TOLEDO, Ohio - "It's critically important," Vice President Joe Biden said of Ohio's role in President Barack Obama's reelection strategy. Important though for more than just the electoral votes at stake here.
"It is probably the quintessential middle class state in America. How goes this state, how goes manufacturing, how goes jobs is one of the bellwether's of the nation."
"We absolutely believe Ohio's coming back and the nation's coming back that's why I was out here today," he said, speaking of his campaign stop in Toledo to talk with auto workers.
"You have 15,000 new auto worker jobs again back just since we reorganized," he said, referring to the auto bailout.
"You have the most qualified, through the whole upper Midwest, the most qualified and productive workers in the world and you're going to start hearing about insourcing not outsourcing so I think we have a case to make here."
"The single most important part of our initiative is bring the middle class back."
Ohio's unemployment rate has dropped below the national average to 7.7 percent, the state ranks first in the Midwest when it comes to job creation, fifth in the nation. We asked Biden if those numbers are the result of Obama administration policies in Washington, D.C. or the aggressive efforts and incentives offered by Gov. John Kasich's administration in Columbus?
"I'm willing to give anybody credit who wants it. Look this isn't about credit this is about getting the job done," he said.
"People in my neighborhood (growing up in Scranton, Pennsylvania) didn't care who got credit for the job, bringing a job back, as long as they had a job. As long as they could own their house, as long as they could send their kid to school, as long as they were able to be in the position where they could turn to their kid and say 'honey it's going to be OK.'"
He added "I think the president deserves a lot of credit. I think he deserves the bulk of it but it doesn't matter to us as long as people get back to work and can raise their families.”
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A popular president can help his party's candidates for Congress and governor candidates in mid-term elections. But Democrats increasingly worry they could suffer losses, much as they did in 2010, Obama's first mid-term elections.
Republicans and Democrats in Ohio's capital city are launching a joint effort to explore landing a national political convention for Columbus in 2016.