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Government and Politics


Ohio Sen. Portman on Hobby Lobby vote and presidential hopes
Ohio's Republican senator talks about selling his party's message nationally
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


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M.L. Schultze
 
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Ohio’s Republican Sen. Rob Portman went further today outlining what it would take for him to run for president. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more.

LISTEN: Portman on messaging and Hobby Lobby

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The first question on Portman’s regular call with Ohio reporters this week went back to last week’s call: What has reaction been to his saying he could be open to running for president? 

And he started his answer as he had ended last week’s. He’s most interested in running for re-election as Ohio senator.

But he also said his party needs a candidate who knows how to sell the party’s pro-growth message to broader audience.  

“If you look at what’s happened in the last few presidential elections. Republicans are losing ground among groups like Hispanics, African Americans, Millennials, young people, Asian Americans, women. So there’s a great opportunity for us to take that message – which is a positive pro-growth message -- to everyone and to say that this party has the answers to give people more opportunity and more hope. “ 

Democrats tried to out-maneuver Republicans with one of those potential audiences this week: women. They pushed a bill to overturn the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, which said companies have a religious freedom right to exclude some types of contraception from their employees’ health insurance. 

Three Republicans joined Democrats, but Portman was not among them. He says the Democrats are misrepresenting the ruling and that he supports expanding availability of contraceptives by selling them over the counter.

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