In twin speeches in the swing state, both candidate bash each others' plans, but new solutions aren't forthcoming.
Neither President Obama nor former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said anything on Thursday that Ohioans hadn't heard a million times before. Every four years stretching back decades, presidential candidates swing through Cleveland and Cincinnati and towns in between to proclaim middle-class workers are getting screwed and that if we just cut taxes, or make better government investments, or crack down on China, everything will be all right again for the hard-working people of the state.
Ohio, by virtue of its swingy electorate and its sluggish economy, has made sort of a cottage industry out of BS-testing the rhetoric Romney and Obama are now raining on the rest of the country. That's true even now, when the state unemployment rate is below the national average but still way too high for comfort. You see this when you visit the state or, better yet, spend an entire election cycle there. Ohioans aren't easily impressed, and they don't buy the easy fixes.
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To their credit -- if you can call it that -- neither Obama nor Romney bothered to pack any new fixes into their "major" economic speeches in Ohio. They mostly just ripped on each other's fixes, and repeated a few old ideas of their own. Romney bashed Obama's stimulus bill and his unwillingness to call out China for manipulating its currency to the detriment of American exports. He promised that under his watch the Keystone XL oil pipeline would come in from Canada "if I have to build it myself." (Which, technically speaking, would be a net job creation of 1.)