(CNN) – Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, argued Sunday the swing state's relatively low unemployment rate is a result of President Barack Obama's economic policies rather than the work of current Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican.
"Ohio is coming back, and we're grateful for that. But the president deserves, in my judgment, the lion's share of the credit," Strickland said on CNN's "State of the Union."
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With a jobless rate of 7.2% in August, the state fell below that month's national average of 8.1%, which ticked down to 7.8% in September.
The debate over the president's impact versus that of the governor is a main point of contention in the crucial battleground. Democrats argue the federal auto bailout made the difference in Ohio, while Republicans point to Kasich's policies of lowering taxes and easing regulations.
In the last 12 elections, no candidate has won the White House without winning the Buckeye State. Obama's re-election campaign and Mitt Romney's team have flooded the state with campaign ads and events, with the candidates, running mates and wives making a combined total of 65 stops in the state since June.
Another Ohio political heavyweight - the state attorney general, former U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine, a Republican - argued Romney's widely applauded debate performance has changed the race in Ohio.
"Romney is going to carry Ohio. It's going to be a very, very close race. But this race fundamentally changed Wednesday night," he told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley, citing a feeling of "tremendous energy" for the GOP candidate.
DeWine praised Romney for appearing presidential and argued Obama could not defend his record for the last four years.
Hitting back, Strickland teased he would bet on the president to win the state.
"If I was as rich as Mitt Romney, I would bet DeWine $10,000 that the president is going to win Ohio," the former governor said, referring to the now-infamous bet Romney suggested with Texas Gov. Rick Perry at a Republican primary debate.
Strickland added that Wednesday's debate may be remembered more for Romney's performance than his honesty.
"Romney did well in the debate," he said. "I give him a B+ on style but I give him a D- on substance and truthfulness. Mitt Romney did not tell the truth."
A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal/Poll poll showed Obama with an eight-point edge over Romney, 51%-43%, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
That poll falls in line with CNN's Poll of Polls, which averages three Ohio polls of likely voters in the last two weeks and indicates Obama at 52% and Romney at 43%. As an average of multiple polls, it does not have a calculable sampling error.
Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.
A Republican Governor takes, unemployment drops and the ex-Democrat Governor credits Obama for Ohio's low unemployment rate????? Obama has been president 4 years and Ohio has been suffering with high unemployment but suddenly now for the election months this man thinks Obama is the one that drops Ohio unemployment rate down, if that were so why didn't Obama do it for Ohio last year or the year before?????? Because it was not Obama who did it nor the ex-Democrat Governor.
The people of Ohio must be pretty dumb to believe all this nonsense Democrats tell them.
myviewis, can you say auto bailouts? Not only did the auto bailouts save the manufacturers And American Jobs,
but all the other industries that support the auto manufacturers and those American Jobs also. So, NO, Kasich did Not
turn Ohio economy around. Oh, and way to go, myviewis, insult the good people of Ohio
Obama saved the auto industries in 2009
Car sales start to rise in 2010
Auto industries start to hire more in 2011
Conclusion Obama saved Ohio workers
Obama will win Ohio no doubt; Obama campaign Ground work 100% better than Romney, Romney was too late game
Bush trashed the economy. His recessions drove unemployment from 4% to 10%. Obama took over in the middle of the worst one. With the quickness, Obama enacted stimulus that turned increasing net monthly job losses into decreasing net monthly job losses, and ended the recession. Unemployment went from 10% to less than 8% thanks to Barack Obama's sound economic policies. Republican congresss does nothing but obstruct recovery.
Look in the marrow at yourself and say you believe what you are saying. The only problem with you republicans
is since Obama took office, anything he does right is bad for you all, anything he does wrong is right to you all.
I believe Strickland was a one term Govenor. So the question is will Ohio reverse course and give Obama the nod or repeat the vote for Romney. Obama has done nothing as far as I can tell. There has been no Federal Budget passed for 4 years. Obama has been absent for the most part. With Obama we are looking at another 5 Trillion in new debt. Not good.
Sorry to deflate your balloon, "myviewis," but the unemployment rate in Ohio STARTED DROPPING 8 month BEFORE the Republican goveror took office, while Obama was president and while Ohio still had a Democratic governor Check the facts.
You just called the people of Ohio dumb- I am not surprised though, you right wingers will attack anyone who disagrees with you even in a swing state your candidate absolutely has to win to be elected.
Shame on you and your parties self serving attacks on Ohio's seniors, veterans, students, and working poor.
Let me guess.....let me guess......the GOP excuse is it's all another conspiracy...
I doubt seriously if Gov Kasick had a damn thing to do with the auto bail out that happened Obamas first year in office and Kasich has only been in office a couple years. Give credit where credit is due.
Whether we're talking about jobs, health care, debt, taxes, or foreign policy, the choice this election is clear. Barack Obama and his liberal allies don't have a record to run on or a plan for the future. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan do, and with the help of all Democrats, Independents and Republicans, America will have the real recovery it deserves.
Twenty-three million Americans are struggling for work, and nearly one in six Americans is living in poverty. And still, President Obama and his liberal allies are asking for another chance to get it right. Our country can't afford to give it to them.
I voted for Obama in 2008, but will not make that mistake in 2012. I will vote for a new President who will serve all Americans, not just those who donate to his reelection. At the poll, remember to ask whether you really believe if Obama is trying to improve the US economy, reduce the debt, and is proud of American's support for liberty and freedom.
OMG: Obama Must Go!!!!!!
@myviewis, your are absolutely correct. Romney/Ryan in November!!!
When Romney wins, America will have lower taxes to pay for smaller government, make it easier for small businesses to thrive by reducing and simplifying taxes. Romney will empower people (not government)