BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland is ready to take on incumbent U.S. Senator Rob Portman in November.
The man who’d like to be Ohio’s next U.S. Senator says there will be plenty of ways to separate his record from Portman’s.
Strickland visited with about a dozen Democrat supporters at the Yankee Kitchen restaurant in Boardman Wednesday, less than a day after celebrating his big primary election in Columbus last night.
He immediately chastised Portman and other Republicans in the Senate for refusing to consider Judge Merrick Garland, who is President Barack Obama’s choice to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Senator Portman has said he will not even meet, not even give a nominee the courtesy of a visit with him. This is just another example of how Senator Portman is putting the needs of the Washington power brokers over the needs of the people of Ohio,” Strickland said.
However, Portman issued a statement saying he would meet with the nominee and explain his position that the nomination should wait until the presidential election is over saying “the American people deserve to have a voice in the debate over a lifetime appointment that could reshape the Court for generations.”
Following Strickland’s statements, Portman’s campaign manager, Corry Bliss,also released the following statement, referring to the death of Chief Justice Thomas Moyer:
The only thing more hypocritical than Ted Strickland talking about jobs and the economy is Ted Strickland talking about judicial appointments. When he was governor, not only did Ohio lose over 350,000 jobs, but Ted was broadly criticized for ‘politicizing justice’ with a ‘blatantly political’ appointment after an Ohio Supreme Court Justice died. It is shameful that the Democrats are so desperate to save Ted Strickland’s floundering campaign that they are willing to do or say anything to paper over his record.”
Portman’s campaign says Vice President Joe Biden, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1992, had then urged President Bush to wait until after the November election was completed for the elected president to name a nominee.
Heading into the fall campaign, Strickland says he will stress the differences between himself and Portman, especially on trade issues.