In a seven-minute speech at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night, former Ohio governor Ted Strickland used the example of several Ohio workers to illustrate his argument that President Obama's rescue of the auto industry helped turn around Ohio's economy.
And he pointedly said that Obama's opponent, Mitt Romney, opposed the bailout of the auto industry.
"Ina Sidney's a grandmother who lost her ability to provide for her family when they closed down the auto plant in Perrysburg, Ohio,'' Strickland told the thousands of delegates and guests crammed into Charlotte's Time Warner Cable Arena.
"Ina thanks Barack Obama for having the courage to bring back an industry that others had given up on,''Strickland said.
The auto industry support one of every eight jobs in Ohio, said Strickland, who failed to win a second term as governor in 2010 when he was beaten by Republican John Kasich.
And the industry, Strickland said, "is alive and growing in Ohio again."
He pointed to some recent examples of how Obama's bailout rebounded in Ohio's favor - Chrysler hiring 1,100 new workers for a plant in Toledo, the announcement by General Motors last month that it was investing $200 million in the plant in Lordstown "keeping 5,000 jobs in Ohio," and the fact that "the next generation of the Chevy Cruze is being built entirely in Ohio."
President Obama, Strickland said, "shares our values."
"Now Mitt Romney lives by a different code,'' Strickland said. "To him, American workers are just numbers on a spreadsheet."
"If (Romney) had his way, the devastation would have cascaded from Michigan to Ohio and across the nation,'' Strickland said.
Ohio Republican Party chairman Bob Bennett issued a press release mocking the Democratic National Convention for giving Strickland a prime-time speaking spot.
"The DNC is apparently so desperate for speakers they actually have Ted Strickland on the schedule,'' Bennett said. "Whoever decided to give a speaking role to a fired governor responsible for 400,000 lost jobs out to have their heads examined."