Strickland visits Ironton

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 17, 2008

If this is Ted country, is it also Hillary country?

Gov. Ted Strickland made a campaign stop in Ironton Saturday on behalf of U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, whom he is backing in the Democratic primary. He said after the rally that while he supports Clinton, he has no plans to join her as a running mate on the Democratic ticket.

Strickland lambasted the Bush administration for, among other things, driving up the national debt and forcing the U.S. to borrow money from foreign governments, sending troops overseas to fight in two wars, Afghanistan and Iraq, and weakening the American economy to the point where foreclosures are at an all-time high.

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Clinton, he said, has a plan to right the wrongs of the last eight years.

“I believe she can bring this war to an honorable end,” Strickland said. “She is the only candidate running for president in either party, who has a plan to bring affordable health care coverage to every single citizen. She doesn’t believe anyone should be left out.”

He said Clinton would stop the practice of rewarding companies who send jobs overseas, one of many comments that drew loud applause.

Strickland told a crowd of more than 200 people Clinton has the maturity, experience and commitment needed to be a good president and has a plan to lead the nation from the day she takes office. And he told the crowd, many of whom had their Hillary signs in hand, that they and other Ohioans have a pivotal role to play in this presidential race when they go to the polls March 4.

“The eyes of America are on two states right now, Texas and Ohio. But Ohio is the state that can turn this thing around, this delegate count. It’s really, really close, less than one percent separating Barack Obama and Sen. Clinton in the delegate count,” Strickland said. “Ohio is the state that can turn this thing around send a message across the country,” Strickland said.

Strickland said in the Clinton-Obama race, Clinton was the one most able to “go toe-to-toe” with Republican contender John McCain in November.

After the rally, Strickland said while he enthusiastically supports Clinton, he scotched rumors that have been circulating, at least in southern Ohio, that he might wind up as one-half of the Clinton presidential ticket.

“I want to remain governor of Ohio. The people elected me to a four-year term. I’m doing the best job I know to do,” he said. “Although I strongly support Sen. Clinton, I think I can be of

help to her by remaining governor and working for her from that position. I just want to be governor.”