Romney gets down and 'Dirty' in Ohio
September 26th, 2012
03:41 PM ET
2 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. Dave Jaipersaud

    Give me a break! His heart “really” breaks for those that are struggling? Really! and here is how he says he will help them.
    Romney and the Republicans want to take this country back to the dark days of the Great Recession. Their Policies from 2001 to 2008 brought this great nation to its knees, their policies caused the Great Recession, their policies wiped out almost 10,000,000 jobs as a direct result of the Great Recession, their policies wiped out retirement savings for tens of millions of Americans as a direct result to the Great Recession, their policies took a $1 trillion surplus to a $13 trillion deficit, their policies resulted in the decline in the percentage of Americans that are in the middle class, their policies resulted in tens of millions of Americans without healthcare, their policies resulted in millions of Americans losing their homes, and the list goes on. Romney’s idea of caring for those that are struggling is the implement the same Republican policies that were in place that decimated those that are struggling today.

    How can any Americans think that Romney/Ryan policies would be better for the Economy. The only way for anyone to think that is if they are suffering from total amnesia. Have people forgotten what happened in 2007/2008 and the years leading up to the Great Recession. It was the exact same policies that Romney is advocating now that caused the Great Recession. Are we that dumb to think that these same policies that caused the Great Recession will somehow magically make the economy better.

    I guess Romney/Ryan think we are all stupid and don’t know the truth and can’t remember the dark days of the great recession of 2007 and 2008 and the years leading up to it.

    The choice is clear. Do we want to go back to the exact same policies (Romney/Ryan current policies) that brought America (this great Nation) to its knees or do we want to continue to build on the recovery.

    September 26, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. Sueb

    I'm disappointed in Rowe appearing at a Romney rally is tantamount to an endorsement. I guess getting up on stage with Mitt is a truly dirty job.

    September 26, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. Rick 7809

    So Mittens is now saying that we need to bring back manufacturing jobs after he made millions of dollars sending them overseas? Yeah, and I have some first class swamp land that I want to sell you.

    September 26, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. thetruthandnothingbutthetruth

    @ myviewis and truth hurts:

    just shut up and vote straight Dem. ticket!

    September 26, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  5. truth hurts

    So Obama has been in the Whitehouse for FOUR YEARS and we have fewer people working in this country, fewer jobs too. We have the lowest labor participation rate since the 1980s. Can we expect more of the same for the next 4 years?!! Is he still going to blame others for his failures, or maybe say we need to repeal the 22nd ammendment so he can have a 3rd or 4th term to fix things?

    He shown he has NO NEW IDEAS, is UNWILLING to work with others to get things done and has NO LEADERSHIP ABILITY. To say this clown was a one trick pony is to insult one trick ponys! HE HAS NOTHING. Oh yeah, he does have lots of excuses.

    September 26, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  6. DENNA

    truth hurts – You are one unhappy person. I have never seen one post from you that was upbeat. It is a fact that the governors who took the stimulus, yes Republicans, took that money because they needed it for their state. It is forbidden to say it help, but we all know it did. Thank goodness Barack Obama was president instead of McCain. According to Mittens it would have been better to let the auto industry go bankrupt. Spoken by a man who does not need money to feed his family – unlike the auto workers. GOPers don't care about thd 47%. Mitt said so himself. LOL I am willing to bet you are one of the 47%, but you are not smart enough to know it.

    September 26, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. Four and The Door

    The Real Tom Paine
    ...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.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________
    The Even you can't believe that the Unions didn't get paid back richly by Obama for their support in his 2008 campaign. American voters are paying $3.5 million a day ( 365 days/ year ) just to cover the interest on the new debt Obama created to throw at GM while he tried unsuccessfully to keep them out of bankruptcy. This is not to even consider the loss of $10 billion in value of the stock that the Treasury holds. He blew this one for the American taxpayer but made a bunch of Union bosses very happy.

    September 26, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. Mark in Seattle

    I guess Joe the not-plumber was busy. Not plumbing probably.

    September 26, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. Romney Said Let Them Eat Cake

    @myviewis: you need some mental help and need to be deprogrammed. It is obvious you have no concept as to expressing yourself without hate and name calling. This is the only time I will respond to one of your psycho posts. Your posts never relate to the topic discussed just off the wall and juvenile. Get a life and contribute something and stay off the blogs using different names. Yes I have profiled you as to your responses.

    September 26, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. beevee

    If Romney thinks he can dupe the voters into voting for him with these kinds of gimmicks to show that he is for the poor and middleclass he is mistaken. Voters can see right through it. He really does not have a heart for these folks. it is a blatant lie when said that his heart aches for their plight. His only aim is to help those rich people who can afford $50,000 dinners/lunches.

    September 26, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. DENNA

    @ Four and the Door – Yes, President Obama supports – the Democrats support unions. What is wrong with supporting an organization that supports the working man? The separation between Democrats and Republicans is never clearer than when you understand that the Democrats care about the working man and the Republicans act like they are the master of the working man. Don't let your myoptic hatred blind you.

    September 26, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "UNWILLING to work with others "

    Do you have any idea how truly unhinged you sound selling that spintastic lie after everyone in the country watched the GOP respond to Obama's inauguration by saying that their number one priority would be making him a one-term POTUS and then watching them spend the next 4 years setting even more new records for filibusters, secret holds, blocked legislation and nomination hearings, delays in even having a hearing on nominations, etc? Seriously. You need help.

    September 26, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. DENNA

    @ – Romney Said Let Them Eat Cake – Good for you. "myviews" are not really views but sad rants. This person needs to be on some depression med or another. No one should be this unhappy. I guess being a racist GOPer will do that to you. :-(

    September 26, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  14. B.

    Romney has been down and dirty since the beginning of this debacle, what else is news?

    September 26, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    truth hurts

    So Obama has been in the Whitehouse for FOUR YEARS and we have fewer people working in this country, fewer jobs too. We have the lowest labor participation rate since the 1980s. Can we expect more of the same for the next 4 years?!! Is he still going to blame others for his failures, or maybe say we need to repeal the 22nd ammendment so he can have a 3rd or 4th term to fix things?

    He shown he has NO NEW IDEAS, is UNWILLING to work with others to get things done and has NO LEADERSHIP ABILITY. To say this clown was a one trick pony is to insult one trick ponys! HE HAS NOTHING. Oh yeah, he does have lots of excuses.
    ************************
    One trick pony? Lots of excuses? Sounds like you. You are unwilling to engage anyone on anything, and you accuse the president of lacking ideas and being uncooperative? Your idea of cooperation means rolling over. It won't happen, and you know it, deep down. Earlier today you attacked someone who objected to hunting as having an "urban jungle" mentality. I know this is how a lot of people in the GOP who are scared of any change think. You insist everything is for union corruption, that there is some backroom payoff: got proof? Nope, you never do. You don't need it. Everything for you is a cyber equivilent of a drive-by shooting, with a similar refrain of some plot to destroy our way of life. You need help, perhaps a lot more after your boys get blown out in less than 6 weeks.

    September 26, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  16. rosaadriana

    Im disappointed in Mike Rowe. Romney is not going to do anything for people that have to do the dirty jobs except take away the few tax breaks they get so that his buddies can keep a few more bucks in the Caymens.

    September 26, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. Paqrat137

    I used to be a real fan of Mike Rowe, I watched his shows, loved his advertising work...but I am making the meaningless gesture now not to watch is show. Meaningless because I don't count – and obviously Rowe's feeling for the working person is just show biz. The workers in the dirty jobs he does will be hurt more by an R/R ticket.

    Maybe then, the show will go off the air, when the dirty jobs are all in China, India and Brazil.

    September 26, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  18. Indy75

    I am so dissapointed in Mike Rowe for endorsing Romney like this (I know he said he wasn't but come on – why else be up there with him). Rowe basically said Mitt Romney and his other business owner associates sent all the good paying jobs overseas and that is just the way it is, so parents need to sit down with their kids and tell them higher education and blue collar jobs are gone or worthless so they should train to clean up sewers and road kill. What an inspirational message. I am going to spread the news to my friends and family and have them express their feeling about Mike Rowe's position and quit watching. Shame on him!!

    September 26, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  19. AgrippaMT

    Mittens is such a disgusting phony.

    September 26, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  20. Julie MS

    During the Bush administration both the house and senate were run by Democrats AND During the Obama administration the first 3 years both the house and senate were run by Democrats. SO have you seen any improvement so far? NOOOO Not a thing has changed for the benefit of the country's Jobs status. Don't blame Bush or the GOP, They never had a chance to make things better. The Democrats have been in control for the last 8 years we've been SCREWED. With Obama we still be SCREWED.

    September 26, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  21. BostonianNTheWoodlandsTX

    Not taking a shot at Rowe,but it is ironic that a guy who gets paid – I'm sure – to 'pretend' to do hard jobs that the rest of us actually do is humorous,if not slightly insulting.

    Will he show up for the Prez too ?

    September 26, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  22. 1twinsfan

    This is truly the dirtiest job Mike Rowe has ever had.

    September 26, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. DENNA

    @ – Julie MS – During the Bush administration both the house and senate were run by Democrats AND During the Obama administration the first 3 years both the house and senate were run by Democrats. SO have you seen any improvement so far? NOOOO Not a thing has changed for the benefit of the country's Jobs status. Don't blame Bush or the GOP, They never had a chance to make things better. The Democrats have been in control for the last 8 years we've been SCREWED. With Obama we still be SCREWED.
    --------------------------------------------------–
    We're no longer using jobs, girlie. We are adding jobs. I have heard recently that many of the companies hiring for the holiday season will be keeping some of those people permanently. The stock market has been producing more positive than negative posts. The housing market is rebounding. With PRESIDENT Obama, we will be crawling out of this GOP-induced hole. Thanks goodness!

    September 26, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  24. thetruthandnothingbutthetruth

    Romney said that middle class is 250k/year!....what's wrong with this android?

    September 26, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  25. truth hurts

    So just WHAT are Obama new ideas for the next 4 years??? ANOTHER $4 TRILLION stimulus bill that our grand kids have to pay for? Giving the 25 million unemployed people government jobs???? Repaving all the roads in the country? Are we going to spend and borrow our way out of this mess??? It has never worked, here or any place else!

    Obama 2012 – More of the same insanity, more of the same failure.

    Obama 2012 – Because Greece has the right idea

    September 26, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
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