By Michael Finnegan, The Los Angeles Times
“Welcome to Ohio,” Mitt Romney told President Obama with more than a dash of sarcasm in an open letter on the eve of Obamaâ€™s rally Saturday in Columbus. “I have a simple question for you: Where are the jobs?”
Romney got an answer to that question last week from Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Campaigning for Romney outside the capital, the Republican governor could hardly have strayed further off message as he painted a bright picture of economic recovery in Ohio just as Romney was trying to do the opposite.
“We have a website called Ohio Means Jobs and there’s probably about 80,000 jobs listed on there where there are openings,” Kasich told college students meeting with him and Romney.
“Really?” a student asked in astonishment.
In scanning the website, Kasich said, “you’re going to find a lot of real exciting opportunities.”
Kasich is not the only Republican governor whose off-key boasts of a local jobs recovery have undercut the party’s presumptive presidential nominee right before a Romney speech portraying the economy under Obama as dismal.
Virginia Gov. Bob McConnell offered the latest variation on Thursday as he introduced Romney at a rally in Portsmouth, Va.
“Welcome to the state with the lowest unemployment rate in the Southeast,” McConnell said.
As the audience cheered, Romney paused, then smiled and clapped his hands four times.
“That’s good news,” he muttered, ignoring the head wind that any good news on jobs creates for his campaign in a crucial swing state like Virginia.
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