Ohio is arguably a key state to win in this 2016 presidential election, and this week both major party candidates — or their surrogates — have visited the Buckeye State or announced upcoming visits.
Republican nominee Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump toured Middletown Tube Works, a supplier of welded steel tube, Thursday afternoon and spoke with several women business leaders, saying her goal during the visit was “an opportunity for me to come down here and do a little less talking and a lot more listening.”
Trump addressed her father’s plans to help small businesses by improving the tax code, increasing de-regulations, and addressing the issues within Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. And she said her father has “an advantage point to negotiate smart deals” as he’s built several businesses, employed thousands of people “and understands the modern workforce on every level.”
“Really all issues are women’s issues,” said Trump, adding that jobs are a primary issue with “common sense” regulations. “The reality is we need to be competitive with the world at large.”
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Ivanka Trump’s presence on the camping trail, whether it’s at a rally or in a private setting, is important, Cedarville University political science professor Mark Caleb Smith said. He called her “one of Mr. Trump’s most effective surrogates.”
“She is especially valuable as the campaign tries to assure white, well-educated, suburban women that Donald Trump is stable and can be trusted,” Smith said. “In his recent polling dip, such voters have been shifting around. So, even though Ohio looks promising for the Trump camp, these sorts of voters are critical here and across the nation.”
Butler County Democratic Party Executive Chairwoman Jocelyn Bucaro said Trump is “hiding behind his daughter’s visit to an Ohio steel town” as it’s documented that he’s purchased steel from China “while Ohio steel companies went out of business and Ohio steelworkers lost their jobs.”
Angie Phillips, owner of Middletown Tube Works, defended Trump’s business decisions, but says “he’s recognized that as a problem” and hopes he addresses it if he is elected president on Nov. 8.
“All of us are buying offshore because it’s the cheapest thing to get,” said Phillips. “That’s the only way we can stay competitive and that’s partly because we’re in an atmosphere, in an environment of heavy regulation and an environment of high taxation.”
Steven Fought, Democratic Party candidate for the 8th Congressional District, was outside of Middletown Tube Works with a couple other Clinton supporters to voice their displeasure with Trump’s candidacy.
“It’s all one big royal scam,” Fought said of Ivanka Trump’s visit and Trump’s campaign. “They have an excuse for everything. He holds everybody else to a higher standard. He holds Hillary Clinton to an impossible standard every time.”