GOP candidate Mitt Romney traveled to Ohio today to meet with about 100 volunteers who are fighting to keep Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s (R) deeply unpopular anti-worker law alive by promoting a yes vote on Issue 2, an Ohio ballot referendum. Issue 2, if approved, would preserve Ohio’s union-busting law, known as SB5.
Walking into the phone bank, Romney delivered a brief speech in which he did not mention the work the volunteers have been doing on Issue 2. He refused to talk to reporters about Issue 2. However, he told Ohio Republican Party chairman Kevin DeWine as he left that “he was not endorsing” Issue 2:
Romney, who would not speak to the media, told Ohio Republican Party chairman Kevin DeWine as he left the building on Wooster Pike in Terrace Park that he was not endorsing either Issue 2 – which would repeal the GOP backed bill that limit collective bargaining for public employees, or Issue 3, which would allow Ohioans to opt out of the mandatory health care coverage portion of the health care law passed by Democrats in Congress last year.
“I’m not saying anything one way or the other about the two ballot issues,” Romney told DeWine. “But I am supportive of the Republican party’s efforts here.”
A Republican candidate supporting “Republican efforts” hardly depicts political conviction — which isn’t something Romney is known for anyway. But with Issue 2 losing serious ground in the polls and even losing the support of top conservative voices, Romney’s lack of position isn’t surprising. But the fact that he specifically traveled to Ohio in order to announce his non-stance is.
As Politico reported, Romney’s non-endorsement looks even worse in light of the fact that, back in June, he said “my friends in Ohio are fighting to defend crucial reforms that the state has put in place to limit the power of union bosses and keep taxes low…I stand with John R. Kasich and Ohio’s leaders as they take on this important fight to get control of government spending.” Evidently, something changed in the last four months to make Romney think that backing SB5 is a political loser.