When Donald Trump steps out on stage at the Huntington Center tonight, fellow Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman will be about as far away as a person can be and still be in Ohio - Cincinnati.
The Democratic Ted Strickland campaign for the U.S. Senate is wondering when Portman is going to live up to his commitment to "probably" campaign with Trump. Portman said last week at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland that he was "all-in" with Trump and would probably campaign with him at some point.
The Strickland campaign says Portman has a "responsibility" to stand with Trump, as the party standard-bearer, and to explain his positions, including Trump's statement today calling on Russia to try to obtain 33,000 deleted emails from Hillary Clinton's personal Internet server.
"He's afraid of the toxic and damaging impact that Trump is having on his campaign," said campaign spokesman David Bergstein.
Here's the Ohio Democratic Party's statement on the issue:
For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
CONTACT: Daniel van Hoogstraten, email@example.com
Will Portman Show Up for Trump Rally in Toledo?
During RNC Last Week Portman Said He Was “All In” For Trump
COLUMBUS -- Days ago, Sen. Rob Portman said he is “all in” for Donald Trump and that he will “probably” campaign with Trump in Ohio – and now Portman has the perfect opportunity: will today in Toledo mark Portman’s first joint appearance with Trump on the campaign trail?
“Whether or not Senator Portman has the political courage to show his face with Donald Trump, one thing has become abundantly clear: Portman and Trump share the same toxic agenda that is out of touch with the values Ohioans believe in,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Daniel van Hoogstraten. “Even as Governor Kasich and other Ohio Republicans refuse to support Trump, Senator Portman has tethered himself to his party’s toxic and divisive nominee. For Portman, there’s no escaping Donald Trump’s vitriolic rhetoric disparaging women, veterans, immigrants and the disabled, and there’s no hiding from the bright spotlight Trump is shining on Portman’s decades-long record of supporting unfair trade policies that have sent over 300,000 Ohio jobs to places like China.”
Last week, Portman was named an RNC “loser” for his unabashed support for Donald Trump – and these three factors are undoubtedly weighing on Portman’s decision whether or not to join Trump in Toledo:
- Portman Claimed He’s “All In” For His Party’s Toxic Nominee -- And There’s Nowhere To Hide:Portman started the week of the RNC desperately trying to avoid Trump, but the headlines at the end of the week said it all: Rob Portman is “All In” for Donald Trump; Portman Makes It Crystal Clear – He's Backing Trump; and Portman Endorses Trump. Whether or not Portman shows up in today in Toledo, he won’t be able to hide his support for the most toxic and divisive presidential nominee in modern history.
- Trump Shines A Bright Spotlight On Portman’s Trade Record: Portman’s decades long support for job-killing trade deals has clashed sharply with Trump’s message: during the RNC the National Journal’s Andrea Drusch stated, “It’s of no help to Portman that Donald Trump is coming and bashing trade deals, saying the people who created them were stupid.” Politico wrote that “Portman has struggled to align his message with Trump’s calls for sharp slowdowns in foreign trade and renegotiations of existing deals.” And by the end of the RNC, these headlines said it all: Bloomberg wrote that “Ohio’s Portman Faces Trade Backlash,” and Roll Call wrote, “Trump's Trade Agenda Dogs Portman in Cleveland.”
- Portman Is Stuck In The Middle of the Kasich-Trump Fight: Gov. John Kasich’s continued refusal to support Trump is only highlighting Portman’s lack of political courage – and it’s landed him squarely in the center of an epic bout of party infighting. The New York Times wrote that that Trump’s campaign is “driving a wedge” between Kasich and Portman, while the National Review wrote that the fighting between Trump and Kasich has left Portman “embroiled in… controversy.”
For Immediate Release: July 27, 2016
Contact: David Bergstein or Liz Margolis, press@TedStrickland.com
Strickland Campaign Statement on Trump, Russian Espionage and Portman
In response to Donald Trump’s statement today calling for Russia to engage in cyber-espionage against Hillary Clinton, Strickland Campaign Spokesman David Bergstein issued the following statement.
“Each day brings fresh evidence why Senator Portman’s full-throated support for Donald Trump is so dangerous for America’s security and so out of touch with Ohio’s values. Other Republicans like Gov. John Kasich have spoken out forcefully against Trump’s divisive, incendiary and reckless campaign, but today is another reminder that Portman has shown no such courage. Portman should immediately condemn Trump’s remarks -- and he should tell Ohioans if he will appear alongside Trump today to explain and justify his endorsement.”
Just days ago during the RNC Senator Portman said he was “all in” for Trump and that he would campaign with Trump in Ohio. Today Trump is holding a campaign event in Toledo, and it is not yet clear if Senator Portman will attend.
Portman also refused to condemn Trump’s recent statement that he would not defend NATO allies.