The Last Word | June 14, 2012
>> this november is your chance to render a verdict on the debate how to grow the economy, create jobs and pay down the deficit. your vote will finally determine the path that we take as a nation. not just tomorrow, but for years to come. that's what this election is all about. that's what's at stake.
>> no one has won the presidency without winning ohio since 1960 . and no republican has ever won the presidency without winning ohio . the new poll has the president leading mitt romney in ohio 48-42. joining me now from ohio , nina turner, ohio democratic state senator. erp in the ohio today with president obama during the speech. was the response in the hall reflective in the way that speech is going to play in the rest of the state?
>> very much so. people were excited. thousands of people that showed up, they still have hope. hope springs terns eternal. ohio recognizes we're a bellwether state. t yes, everybody is fired up and ready to go for the president.
>> the president and senator turner were the only people in ohio who will have seen the entire speech. they will pick up pieces of it in the local news coverage. his layout, a big, long speech. let the local media pick out whatever pieces they want, let us pick out what pieces we want. what are you picking up in your travels in ohio , joe, about how these two campaigns are playing there?
>> well, it's going to be very close, lawrence . i spent the last five days. the middle part of my 21-day road trip here. i met with all different kinds of people. the kind of speech the president made today, at least the sound bites and the clips that i have seen. work well with the base. there are a lot of people on the democratic side of the ledger. i met with uaw workers this morning who are ready to go out and work with the president. but this election is not going to be decided by them. so much as it is by the 10s for or 20% of the middle of the electorate. yoong this kind of speech does much for them at all. these are people who are incredibly skeptical about the ability of government to do something. and the president has failed profoundly in his ability to explain to them what he's done. nobody knows what's in the dodd/frank bill. nothing clear is breaking up the big banks. nobody knows what's in obamacare. nobody knows -- well, people know about the stimulus because it's harder to get to work because of all the road construction crews. the one thing that has worked tremendously in the president's advantage here is the auto bailout where, you know, you go to a place like lords town where they're running triple shifts and that factory was practically dead three years ago. a lot of auto parts manufacturers are doing extremely well because the auto industry is revived. and mitt romney was against that. so the president still, tho ugh, ha as major lift. he has to start explaining what he's done.
>> senator, if the voters of ohio don't quite know what the president has done, and voters everywhere i think have similar levels of information that they're dealing with. the president was clear today about what he has tried to do that republicans have prevented him from doing. is that as important a message for ohio voters?
>> it's very important, lawrence . i think ohio voters do know. they know that republicans wholesale tried to take away collective bargaining rights from firefighters, police officers , teacher, highway patrolmen and women and they voted overwhelmingly, over 61% to stand with workers in the state along with the president. their families understand that the president saved their livelihood. the folks in the state of ohio understand that the president is about saving the middle class and that they do have a choice. and the president made that very clear today that the choice is about a president that stands up for the middle class . the president that believes that everybody should put in their is fair share or elect in someone. we're going to make history again by putting president obama back in the white house . or keeping him in the white house .
>> joe, our polling shows broem with a larger lead overall just on the question of who would you vote for. but on this other question, which i think is the most important question in ohio , which candidate would do a better job mandling the economy? that is a statistical tie. 45% say president obama , 42% say mitt romney . there isn't a big gap there.
>> there has to be a big gap in his favor, i would think but i do think that there isn't much enthusiasm for romney . but there are an awful lot of people who wonder what the president has done. and there are people who will vote for romney over the incumbent because the economy hasn't come back to the extent it should have. you go down to southeastern ohio which is appalachia and people are really suffering there. in lordstown and around cleveland, the jobs have come back, but in a large part of the state, they haven't. in place where is the jobs haven't come back, maybe it's not so amazing, those people are tending to look more favorably on romney .
>> "time's" magazine joe kleine and ohio state senator nina turner. thank you very much for joining me tonight.
>> thank you, lawrence .
>> coming up, the weirdest thing. the very, very weirdest thing that mitt romney said in his speech today. that's all i'm going to say about it. stick around for "the rewrite." and rush limbaugh is now in the business of attacking nuns. we'll find out how scared the nuns of rush limbaugh when sister simone joins me later. she's one of the nuns on a bus tour protesting the paul ryan budget plan. and lisaling will join us. she's done her own up-close report on american nuns. that's coming up.