The Associated Press and WOIO Channel 19 in Cleveland contributed to this report.
GENEVA, Ohio (WKBN) – Donald Trump brought his presidential campaign to northeast Ohio Thursday night. The Republican nominee spoke to more than 5,000 supporters at the Spire Institute Track and Field Building in Geneva.
Trump focused on his familiar talking points including keeping Syrian refugees out of the country and Obamacare, highlighting increased health insurance premiums expected to take effect next year.
In an interview with CBS affiliate WOIO Channel 19 in Cleveland, investigative reporter Paul Orlousky asked Trump about the exodus of manufacturing in Northeast Ohio.
Orlousky: “Jobs, jobs, jobs, we don’t make tires anymore in Akron, we don’t make steel in Youngstown, and corporate headquarters have left Cleveland. Will they come back?” Trump responded by reiterating his pledge to renegotiate NAFTA and to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
“They (jobs) are going to come back. Obamacare was very negative for jobs. It was too expensive and companies were forced to leave. We are going to get them back. We are going to repeal and replace Obamacare with a far better alternative, much less expensive and better. Obamacare doesn’t work and it’s far too expensive,” Trump said.
Trump went on to say that while he plans to renegotiate NAFTA, there will be consequences for companies who leave the U.S.
“When a company fires all of its people and moves to Mexico and then thinks they are going to resell products back to Ohio and other places – it’s not going to be so easy,” Trump said.
In a report in the Washington Post Thursday, Youngstown was highlighted as an area that will most likely not benefit by either candidate this election cycle.
The article titled Can either presidential candidate rescue this Ohio city? talks about how the area has been “battered for decades and is still looking for direction.” While the article touted the efforts of the Youngstown incubator, new downtown construction and urban revitalization, reporter Steven Mufson also points to the 6.1 percent jobless rate, well above the national average of 4.8 and the area’s 37 percent poverty rate.
Mufson writes: “Into this cauldron have come this year’s presidential campaigns, promising economic salvation.” There’s not much evidence that most voters are counting on the next president to help them much, Mufson writes.
While Trump campaigned in Ohio Thursday, Hillary Clinton was garnering support in North Carolina with the help first lady Michelle Obama.
President Barack Obama is returning to Florida to help Clinton get out the vote there. Obama will hold a Friday evening rally for Clinton in Orlando, along the “I-4 corridor” that’s home to large numbers of potentially persuadable voters.
Florida is one of just a handful of states that an Associated Press analysis rates as a toss-up between Clinton and Donald Trump.
White House officials say Obama will be traveling to boost Clinton nearly every day until Election Day. He’s used other events for Clinton to hammer Trump over his treatment of women and minorities and his unfounded claims that the election is “rigged” against him.