CLEVELAND, Ohio (WKBN) – The Democratic party is using fighting within the GOP as an opportunity to discredit Donald Trump and all of the candidates who support him.
That includes Senator Rob Portman, who is in a dead heat with democrat Ted Strickland.
Democrats say the divisions in the Republican party are so deep, it won’t be able to work together after the election.
“They may have elected officials and candidates, including both of their living former presidents, refusing to attend the convention because they don’t want to associate with Donald Trump’s toxic brand,” said Debbie Wasserman Schultz with the Democratic National Committee.
Portman has thrown his support behind Donald Trump, which drew sharp words Tuesday from Ohio Democratic Chairman David Pepper.
“We don’t agree with [Republicans] on many things but folks like the governor have stood up and said, ‘We’re not comfortable endorsing this candidate,’” Pepper said. “There are other Republicans who aren’t showing as much courage, who aren’t standing for common sense, who are not putting their own values and our country and our state above partisan politics…In Ohio, the person doing that most clearly is Rob Portman.”
Several labor groups, including members of the Service Employees International Union, are supporting Ted Strickland.
“We want leaders in Ohio who are strong, and Senator Portman has proven that he’s not going to stand up for the average person,” said Congressman Tim Ryan.
Democrats say Portman, like Trump, is putting his own interests ahead of what is best for the state.
“We’ve seen Donald Trump say that the minimum wage is too high. We’ve seen Donald Trump talk about trade, and yet have factories in China and Mexico and ship those products back to the United States,” Ryan said.
Spokesperson Michawn Rich of the Portman campaign responded with the following statement:
Ted Strickland’s allies are desperately trying to paper over his awful record of refusing to stand up to China and being governor when Ohio lost more than 350,000 jobs and ranked 48th in job creation. Other than breathing and occasionally wandering out in public, it is unclear what Ted Strickland brings to this race as his campaign has no money, no grassroots support, and the worst record of any Senate candidate in America. Ted’s entire campaign is completely reliant on being dragged across the finish line by a candidate with a 60 percent unfavorable rating who wants to eliminate southeast Ohio.
Democrats say they plan to do whatever it takes to keep Trump out of the White House.