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Government and Politics

Millions on ads may mean little in Ohio
Advisor to Bush says convention speech and debates may be where votes really swing
This story is part of a special series.

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
Ari Fleischer plays to a packed house of Ohio delegates and press in Tampa.
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In The Region:

The presidential campaigns are spending tens of millions of dollars on political ads in Ohio. And one of the engineers of Mitt Romney’s campaign acknowledges the saturation may mean less than a few hours of free air time. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more the first Ohio delegation breakfast in Tampa.

Schultze: advice on swinging Ohio votes

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Ari Fleischer was the press secretary for President George W. Bush. But in the days before that, he helped engineer Bush’s close win in Ohio and nationally in 2004. And these days, he’s helping to advise Mitt Romney on how to swing the swing state.

After a breakfast with the Ohio delegation a few miles from the Republican National Convention floor, Fleischer spoke with the press about what the small percentage of voters who have not yet made up their mind may be looking for. 

“What’s wonderful about the American political system, it really does come down to people watching candidates on TV and making their own judgments about who they believe in, who they don’t believe in. That’s why I think Mitt Romney has bigger upside in a close election. People have come to their conclusions about President Obama. And President Obama’s under 50 percent.  Again, convention speech, debate  performance, people making a judgment watching live with no commercials, I think ultimately is what tips the scales.”

 Fleischer says Romney will have to use his convention speech Thursday night to focus on the economy and to make himself a likeable guy to Ohioans and others in the nation who are worried about the economy.

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