Pat Brennan / Sports editor
The Ohio State campus area captured a national spotlight when Vice President Joe Biden made a stop in Columbus Thursday as part of the “Made in Ohio Manufacturing Tour.”
Biden spoke for almost 30 minutes to a crowd of 600 at Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 189 union hall, on Kinnear Road, west of OSU, about his campaign’s efforts to strengthen the Ohio manufacturing industry. He invited the crowd to judge whether they felt the ideas of his administration made sense and drew applause when he announced that 14,000 new union jobs have been created in Ohio under his and President Barack Obama’s watch.
“We want to continue this trend of manufacturing (in America),” Biden said. “The president and I believe, unlike our Republican colleagues, that we’ll be a leading manufacturer in the 21st century. Because when Americans make things … the middle class does well. It benefits everybody.”
Shouting over cheers at the end of the speech, Biden declared that Ohio’s industries and middle-class families are “coming back.” Portions of the address prior to that climax were spent questioning Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s viability as a candidate.
Biden jabbed at Romney’s involvement with Bain Capital, a Boston-based financial services and asset management company, saying the Republican lied about his time of employment with Bain. Biden also claimed that Romney and Bain were to blame for outsourcing jobs to Asian countries.
“Some people say it’s unfair for (Obama) and me to bring up Bain Capital,” Biden said. “They say, ‘So, why are you bringing it up?’ Well, because Romney is offering that as his primary credential for why he should be president of the United States … He’s not running on his experience as governor.”
Biden defended his campaign’s criticism of Romney, saying “it’s totally appropriate to judge whether he was a job creator.”
“I have to admit, after really going into detail, that he did create jobs, but they were in Singapore, China, India,” Biden said. “They weren’t in Michigan, Ohio or Pennsylvania.”
During his Wednesday visit to Bowling Green, Romney said that Obama’s “priority is not creating jobs for you. His priority is trying to keep his own job, and that’s why he’s going to lose it,” according to reports from the Associated Press.
The Romney campaign did not respond to The Lantern‘s Thursday request for comment regarding Biden’s remarks.
The highly-coveted Ohio vote continues to be chased by Republican and Democratic parties as candidates from both sides have made several visits to the swing state.
Romney held a town hall meeting in Bowling Green Wednesday where he noted the importance of small business and job creation. Reacting to a recent comment from the president that credited the government for the success of small business, Romney praised business owners and asked them to stand and be recognized.
Romney’s stops in Ohio come amidst demands from Obama supporters to release tax return records. He has released only one year of tax returns, despite being advised by some Republican representatives to release more.
Romney also attended private fundraisers in Toledo and Canton Wednesday.
Obama made a campaign stop in Cincinnati Monday for a town hall meeting, where he spoke about his plans for an economic revival.
Obama kicked off his re-election campaign in Ohio at the Schottenstein Center May 5.
The venue for Thursday’s speech was flanked by OSU buildings and is one of several campaign trips that members of the democratic presidential ticket have made in the campus area.
Chris Urbano, a fourth-year in political science, is affiliated with the Obama campaign and said there has been an effort to make an impact on the OSU community.
“We do have an office on campus, and that is reaching all the way out to the suburbs,” Urbano said. “Really what we do at Ohio State is old-fashioned organizing. We have 40 field offices throughout the state, and that’s kind of this campaign’s calling card.”
Drew Stroemple, a third-year in economics and political science and president of the Ohio State College Republicans, criticized Biden for his attacks against Romney.
“I think it’s pretty clear Mitt Romney would be a better job creator,” Stroemple said, who called the Obama administration’s record of outsourcing “despicable.”
To date, Romney has not made a campaign appearance at OSU, however, Leslie Wexner, former chairman of the university Board of Trustees, held a June 21 fundraiser for Romney in New Albany, Ohio.