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Connie Schultz
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Why Romney Will Lose Ohio (Hint: Vroom, Vroom)

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Greetings from the battleground state of Ohio, which Democrats and Republicans alike insist will determine the presidential race.

No use resenting us if you don't live here. For a few more days, we'll be the center of the universe. After Election Day, you can go back to wondering how a state with so many dairy farms and coal miners can be in the same time zone as Manhattan.

President Barack Obama continues to hold the lead in polls in Ohio. Beltway pundits love to rattle off the reasons, but this Buckeye who lives here has narrowed it down to one: the auto rescue.

So, let me tell you about my car.

Last summer, I traded in my Pontiac Vibe for a Chevy Cruze. It's bright red. I call it my red-hot mama car, just to embarrass the kids.

I bought the Cruze primarily because of my roots. I was born in Ohio and raised here by blue-collar parents who believed in God, hard work and organized labor. In the early 1970s, dozens of my relatives, including my utility worker father, worked in union jobs at power plants, steel mills and auto factories. I grew up believing that Ohioans knew how to make things — big things — that were shipped all around the world.

How my parents would have loved the story of the Chevy Cruze. It's a tale of many cities, many of them in my home state, full of the people I come from.

Bear with me, please, as I rattle off Ohio workers' contributions to the Cruze, which is now one of the best-selling cars in America:

The engine is made in Defiance.

The seat frames: Lorain.

The brackets: Waverly.

The fasteners: Brunswick.

The plastics: Tallmadge.

The seats: Warren.

The transmission: Toledo.

The sound system: Springboro.

The steel: Middletown and Cleveland.

The wing nuts: Tiffin.

The weld nuts: Hudson.

The weld studs: Medina.

The insulators: Norwalk.

The wheel bearings: Sandusky.

That is a partial list of Cruze parts made in Ohio.

The Cruze is assembled by about 4,500 union workers in Lordstown, Ohio, which is producing cars around the clock.

But wait; there's more.

Even if you don't live here, you probably have heard about another made-in-Ohio car: Chrysler's Jeep Wrangler, which is assembled by union workers in Toledo.

I'll spare you that list of Ohio suppliers.

Lots of cities — and lots of workers, too.

Mitt Romney, who opposed the auto rescue, recently claimed during a campaign stop in Defiance, Ohio, that Chrysler is planning to move its Jeep production to China.

For a few hours, I was willing to write this absurd claim as just another Romney gaffe. He says a lot of ridiculous things. Some of them are even unscripted.

Then Romney doubled down on his lie with TV and radio ads here in Ohio. In them, he claims that President Obama "sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China." A little word-tweaking, but the clear intention is to scare Ohio workers into believing they are about to lose their jobs.

For this whopper, Romney has earned nonpartisan PolitiFact's worst rating, "Pants on Fire." As PolitiFact also reminded readers, about 1 in 8 jobs in this state are auto-related. That's more than 800,000 jobs, which means at least a half-million families who have better lives because of the auto industry. These workers have relatives — friends and neighbors, too. Most of them care about the survival of the auto industry, too, because they care about the people who work in it.

This is very bad news for Romney — just as it was bad news for Ohio Republicans when their going after the collective bargaining rights of state workers backfired on them last year.

In the wake of Romney's ad, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne felt the need to send a letter to his employees: "Jeep assembly lines will remain in operation in the United States and will constitute the backbone of the brand," he said. "It is inaccurate to suggest anything different."

Nevertheless, as I write this, Romney's ad continues to run in Ohio.

And I'm days away from renaming my made-in-Ohio Chevy Cruze the red-hot victory car for Barack Obama.

Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and an essayist for Parade magazine. She is the author of two books, including "...and His Lovely Wife," which chronicled the successful race of her husband, Sherrod Brown, for the U.S. Senate. To find out more about Connie Schultz (con.schultz@yahoo.com) and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2012 CREATORS.COM



Comments

10 Comments | Post Comment
The nation stepped up to save Ohio, and now Ohio can save the nation.

Re-elect President Obama!
Comment: #1
Posted by: Steve Rosenberger
Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:13 PM
The way Romney changes positions, lies and lies again to our faces and how his minions still trust and believe in him enough to make this a close race scares the heck out of me. How ANYONE can do and say the stuff he has said and still be considered for the job of POTUS is beyond me.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Jim Johnston
Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:21 PM
It seems to me a Christian would be more hesitant to lie, but, as we've seen from Willard, that's not always the case.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Bruce Strickland
Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:04 PM
After Mitt Romney wrote that editorial' Let Detroit Go Bankrupt' , I thought how could a man whose father ran American Motors and was Govenor of Michigan have even considered writing that article? For reasons too numerous to mention, his lapse of good judgement, just on that one issue, shows that he does not know how to make decisions at the level of President of the United States.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Ruth Angle
Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:12 PM
My only comment is that you have not fully researched this and continue to spin your words to the left. Just be objective; spin in both directions, or better yet; don't spin anything.
GM plant: Shanghai, China (existing prior to bailout)
GM plant: Wuhan, China (addition to GM after bailout - not possible w/o US taxpayer dollars)
Ohio suffers in part due to this so called bailout. Don't forget to mention Delphi
Comment: #5
Posted by: PostMan
Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:27 PM
Oh,yes indeed, Ohio suffers so much because of that auto bailout, with tens of thousands of jobs and an unemployment rate lower than that of other states. Please send the rest of the states some of that "suffering." As to the China plant opened because GM was kept open by taxpayer dollars, better to have one plant open in China than dozens and dozens closed in the U.S. - which is exactly what Romney would have allowed in order to hew to the theology of private capital and small government. And American workers would have been tossed on the street. That's not leaning left. Those are just the facts.
Comment: #6
Posted by: maura
Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:05 PM
The continued spin on bankruptcy as closing businesses and laying off all the employees and going out of business has to stop. The principal focus of modern insolvency legislation and business debt restructuring (debt restructuring is a process that allows a private or public company – or a sovereign entity – facing cash flow problems and financial distress, to reduce and renegotiate its delinquent debts in order to improve or restore liquidity and rehabilitate so that it can continue its operations.) practices no longer rests on the elimination of insolvent entities but on the remodelling of the financial and organizational structure of debtors experiencing financial distress so as to permit the rehabilitation and continuation of their business. The bailout took (stole) my tax-dollars and gave them to other people. I don't live in Ohio. 16 trillion pinocchiosfor froma and the rest of the lying leftists.
Comment: #7
Posted by: David Henricks
Thu Nov 1, 2012 1:14 AM
Wingnuts made in Tiffin? I thought the wingnuts were--oh, never mind.
Comment: #8
Posted by: William Keating
Thu Nov 1, 2012 4:08 AM
Simple fact: 112,000 jobs have been created in Ohio since Obama took office. 400 of those jobs have a connection to the auto industry. That is right: ONLY 400! This is a documented fact. The improving Ohio economy is in spite of the president. If he was not regulating us to death, the state would again be thriving. Thank God we will have someone who is presidential and leads with integrity. Scoff if you wish, but no objective person can deny facts.
Comment: #9
Posted by: WingNut
Sat Nov 3, 2012 5:48 PM
David,
Your argument for bailout as restructuring might be reasonable in ordinary times, but the bailout did not occur in ordinary times. Without the bailout, there would have been no restructuring, just a selling off of the remaining bits. There was no private money available at the time. The economy was in free fall. Obama's bailout was the only real choice Obama had. To have not bailed out the industry would have resulted in the loss of many 10s of thousands of jobs as the failure spread out in the local economy through all of the supporting industries. I don't live in Ohio either, but I'm very glad Obama saved the industry and am disturbed that Romney does not seem to understand what would have happened if the industry had been torn apart.
WingNut,
The rational comparison is not between how many of the jobs created recently in Ohio were directly in the auto industry vs other employment. The rational comparison is between how many people would be unemployed in the auto industry and associated industries if we had taken the Romney approach vs what we have now. I find no likely scenario where the auto industry being allowed to fail and be taken apart then yields more auto industry jobs now that saving the industry did. The same can be said for the region in general.
Comment: #10
Posted by: Mark
Sat Nov 3, 2012 10:58 PM
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