The following is a transcript of a speech, as prepared for delivery, by The Honorable Ted Strickland, Former Governor of Ohio at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, September 4, 2012.
I'm Ted Strickland, and I come from Duck Run, Ohio. Let me tell you, folks in Ohio know what happens when you have a president who stands up for average working people.
Ina Sidney is a grandmother who lost her ability to provide for her family when they closed down the auto plant in Perrysburg, Ohio. Ina says thanks to Barack Obama for having the courage to back an industry that others had given up on. She's an autoworker and a breadwinner once again.
As he celebrated the birth of his newborn baby boy, Brian Slagle lost his job just at the moment he needed it most. But today he's back making auto batteries in a factory in Springfield Township, Ohio. And he said there's one reason he has a steady paycheck again: Barack Obama refused to let the American auto industry die.
James Fayson felt like there was no tomorrow when he was laid off. "I believe in working every day," he said, "and that was taken from me." Today, James is working sixty hours a week on the Jeep Liberty line in Toledo. He is thrilled to say that his life right now is "eat, sleep and Jeep." He's back, he said, because Barack Obama gave us a chance for a comeback.
The auto industry supports one of every eight jobs in Ohio, and it's alive and growing in America again. Late last year, Chrysler announced they were hiring eleven hundred new autoworkers in Toledo. Just last month, GM announced a plan to invest 200 million dollars in Lordstown, keeping five thousand jobs in Ohio and building the next generation of the Chevy Cruze—a car we are proud to say is made entirely in Ohio.
It's been a long slog back, and we've still got a long way to go. But all over Ohio—all over America—men and women are going back to work with the pride of building something stamped "Made in America." Before Barack Obama took office, it looked like that pride could have vanished forever, but today, from the staggering depths of the Great Recession, the nation has had 29 straight months of job growth. Workers across my state and across the country are getting back the dignity of a good job and a good salary.
Vince Lombardi was right when he said, "It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get back up." And my friends Ina Sydney, Brian Slagle and James Fayson were all knocked down. But Ina, Brian and James are all standing today. The auto industry is standing today. The middle class is standing today. Ohio is standing today. America is standing strong today.
That's what happens when you have a president who stands up for average working people. President Barack Obama stood up for us, and now by God we will stand up for him. Quite frankly, Barack Obama knows what it's like to pay a mortgage and student loans. He knows what it's like to watch a beloved family member in a medical crisis and worry that treatment is out of reach. Barack Obama knows our struggles. And, my friends, he shares our values.
Now, Mitt Romney, he lives by a different code. To him, American workers are just numbers on a spreadsheet.
To him, all profits are created equal, whether made on our shores or off. That's why companies Romney invested in were dubbed "outsourcing pioneers." Our nation was built by pioneers—pioneers who accepted untold risks in pursuit of freedom, not by pioneers seeking offshore profits at the expense of American workers here at home.
Mitt Romney proudly wrote an op-ed entitled, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt." If he had had his way, devastation would have cascaded from Michigan to Ohio and across the nation. Mitt Romney never saw the point of building something when he could profit from tearing it down. If Mitt was Santa Claus, he'd fire the reindeer and outsource the elves.
Mitt Romney has so little economic patriotism that even his money needs a passport. It summers on the beaches of the Cayman Islands and winters on the slopes of the Swiss Alps. In Matthew, chapter 6, verse 21, the scriptures teach us that where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. My friends, any man who aspires to be our president should keep both his treasure and his heart in the United States of America. And it's well past time for Mitt Romney to come clean with the American people.
On what he's saying about the president's policy for welfare to work, he's lying. Simple as that. On his tax returns, he's hiding. You have to wonder, just what is so embarrassing that he's gone to such great lengths to bury the truth? Whatever he's doing to avoid taxes, can it possibly be worse than the Romney-Ryan tax plan that would have sliced Mitt's total tax rate to less than one percent?
My friends, there is a true choice in this election. Barack Obama is betting on the American worker. Mitt Romney is betting on a Bermuda shell corporation. Barack Obama saved the American auto industry. Mitt Romney saved on his taxes. Barack Obama is an economic patriot. Mitt Romney is an outsourcing pioneer. My friends, the stakes are too high, the differences too stark to sit this one out. Let us stand as one on November 6th and move this country forward by re-electing President Barack Obama.