DeWine targets Brown's turf
Senator says he and Brown split on security
Jobs and national security are foremost on the minds of Northeast Ohio residents, and they're areas where U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine and U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown have significant differences of opinion, DeWine said Saturday in a campaign stop in Lorain County.
Working his way through a crowd intent on clearing butter-soaked corn off cobs and munching on sugary funnel cakes, DeWine said his visit to North Ridgeville's Corn Festival was part of a statewide, grassroots campaign.
"I've always spent a lot of time in Northeast Ohio," said DeWine, who hails from Greene County in southern Ohio. "This campaign is no different."
In his stop in North Ridgeville, DeWine took aim at Brown's lack of support for the Patriot Act, saying that without the law, the United States would not have key tools to fight terrorism.
He said Brown has consistently failed to lend support to measures to increase national security and the fight against terrorism.
"If Mr. Brown's way had prevailed, we would not have had the Patriot Act and the tools it provided law enforcement. This is a dangerous time," DeWine said. "We need every tool and the Patriot Act is one of the tools."
Brown has said he voted against the Patriot Act because it gives law enforcement agencies the right to access medical and financial records of individuals and even records of books taken out of libraries.
If a lesson has emerged from the recent failed terrorism plot in Britain, it's that "intelligence is very, very important & and that is just one of our differences," DeWine said.
On the topic of jobs, DeWine said he helped establish a Manufacturing Extension Program which provides counseling to small manufacturers.
"It has worked out well in Ohio," he said. "(MEP) reports it has saved over 5,000 jobs in Ohio, but we have to do more."
DeWine said his first television ads of the campaign, which labeled him as an "Independent Fighter for Ohio Families," were not meant to distance him from the Republican Party at a time when President Bush's approval ratings have fallen to 33 percent.
"I am a Republican, and I've used that term many times. I used "independent" when I ran 26 years ago because I look at things with an independent viewpoint and I work with Democrats," DeWine said. "Throughout my career, I've worked with Democrats to get things done. And we need a bipartisan approach to get things done."
North Ridgeville resident Jeff Rogers, sitting on a bench across from the GOP booth at the festival, said he usually votes Democrat but has been known to cross party lines on a ballot.
So far, in the DeWine-Brown campaign, he's leaning toward Brown, he said. "Most politicians on both sides, though, are usually too busy worrying about themselves," Rogers said.
David Trumann, of North Ridgeville, said DeWine will get his vote. "I don't dislike Brown, but I've always voted Republican and I like (DeWine's) conservative viewpoint," Truman said.
Marshall Whitehead of Elyria said he's not yet given the race between DeWine and Brown any profound thought, but he plans to vote for Brown.
"I think he expresses his position well and doesn't succumb to public opinion; he's his own man," Whitehead said.