LISTEN TO AUDIO OF THE EVENT HERE.
Advancing the route Mitt Romney will travel over the coming days as part of his bus tour, the Democratic National Committee’s “Romney Economics: The Middle Class Under the Bus” tour stopped at the Ohio Democratic Party Office in Columbus, Ohio to discuss Mitt Romney’s real economic record and highlight the broken promises Romney made while running for governor of Massachusetts for more jobs, less debt, and smaller government – the same promises he is making today. Speakers at the event included: Former Governor Ted Strickland; Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga; DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse; Massachusetts State Rep. John Scibak; and Jen Hollis, a Massachusetts Teacher.
Once in office, Romney failed to keep those promises: he sank Massachusetts to 47th out of 50 in job creation, hiked taxes and fees by $750 million a year, and left taxpayers with the highest debt per person in the country. The tour will feature representatives from Massachusetts who will speak from firsthand knowledge about what Romney Economics meant for economic growth and the middle class.
While the President has outlined a clear plan to grow the economy, create middle-class jobs and pay down our debt in a balanced way, Mitt Romney has provided no real plan to help the middle class. Instead he has promised economic policies that are familiar and troubling: more budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy and fewer rules for Wall Street, the same formula that benefited a few, but crashed our economy and devastated the middle class. Romney Economics didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.
The four-day DNC bus tour will make at least ten stops across the six states Romney is visiting. The DNC bus already stopped in Exeter, NH and Scranton, PA Friday; Cleveland and Columbus, OH today; will stop in Dayton, OH tonight; Madison, WI and Davenport, IA on Sunday; and Grand Rapids, Lansing and Detroit, MI on Monday. Massachusetts and local elected officials and other prominent surrogates will appear on the tour along with the DNC’s Brad Woodhouse.
Below please find excerpts of today’s speakers’ remarks as prepared for delivery.
DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse
“This bus tour is called the Romney Economics: the Middle Class Under the Bus Tour. It’s a fitting name because that’s exactly what Romney Economics would do for the middle-class and the hardworking people across this country and Ohio. He’d actually throw the middle class under the bus to advance his trickle-down economic agenda to protect the very wealthy people like him in this country at the expense of the hard-working people in Ohio…
“Governor Romney and his allies in Congress believe that if you simply let Wall Street write its own rules again, the market will solve all our problems on its own. But we’ve seen and tried the trickle-down economic scheme before, and it didn’t do anything to help middle class Americans. Romney tried it in Massachusetts and as a corporate buyout specialist. But Romney Economics didn’t work then and it won’t work now.”
Massachusetts State Rep. Scibak
“For the past decade Romney has distorted his record as a businessman and governor of Massachusetts. But as a Massachusetts State Representative, I am tired of his distortions. Setting the record straight about Mitt Romney’s record is so important to me and my fellow colleagues that we have followed him here to do it. By the time Romney left office, Massachusetts ranked first in debt per person, and during his term the state dropped to 47th out of 50 in job creation, manufacturing jobs were lost at twice the national rate, and the median household income fell. That’s not a record to be proud of.”
Former Governor Ted Strickland
“When the auto industry hit a block in the road, President Obama didn’t just throw up his hands and say ‘Let Detroit Go Bankrupt’ like Mitt Romney. President Obama bet on the American worker, American manufacturing and ingenuity, and now American auto manufacturing is back on top of the world. One in eight jobs in Ohio are connected to the auto industry, and now Chrysler, Ford, and GM are all profitable for the first time since the ‘90s, and GM is the world’s number one automaker. I am happy to say that American manufacturing is back, and it’s because of the President’s unwavering bold leadership. The president’s auto rescue plan saved more than a million jobs up and down the supply chain and nearly 200,000 jobs in Ohio alone. Preventing unemployment not only helped those who work in the auto plants, but parts manufacturers and tire companies and local stores where those workers go to get their coffee and eat lunch. It not only saved Detroit, but it saved communities and towns across Ohio. And plants are now adding third shifts – Ohio has already added over 16,000 auto jobs on top of the jobs that were saved.”
Tim Burga, President of AFL-CIO
“I’m Tim Burga, President of Ohio’s AFL-CIO, and I’m a third generation steel worker. I have worked hard every single day of my life, and the only thing that I expect is to be treated fairly and paid a decent wage for the work I do. That’s what collective bargaining rights for union workers ensure, and I’m proud to have a President who understands that. President Obama continues to stand shoulder to shoulder with America’s workers while Mitt Romney has taken cues from the Republican playbook and Governor Kasich to divide and conquer unions.
“I guess this shouldn’t be surprising since Romney tried to strip union membership from thousands of public employees when he was governor. If Romney had gotten his way, the Massachusetts Firefighters Union would have lost almost one-third of their union memberships. And now he said we should “cut back” on our firefighters, police officers, and teachers. Mitt Romney is trying to win over Ohio voters, but he’s both out of touch with their beliefs and wrong for Ohio in every way.
“And he has not been a friend to my fellow union workers either. Romney said he supported Issue 2 one hundred and ten percent. Well Ohio voters spoke loud and clear in November. Ohioans across the political spectrum overwhelmingly opposed Issue 2, rejecting it last November, delivering a great victory to Ohio’s workers. And Mitt Romney demonstrated once again that he’s at the beck and call of those at the far right, even if it’s against the best interest of the hardworking folks of Ohio.”
Jen Hollis, Massachusetts Teacher
“Teachers were among the many victims of Romney Economics in Massachusetts. In his first year in office, Romney slashed local aid, costing about 14,500 Massachusetts teachers, cops, librarians and others their jobs. Romney has made it absolutely crystal clear -- he wasn’t fighting for teachers in Massachusetts, and he wasn’t fighting for policies that would better our children’s education, either. While President Obama believes that our children’s education is the best economic investment we can make, Mitt Romney said we should ‘cut back’ jobs for teachers and first responders and gut the Department of Education to help pay for tax breaks for big corporations and millionaires and billionaires. By cutting education funds, schools will have to make tough choices. It will put major stress on the state and local school districts, and inevitably lead to teacher layoffs and larger classroom sizes across the country.”