During a live recording on Friday’s Battleground State Report – a one-hour radio show from Star News Digital Media in the early stages of national weekend syndication roll out – host Leahy was joined on the line by Jim Renacci former (R) U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 16th district in 2011-2019.
During the show, Renacci weighed in on how he saw Ohio moving in the direction for the 2020 Presidential election predicting at this time voters would again side with Trump. However, he did mention that politics is a 30-40 day cycle where things could change. Renacci added that the policies embedded in Ohio’s politics were not the President’s politics making things difficult for citizens by holding high taxes and heavy regulation on businesses.
Leahy: Sitting in for Doug Kellett today is our good friend Jim Renacci from Ohio. Jim, we were talking in the last segment about Ohio. Was going to ask you this question. 2020 is a big big presidential election coming up with Ohio a battleground state. I think President Trump won the state ultimately by nine points, was it?
Renacci: By eight points.
Leahy: Eight points. Ohio seems to be a little in flux. For a period of time, it was considered one of the top six battleground states. It became not as critical in some polls but now it seems to be swinging back. And I’m trying to figure out what’s going on in Ohio. Why is it suddenly becoming more in play for the presidential election? What’s your view on this Jim?
Renacci: Look, the President did win by eight points in 2016. But what he did, was he was able to bring those Democrat voters that were disenchanted with the Democrat party. The blue-collar workers from many of the regions of Ohio had just felt that they hadn’t gotten a fair share.
At that time, candidate Trump said, you know at least give me a chance. And look, he has matched and followed through on every one of his promises and those voters elected him. They moved from the Democratic party and voted for him over Hillary and he was able to as I said, win by eight points.
Now, since then, Ohio’s economy is not growing and they’re not keeping up with the rest of the country. I do think the President is still in the lead and will win in Ohio today. But Michael as you know, politics is a 30-day venture and you never know what it’s like. I tell people that George Bush, Sr. if you remember, was up and had a 90% approval rating at this point in time then lost by Bill Clinton in November.
So we just always have to remember that politics is a 30 to 40 day cycle and things can change for the better or the worse between now and November. The state is not keeping up. People are concerned. We lost the General Motors plant in Lordstown which was a big thing for Ohio. We’re losing several companies here and jobs.
We’re not going to create as many jobs in 2019. I think it does give voters a pause. I don’t think it’s President Trump’s fault though. I think it’s the policies embedded in Ohio’s politics not the President’s politics. Because in the end, thank goodness the President is there and has gotten the economy booming across this country because it’s helped Ohio. Just not as much as other states.
Leahy: Why is it that Ohio has such bad policies for business growth? And it’s been that way for a while I think. You kind of look at it and scratch your head. Ohio should be a lot more business-friendly and a lot more entrepreneur-friendly then it turns out to really be. Why is that?
Renacci: Ohio is one of the top seven worst taxed states in the country. It’s one of the top five states for regulations. So businesses have a tough time. I was in business for almost 3 decades. Businesses have a tough time growing and prospering here. Too many regulations and too many taxes.
They’ve lowered the tax rate here but you’re taxed on everything have gone up from property to cad, to sales, to state taxes. So we do have a low rate of tax but we have a high amount of taxes across the board. And I think in the end, regulation and the taxes are really causing businesses to say, wait a minute and go across the border.
Listen to the full show here:
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