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Ohio


Portman: 2016 is too far away to talk political ambitions and challenges
Ohio's senator also defends his unemployment vote and says another effort may be coming
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


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M.L. Schultze
 
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Ohio’s Republican Sen. Rob Portman says it’s too early to be talking about 2016 – either in terms of a run by him for president or a re-election run against him by former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland.

Portman was asked about both on a conference call today with reporters. It came just a few days after a poll from Public Policy Polling showed Portman’s refusal to vote for an extension of unemployment benefits is hurting him among Ohioans. It’s a poll Strickland has cited when asked if he was considering a run against Portman for the Senate seat in 2016. 

And it’s a poll Portman dismisses.

LISTEN: Portman says 2016 is a long way away

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“2016 is a long time from now. I’m sure there will be plenty of time to deal with politics. Democrats seem really interested in talking about politics and a lot less interested in addressing the problems that we face right now in Ohio. And that’s what I’m focused on.” 

Portman says that focus includes jobs. He also insists he supports an extension of unemployment benefits for three months if it is paid for, and says the effort isn’t over. 

The poll shows 28 percent of Ohioans support Portman’s job performance, while 35 percent disapprove. But the poll also shows many Ohioans have no opinion of Portman’s performance at all. 

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