Romney takes sides in Ohio union fight
October 26th, 2011
11:56 AM ET
11 years ago

Romney takes sides in Ohio union fight

(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday expressed his support for a referendum that would curb collective bargaining rights for public employees in Ohio, after he avoided directly weighing in on the battle Tuesday.

"I support question two and Gov. Kasich's effort to restrict collective bargaining in Ohio in the ways he's described," Romney said at an event in Virginia Wednesday. "So I fully support that."

He also apologized if he created any confusion with his earlier comments upon which rival candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry quickly pounced.

"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 Tuesday. "Gov. Kasich and the Republican leadership of Ohio are to be commended for their efforts."

During an appearance Tuesday in Ohio, Romney issued generic support for Kasich's efforts to curtail union rights, but he would not say whether he supported or opposed the specific measures.

"I am not speaking about the particular ballot issues," Romney said Tuesday, only after repeated questions from 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."

Two hot-button measures that will be on the Nov. 8 ballot are attracting attention from those on both sides of the political aisle.

One of them, Issue 2, would overturn Senate Bill 5 –the controversial legislation backed by Republican Gov. John Kasich that curbs collective bargaining rights for public employees.

Another measure, Issue 3, would amend the state constitution to forbid the state and federal government from imposing a mandate to buy health insurance.

- CNN's Peter Hamby and Alison Harding contributed to this report.

Also see:

Perry sidesteps 'birther' question

Gingrich cites fundraising spike

Poll: Cain takes top position, Perry falls to fifth

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Ohio
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Tea Party

    Who needs worker's rights anyways. Private industry, Public Sector why bother working? Nothing like working hard to make another man rich while you beg for scraps an are treated like broken horses.

    October 26, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. Annie, Atlanta

    This isn't a surprise. Romey is for something, until he gets some heat, and then he's against it. And vice versa. Does he have nothing, deep in his heart, that he can stand for, for more than a day or two? Any convictions whatsoever. Anything? Anyone?

    October 26, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. Kevin

    This just in..... Romney is a Republican! Are you surprised by this, he's the guy who said corporations are people. Talk about class warfare, eliminating the right for people to negotiate a fair wage is the biggest form of class warfare there is!

    October 26, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. sonny chapman

    No surprise which side he eventually flipped to.

    October 26, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  5. OhioGal

    I live in Ohio and it is an incredibly unpopular issue. Our election is Nov. 8 and there are signs against the issue everywhere but I've only seen one in support of it. If Romney supports this issue he'll definitely have trouble carrying Ohio if he's on the GOP ticket.

    October 26, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    Obama and Plouffe should send Mittens a thank you card for the electoral votes.

    October 26, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  7. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAliban/TEAhadists

    King Flip Flop wants to straddle both sides of the fence. You can't have your cake and eat your ice cream too Willard. Good thing for the American people that you are on the wrong side of this issue. There are democrats, independants and republicans against Kasich's union stripping bill. Willard, you just kicked yourself in the butt.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012
    E. WARREN 2012

    October 26, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. Latch

    Translation: As a Republican, I applaud any effort to even the balance of power between saintly corporations (they're people too!) and the nasty workers who plague our great nation.

    October 26, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  9. OhioGal

    My opinion is that this issue infringes on the right to free speech. To tell people that they can't speak as one voice is to tell them they can't speak. Whose next? A politcal party the Republicans don't like? A church that isn't Christian Fundamentalist? To block speech is so against our constitution I find it repugnant.

    October 26, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAliban/TEAhadists

    And look at the wonderful photo of op my worthless governor McDonnell. Boy o' boy if the mainstream media knew about the shady business he's doing in Virginia such as the handling of the Virginia Port Authority and laying blame at the feet of legitimate businessmen and not taking responsibility for his failure.

    October 26, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  11. Steve/CT

    This law is now on the ballot for November. So far, it is facing a big shot at being repealed. Almost 60% of Ohio Voters don't want this law. They want it repealed.

    October 26, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  12. John

    Mitt Romney flip -flop more than carter has peanuts.

    October 26, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    Cowboy Fonzie claims he'll create 2.5M new jobs? Hahaha. More like 2.5M new headaches.

    October 26, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. boocat

    The Great Panderer has done it about flip-flopper...I'll bet if you look up the word in any dictionary, you'd see this guy's picture.

    October 26, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. Corporations R. People II

    Good ol' Willard. Always for the will of the people....because corporations are people, too.
    Chalk up Ohio in addition to Michigan as states where Willard is toast; love it!

    October 26, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  16. Paul1st

    Mitt's Daddy, George Romney is crying in heaven. As governor, he signed the Michigan law granting public employees bargaining rights in that state.

    October 26, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  17. Travis

    Screw focusing on Republicans or Democrats. I will never in my life time vote for either again. Can we get some focus on third party candidates PLEASE!!!!!!

    October 26, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. Darrell

    Do you remember the TV show Flipper? Well, Mitt does more back flips than that bottlenose dolphin ever did.

    October 26, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. Independent Voters

    This is a win for Obama/Biden 2012 in Ohio election

    October 26, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  20. Al-NY,NY

    flippety-flop his best. He was against it before he was for it. It just keeps getting better and better

    October 26, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  21. Phil in KC

    Of course he's against unions; he's a Republican. They always side with Big Business against blue collar and other non-management workers. Have you noticed that, since unions began to decline (under Reagan), so has the middle class and our standard of living? It's no coincidence. The Republicans won't be happy until we're a 2nd or 3rd world country.

    October 26, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  22. tee66

    Another filp flop this guy is unreal

    October 26, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  23. ART

    Romney is not and has never been on the side of the working class, everything has been handed to him so he has no concept of how things are for us normal folk. His idea is let the chips fall where they may and to hell with you poor and middle class people.He's literally got BIG BUSINESS stamped on his forehead.

    October 26, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  24. Unenrolled in Massachusetts

    Taking a position like this against the unions in Ohio may get him the nomination, but it will make it very difficult for him to win over the independent voters.

    October 26, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. Debra from Georgia

    Mr. Flipper. Make up your in mind, you are so indecisive.

    October 26, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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