Perry takes sides in Ohio union fight after Romney dodges issue
October 25th, 2011
04:41 PM ET
11 years ago

Perry takes sides in Ohio union fight after Romney dodges issue

Cincinnati, Ohio (CNN) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry took sides Tuesday in the ongoing battle over organized labor in Ohio, coming down forcefully on the side of Republicans who want to drastically limit the collective bargaining ability of public sector unions.

The Republican presidential contender made a point of weighing in on the issue after his rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, visited Ohio and left questions about his position on an upcoming ballot measure that would overturn the anti-union legislation.

Hoping to drive down long-term budget deficits, Ohio Republicans led by Gov. John Kasich passed a bill last spring that sharply curtails the bargaining rights of public employee unions and forces union members to pay more into their pensions.

But the legislation, known as Senate Bill 5, is broadly unpopular in the perennial swing state and faces certain doom in referendum on Election Day, Nov. 8.

"As a true conservative, I stand with Gov. Kasich in promoting S.B.5 for fiscal responsibility and job creation in Ohio," Perry said in a statement to CNN. "Gov. Kasich and the Republican leadership of Ohio are to be commended for their efforts."

Added Perry, "My record as a pro-jobs governor is clear and you don't have to wonder where I stand."

Earlier in the day, Romney visited a Cincinnati-area phone bank run by the state Republican Party and rallied volunteers who have been urging Ohioans to vote yes on Issue 2, a ballot measure that would ratify S.B.5.

But Romney would not say specifically if he supports S.B.5, which Ohio voters oppose by a 57-32 margin, according to a Quinnipiac poll out Tuesday

Instead, he issued only generic support for GOP efforts to control spending in Columbus.

"I am not speaking about the particular ballot issues," Romney said, after being pressed by reporters. "Those are up to the people of Ohio. But I certainly support the efforts of the governor to reign in the scale of government. I am not terribly familiar with the two ballot initiatives. But I am certainly supportive of the Republican Party's efforts here."

Romney's vague statement quickly circulated around the web, chafing some conservatives who rallied behind Republican efforts in Wisconsin and Ohio earlier this year to limit union power.

Filed under: 2012 • John Kasich • Mitt Romney • Ohio • Rick Perry
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine

    Does Perry have any idea what he's just done to himself? If he is the nominee, Ohio is lost to the GOP.

    October 25, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. max

    agreed with Romney – its a state issue and Perry should stay out of it.

    October 25, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Perry's Texas middle class job creation involves training. Being able to use phrases like, "Do you want fries with that?" and "Welcome to Wal-Mart," have managed to keep Texas' unemployment rate as low as 8.5%

    October 25, 2011 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Perry is a republican, a birther, a puppet for big oil, so it is not surprising that he would stand with republicans against workers.

    October 25, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  5. Emmy Skaddittle

    Wow, just how out of touch with reality is this guy?

    October 25, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  6. Bob C

    Wow. What a surprise. A Republican against working people's right to bargain. Who'd a ever thought?

    October 25, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  7. sonny chapman

    Wall Street or Main Street. Pick a side.

    October 25, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. SaintM

    Stupid is as Stupid does.

    October 25, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. Larry Moniz

    Is Perry INSANE? A 20-percent flat tax for individuals is immense! For a family earning $50,000 a year, that would be $10,000 in taxes!! I realize he was too busy being a college cheerleader and studying animal husbandry to fit economics into his schedule but it would be nice to know he at least has a clue–about anything to do with running a country. I'm forced to wonder if he can count to twenty without taking off his socks.

    October 25, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  10. Jerry@Dallas

    Romney is a flip flopper. This is a guy making phone calls from Republican phone bank in support of SB 5 and when asked if he supports the bill, he skid skirts is a State issue! What the hell was he calling for? NO WONDER CAIN IS TOPPING POLLS. Romney and Perry are not ready for what they are looking for. No wonder Obama is not watching them.

    October 25, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  11. Bill

    Every time Perry opens his mouth or does something, he digs himself deeper into a hole. What an absolute clown.

    October 25, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  12. California Gary

    This tells us a lot about Perry and Romney. It tells us Romney is afraid to commit to a cause until he knows how it will turn out. And it tells us Perry will rush in and take a stand on something without really giving it a lot of thought. He's on the wrong side of the issue, but at least Perry stands for something, unlike Romney, who stands for nothing.

    October 25, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  13. MC

    I don't believe this poll simply because I find it impossible to believe that any Republican has been able to pick the least stupid, least inept amongst this pack of blithering idiots. One of these blind squirrels will find the acorn at the end of the GOP convention, but he has no shot to win the general election. Can you imagine Perry, Cain or Romney debating Obama? Put all of the on the stage at once, like a debate team, and Obama will still tear them to shreds. Turn out the lights. The GOParty is over.

    October 25, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  14. scott

    Look the american public will demonize who they want when they want one side or the other matters not what does matter is that each side makes the right choice based on what is right for who they represent not for the party or party ilne they are in bed with lets shoot for term limits in all of congress the argument is the longer you are in congress the more you know and can do for the country the real point of it is that congress would have to implement this on themselves and thats not going to happen right away at least not without the people demanding it over and over just like proabition and a whole host of other issues that have been overturned or overruled in the past also the supreme court has made some really bad calls in the past five years or so and they also can be overturned too it just takes enough of a voice to make it happen happen that is in our own country the united states of america.

    October 25, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  15. MTATL67

    Let me get this straight he says "I stand with Gov. Kasich in promoting S.B.5 for fiscal responsibility" and "My record as a pro-jobs governor is clear and you don't have to wonder where I stand." to me that is non-specific and noncommittal. This guy need to go back to Texas and take care of their $27B pluse debt and repay the loans back he took from the rest of us tax payers.

    October 25, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    Awesome. If Cowboy Fonzie gets the nomination, that's 20 electoral votes for Obama haha. Not suprising tho...he's at the point where he has to flail and throw stuff against the wall to see what sticks.

    Soooooom, CNN, when are yuo going to do a big report about the new study the Senate Finance Committee had CBO do that showed that ALL...that's right ALL...let me say this again....






    October 25, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  17. fayse

    I live in Texas, a right to work State and I can tell you for a fact that this law is on the side of Corporations. The only protection that a worker has is the EEOC and they are very picky about when to get involved with a complaint.

    October 25, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  18. nancy

    AUSTIN – Perry campaign Communications Director Ray Sullivan has released the following statement:

    “Mitt Romney’s finger-in-the-wind politics continued today when he refused to support right-to-work reforms signed by Ohio Governor John Kasich – reforms Romney supported in June. Americans are tired of politicians who change their beliefs to match public opinion polls. Mitt Romney has a long record of doing this on issues like government-mandated health care and the Obama stimulus. Mitt Romney needs to realize that when you try to stand on both sides of an issue, you stand for nothing.”

    October 25, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  19. JohnA

    @ Larry Moniz

    There is a $12,500 standard deduction. So a family making $50,000 wouldn't actually pay anything.

    October 25, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    And make sure you include all the charts so the conservative simpletons can understand that CBO and 30 years of historical record took a giant steaming dump on their economic ideology.

    October 25, 2011 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  21. WhereIsPalin

    If Ohio plays it right, they can be another Texas.

    October 25, 2011 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  22. Debbie

    No thought Perry and Romney the Artful Dodger Flip-Flopper

    October 25, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  23. k dogg

    Perry may as well spend all his campaign cash and go back to texas. He clearly won't be the one the teapublicans nominate, they are in love with that 9-9-9 jokester herman cain

    October 25, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  24. v_mag

    Have no fear, Gov. Your owners know you stand with them against the American people. Every step you take proves it, from the fat-cat flat tax to ripping off workers' rights.

    Rich guys get together all the time. They slice up territories, decide how little they're gonna pay worker, decide which candidate they're gonna support (i.e., buy). But let a few workers exercise the limited power they have over their own labor? Not on your life. Why, that would be communism! And everybody understands that they should be afraid of a word like that, never mind that few people could even define it. It's all part of how people remain exploited and under the thumb of the rich guy.

    Class warfare is a fact of American life, and it is practiced daily against the American worker.

    October 25, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  25. thomas

    "Gov. Kasich is a Drukin Bum" Who forgot where he came from !
    Perry would go down on the devil to get a vote from hell !

    October 25, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
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