really big point that the things we used to consider to be inspirational - jobs that we used to consider aspirational, education that we used to consider aspirational - we now look at as alternative. I don't even know what alternative education means, alternative to what?"
Suggesting he was speaking of the costs of higher education, Rowe continued, "There's got to be a better way to be happy and successful in your career than simply assuming a massive amount of debt and exiting an educational program that gives you a degree without training."
Romney took questions and feedback from the business leaders joining him onstage and the audience.
He promised he would take a hard line against China over its currency manipulation. He said his response to the United States' losing its share of manufacturing jobs to other countries would be to adopt policies favorable to both manufacturing and as well as engineering and development.
"Some people say, that's fine, we'll just do the engineering and the high end things," Romney said. "But let me tell you, ultimately the engineering and high end things go where the manufacturing is because ideas and engineering are associated with manufacturing. We have to have manufacturing here and my policy will be to bring it back."
Meanwhile, Obama was 130 miles away in Bowling Green, Ohio, and said Romney's rhetoric on China was disingenuous.
"He says he's gonna take the fight to them, he's going to go after these cheaters, and ive got to admit, that message is better than what he has actually done about this thing," Obama said. "It sounds better than talking about all the years he spent profiting from companies that sent our jobs to China.
"So when you hear this new-found outrage, when you see these ads he's running promising to get tough on china, it feels a lot like that fox saying we need more secure chicken coops," he continued.
Romney was campaigning in Cuyahoga County, also home to Cleveland, a county which went by a wide margin – 39 points in 2008, 34 points in 2004 – for the Democratic presidential candidate over the Republican.
At one point, a supporter in the audience said "we're going to deliver Cuyahoga County to you," and Romney replied, "I need it in a big way."
With only 41 days remaining before the election, and Ohio early voting beginning next week, Romney can be expected to campaign in Ohio again.
The GOP presidential candidate has so far made 19 previous trips to the Buckeye State. Rowe has made at least one, and that previous trip stuck in his mind.
On a job for his show, he spent "a very long day in the middle of July with the guys over at the Department of Transportation – specifically in their roadkill cleanup division," the host explained.
"The roadkill," in Ohio, he said, "is second to none, both in volume and variety."
– CNN's Rachel Streitfeld and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report
Mike Rowe is a TV Show host , and does dirty jobs for maybe 1 or 2 hours a day when filming to be edited into a TV show . This isnt the same as doing a dirty job as your full time job . I admire people who do all these jobs and enjoy the work , but not all people can handle that sort of work. Can imagine that in Romneys next interview he will say -he once made and served someone a cup of coffee so he knows how hard it to be a waiter
Please tell me they aren't trying to float Joe the Plumber again. Really?
Glad Mike's too smart to endorse RMoney. i was scared there for a moment. Mike would make ten times the president RMoney would.
Rowe should have been giving the speech for the the President because everyone he mentioned In his little gig with the twit are the same people then President was trying to pass the job's bill for. The plumbers, the electrician, the engineers, the construction guys.
And regardless of what sanatorium says about going to college being snobbish you still have to have training in these jobs. Are they snobs also according to him?
Obama is a disgrace to all the hardworking people in this country! He is out of ideas and that is that! How did hope and change work for us! The only change is going into OBAMAS pockets and we are all left to fend for ourselves thank God I still am working my 70 hours a week cause most other folks wont do my job!
Ford Motor company MAYBE shouldn't use Mike as a spokesperson since he's sharing the stage with a man who wanted the Auto industry to go bankrupt. Loser........
What I think is funny is that several of the 'dirty jobs' Mike Rowe spoke of, are government workers doing the things to keep the civilized world moving. Aren't they the very people the GOP wants to get rid of?
It was expected that Obama would be fighting for survival with a slim chance of winning before Mitt Romney displayed his weakness as a candidate, before people realized that in fact we are better off than we were 4 years ago when the job loss rate rose to 700,000/month, before Mitt Romney made it clear that he has no plan to create jobs beyond the failed polices of GW Bush, and even larger tax cuts for the rich, before he brought on Ryan and the plan to destroy Medicare. Yes, you can blame the pollsters, the media, the GOP internal critics like Gingrich, Noonan, Brooks, and Kristol, but can it possibly be that Mitt just doesn't know how to run for President or act presidential?
A true statesman shows greatness by example, by being truthful, nobility of character, having a vision, intelligence, strength of diplomacy,and not by endless complaining or criticizing his opponent. So far Romney has shown little greatness, he has not presented a detailed plan on HOW to improve the economy, on HOW to create jobs.\, simply because he has NO idea HOW. His plan does not improve the economy, it adds trillions to the deficit.
Romney is extremely shallow, and telling lies is way too natural for him. He really doesn't doesn't care about the people, and him saying now that he can relate to the hurt people feel is extremely phony. He is absolutely unqualified to be president, and his running mate? Ditto, unqualified for the job.
Lmao, I bet Mike Rowes contract doesn't pay him based on the amounts that the actual people who's dirty jobs he does in every episode of the TV series makes.
Well, Mike is used to doing dirty jobs. This is just another one for him.
Romney has no clue about what a dirty job is.
I do not know how ever one thinks about Mike Rowe but I am not watching him again, he is really a sad case when you know how Romeny feel about the working class and Unions that help workers get better wages.
Truth Hurts, well I think you have no idea what you are talking about. If there is an empty suit is Romney.. wake up I suppose you think the auto companys in the US should have closed like Romney wanted to do..
Mike Rowe is doing Romney's dirty job
Oh puhlease! "Down and dirty" for Willard Romney is when he has to use a spork for his caviar.
Attention Mike Rowe
I have watched your show from the beginning and have enjoyed many Dirty Jobs episodes, but as of today since you choose to aligned yourself with Mitt Romney I intend to align myself with my remote and change the channel when your show is on. I guess your appearance with Mitt Romney was just another one of your Dirty Jobs.
We're no longer using jobs, girlie. We are adding jobs.
The company I work for just laid off 100 people yesterday. No we're not.