September 8th, 2010
12:17 PM ET
10 years ago

Endangered Ohio Democratic congressman will attend Obama speech

 Ohio Rep. John Boccieri will attend President Obama’s speech Wednesday.

Ohio Rep. John Boccieri will attend President Obama’s speech Wednesday.

(CNN) - Freshman Ohio Democratic Rep. John Boccieri has decided to attend President Obama's Cleveland speech on the economy Wednesday.

The fact that a Democrat joining the president for a speech in his home state is news is a sign of the political times – especially in the battleground of Ohio.

Boccieri is in a neck-and-neck race to save his seat in a district that voted for John McCain over Barack Obama in 2008, and where the president's agenda since he took office has been highly controversial.

As of Tuesday night, Boccieri had not decided whether to attend the speech in Cleveland, which is about an hour's drive from his Northeastern Ohio district.

But his spokeswoman tells CNN he decided to go because the president is "talking about jobs – and that's a message that John Boccieri supports." It's unclear if Boccieri would go as far as pledging to vote for the presidents proposal, which includes a total of $300 in corporate tax breaks, and $50 billion in infrastructure spending.

When visiting Boccieri's district a few days ago, the overwhelming message we heard from Democratic voters who supported President Obama was frustration that he is not focusing enough on the economy.

"He hasn't addressed any of the issues he campaigned on," said Bill Keating, who voted for President Obama in 2008, "the economy being a primary one."

As we walked through the Stark County fair with Boccieri, he was careful not to criticize the president, as other Democrats in trouble have done.

Instead he pleaded for patience, and promised to do more.

"Its very clear that the economic solutions and the investments that we've made are going to take time to recover," said Boccieri. "We're putting folks back to work. No, it's not fast enough. It needs to be faster and we need to do more to help jumpstart our economy."

Ohio's Democratic Governor Ted Strickland, himself in an uphill reelection fight, and Democratic Senate candidate Lee Fisher - who trails Republican Rob Portman - also plan to attend the president's speech.

Two other embattled House Democrats, Mary Jo Kilroy and Steve Driehaus, say they will not attend. But both insist it is for logistical reasons and not because they are trying to avoid being seen with the president.

Filed under: 2010 • John Boccieri • Ohio • President Obama
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Renea

    Why would Democrats not attend the President speech. you are either with him or youre not runnning away from what you truly believe in will not change anything.Thats just shows signs of weakness on your part. One thing i do applaud the President for is dropping the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy anyone thats wealthy will not like this anyway i dont care who you are its about time the poor and middle class get a piece of the pie.

    September 8, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  2. Snow

    Another water boy of obummers that will be sent home from DC.

    September 8, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. King

    We cannot afford to stop this rise. the private sector has added jobs for 8 straight months this proposal by the president will speed up job gain emensely. We are finally crawling out of this hole the repug have dugged, for heaven sake dont let them kick us back in it.

    September 8, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  4. johnevans3rd

    Republicans are going out of their way to discredit the president talking about the economy if they got behind the president and helped to create jobs instead of sticking their fingers intheir ass people working then poloticians could fix the deficit that BUSH created by starting things oversea's

    September 8, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  5. malabar

    Clear the area folks, we got a jumper!

    September 8, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  6. John

    Wonder if this guy juggles knives while ice skating as practice...

    September 8, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  7. BeverlyNC

    At least Democrats have a strong, successful, great communicator President who will show up for them!

    Republicans have NO leadership, NO plans, NO solutions and constant in-fighting within their Party. They have no one who wants to stand up for them...and NO ONE should. Republicans are hate-filled liars who will slander and criticize anyone to gain power. They don't want to help America. Name ONE thing they have done for America's economy or one job they have created. They voted NO on everything. They still have NO solutions for the issues ALL Americans face. All they care about is their rich white buddies and large greedy corporations who buy their votes.

    Democrats are the Party of the People and they have WORKED hard for ALL American with real solutions to help the economy and create jobs. We have ended the war in Iraq. We have brought respect back to America as a super power. Stand up for the Democrats like they have stood up for you. Let's keep moving America forward with positive solutions, values that embrace ALL Americans, and end the Republican environment of hate, lies, fear-mongering and DOING NOTHING for anyone. Democrats are REBUILDERS. Republicans are DESTROYERS.

    Better know what YOU will have to live with if you vote for a Republican. It will be worse than you can imagine and will give you no chance to regain your life.

    September 8, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  8. Brian in MD

    If he voted for Obama/Reid/Pelosi's version of health care reform and/or cap and trade then he is finished.

    September 8, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  9. Mike

    Where does Obama get these idiots from in Cleveland? Doesn't Cleveland have one of the highest unemployment rate?

    September 8, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
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