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Politics




Obama goes against Romney's plans for wealthy tax cuts while in Mansfield
Obama's plan to cut taxes for the middle class resonates with the city of Mansfield
Story by SAM HENDREN
This story is part of a special series.


 
In The Region:

President Barack Obama spent yesterday campaigning in Ohio. In the morning he was in Mansfield, once a Republican stronghold. In remarks to a crowd of about 2,000, Mister Obama said that Republican Mitt Romney's economic plan would give tax cuts to the richest people in America at the expense of everyone else. From Ohio public radio station WOSU, Sam Hendren reports.

Hendren on Obama in Mansfield

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The president chose to hold his campaign rally in a tree-shaded park in the heart of downtown Mansfield.  Access to the event was by ticket only.  The curious - and a group of protesters - were kept several blocks away.

“Shame on you, Barack.  Shame on you, Barack.”

The sign-carrying demonstrators did not explain why they were chanting that particular phrase…And it’s likely the president never even saw them.  Mister Obama meanwhile seemed buoyed by the sea of supporters around him…

“Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!”

"No matter who you are or what you look like or where you come from, here in America, you can make it if you try.  That’s what this campaign’s about Ohio, and that’s why I am running for a second term as president of the United States of America."

The tone of the event at first was like a pep rally.  But the president got down to business focusing his remarks on the middle class. In a city that’s been struggling with high unemployment, the president hammered away at Republican opponent Mitt Romney’s tax cut plan which includes cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

"Ohio, we do not need more tax cuts for folks who are already doing really well.  We need tax cuts for working Americans.  We need tax cuts for families who are trying to raise their children and keep them healthy and send them to college and put a roof over their heads."

Mister Obama said that America’s real economic strength lies in the middle class, not in the ranks of millionaires and billionaires.

"We know this country wasn’t built from the top down it was built by the middle class.  It was built by farmers and factory workers and start ups and small businesses and companies that sent American products overseas not sending American jobs overseas.  That’s what built Ohio and that’s what built America."

Mister Obama’s remarks clearly resonated with the crowd.

“I just think the one percent that are trying to represent us as Americans, it’s not working!”

Barbara Peiker echoed the president’s sentiments.

“We need people who are real…in touch with middle class America because we can’t build a solid America from the top down because they are out of touch with us.”

Following the president’s speech, former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland remained a loyal Obama ally.

“If for no other reason, Ohio should support his reelection because he saved the American auto industry and he saved thousands and thousands of Ohio jobs.”

Strickland, like others in the crowd, also was skeptical about the direction the country might take should Mitt Romney be elected.

"I really do believe that Mitt Romney wants to take us back to the same circumstances, the same policies that led to this recession.  And we need to move forward, not backward."

A Romney spokesman said the Republican candidate believes lower tax rates across the board would jump-start the economy.

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