Romney gets down and 'Dirty' in Ohio
September 26th, 2012
03:41 PM ET
6 years ago

Romney gets down and 'Dirty' in Ohio

(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

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Ohio
soundoff (118 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    So Mittens new campaign message is "99% of America needs to stop dreaming and aspiring, because if I win, higher education and a wholehost of other dreams are going to becomefar harder to achieve. This isn't a problem with my policies and the policies of the GOP/Teatrolls...the problem lies with most Americans having set their sites above their station in life. Most of you were simpluy meant to be paeons and you'll be far FAR happier if you just accept it."

    September 26, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. Willis

    & the Mr Personality says we the Lds have decided to make history & appoint a Black Elder........ SIKE!!!!

    September 26, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |

    Give me a break! Romney probably set fire to his suit and underwear after being with "those people".

    September 26, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. 703NOVA

    If Mike Rowe really cared about the working man (and the rest of the 47%) he would have been at the Obama rally. We all know the Romney looks down his nose at the working (and for that matter, middle) class working folks. If you don't own a business or make millions every year you are not worth a thing to him.

    September 26, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. 2020

    Mike, you are not as dirty as Romney.

    You can't help him, he is not in your league.

    September 26, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. Romney Said Let Them Eat Cake

    This contradicts What Romney said about jobs. Romney said we want people to have good high paying jobs so they can have some dignity. Not all so called good high paying jobs provide dignity such as Bain and others. Because when it is all said and done you have to live with yourself for what you do to others.

    September 26, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. Boo

    So Robme condescended to meet with the proletariat.....well lah dee friggin' dah...

    September 26, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. Roadkill Romney

    "The roadkill," in Ohio, he said, "is second to none, both in volume and variety."

    Tell him to come back to Ohio in early November. Then he can scrape up the political roadkill that is Mitt Romney, or large varmint, if you will.

    September 26, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  9. rla

    99% of AMerica needs to stop believing the spin fodder from the Obama campaign (based in Chicago) and wake up and vote Romney! Obama has given you nothing and another four years will = a destruction of this great nation

    September 26, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. rla

    Listen to the Obama whiners as someone actually tells the truth and they do the Chicago thing- demean them- Way to go progressives

    September 26, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  11. Joe

    Yea, Ya gotta love a Filthy Rich Racist Mormon who belong to a Cult who Discriminates solely on a persons Color of their Skin & a guy who got away with a FELONY by Filing as a Utah Citizen to Cheat the US Treasury while living Full Time in a State Completely across The Country !!!!!!!!!!!

    September 26, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  12. truth hurts

    703NOVA - If Mike Rowe really cared about the working man he would have been at the Obama rally.
    The Unemployer-in-Chief could care less about these people unless they are laid of governemnt union workers. As he said, the private sector is doing just fine. Welcome to Obama Fantasy Island. Nearly 15% unemployment is "doing just fine".

    September 26, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  13. GeoMax

    Mitt Romney will make this country better...quite frankly, it can't get much worse.

    September 26, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  14. sick of republican phonies

    Mitt will be roadkiill in Ohio in November, too.

    September 26, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  15. myviewis

    How cute, Obama actually knew how to pretend he has ever worked and people believe him. Let's see, Obama has worked lecturing part-time, part-time attorney who lost his license 4 years after he started practicing law, served ice cream for 1 summer at Ben & Jerry's, pretty much worked part-time as a community organizer organizing people to protest. Oh yeah, Obama knows about working. What a joke!

    September 26, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. bridgette

    Oh well! cna't figure out what mittens is going tosay from one second to the next, give a couple minutes, he will say what i really meant was.......

    September 26, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  17. tyrone

    Hypocrisy can be clearly defined as an Obama – Biden or pro-union sticker on any Toyota, Honda, Hyundai,Nissan, VW, and yes also Audi's, Lexus' and any other non-UAW made car. Unfortunately from what I see there is no room on the hypocrisy bandwagon for Romney or any other Republican, those seats have been filled by the folks above.

    If Democrats really want to show they are for good paying jobs, then they should back it up with their own money by buying UAW made cars, and if you don't , you have no place to criticize the Republicans.

    September 26, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  18. Thomas

    Nice try ,
    "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.

    September 26, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    Mike has had to do many dirty jobs, but being onstage with politicians is more than any man should be asked to do. They don't even use politicians in shower or bathtub commercials. Nothing gets those guys clean.

    September 26, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. myviewis


    If Mike Rowe really cared about the working man (and the rest of the 47%) he would have been at the Obama rally. We all know the Romney looks down his nose at the working (and for that matter, middle) class working folks. If you don't own a business or make millions every year you are not worth a thing to him.

    Now I was told this same thing by someone from a Blue state, that Blue states are anti-owning a business and that Blue states support the Red states financially ecause Blue states are the people with money, the rich, wealthy. So how do Blue states people get wealthy if they are anti-business, anti-money????? Wow, Democrats are confusing.

    September 26, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  21. fayse

    everyone should check out the facebook page of Mike Rowe, it looks like he lost a lot of fans because of this decision. The Romney camp is using Mr. Rowe to pander to the blue collar types. Mitt Romney is tanking in the polls. As I recall he barely got 40% among his base during the primaries.

    September 26, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  22. TY

    So What this is not going to help Romney..........he is the one that is dirty and he is acting like a clown. What other tricks to you have Romney......

    September 26, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  23. DENNA

    I love MIke Rowe. I don't care if he endorses Mittens, as long as he is respectful of President Obama, I like Mike. At least he didn't talk to an empty chair (wink). I am a forever Democrat, but I can respect a decent Conservative who genuinely is worried about America. So far all I have seen since President Obama's election are Tea Party Nuts, Birther nuts and, I love this one, the FreedomMovement, or what ever it's called. They are conservatives who are reaching out to Black America. How disingenious given the voter suppression drives. If I were black I would be ticked to no end. The Rethugs have had 4 years to reach out and they pick now. I really, really could not stand to be a Republican.

    September 26, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    -truth hurts

    The Real Tom Paine – The ones where the GOP governors say that the auto bailout and the stimulous helped them to turn their economies around?
    Oh brother.... you seem to be the ONLY person on the planet left that will spout this nonsense. Stimulus money that went to states was to keep their union payrolls inflated when the states couldn't pay for it. Ultimately the states HAD to pay for it as the money dried up and these people had to be let go as there was no money to pay them. The Republican Governors made the tough choices that had to be made to get their states back in the black and on solid footing.

    And the auto bailout??? The only people that made out were the unions. The taxpayers are still owed roughly $50 BILLION that they will probably never see while the unions were given ownership of the company. The government involvement should have been minimal and short term. A horrendous precident has been set with the illegal takeover of a publicly held company by the government We are NOT a Banana Republic, although after another 4 years of Obama, we WILL be one.
    Its not my words, its the words of Kasich, Snyder and other GOP governors that have been forced to admit they were wrong. You can spin it all you want the, the unions were forced to give up a trememdous amount to save those jobs. No banks were willing to take on the risk of a managed bankruptcy, so the President did what leaders do, took a risk, and the economy of the midwest is better as a result. If you want to talk about banana republics, ask yourself where the GOP got their ideas for their " tax reform"? They got them from places like Chile: do you want the wealth in this country to continue to flow either to a few hundred people or out of the country? Thats the choice we have with Romney. Too bad you are incapable of looking past the FOX-talking points, but, I've come to expect little else from such stunted intellects. Kasich and Snyder have benefitted from it, whether you want to admit it or not. Walker and Scott have hindered their states' recoveries, and no independent sources agree with their propaganda. Its amazing you waste your days believing a lie.

    September 26, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  25. Lar5

    Will Romney and Ryan disassociate themselves from Todd Akin now that a bunch of zealot driven republicans have come to his side. Or will they flip flop on their feelings of a few weeks ago. In other words "Have they any decency?".

    September 26, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
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