Republican Senate candidate Rob Portman made a short stop in Batavia Tuesday, Aug. 3.
The former congressman and aide to George W. Bush met with several county residents and had lunch at the Clermont Inn in Batavia after his opponent Lt. Governor Lee Fischer had a last minute change of plans. Fischer had scheduled a meeting at The Clermont Inn before a meeting in Adams County, but later canceled due to time constraints.
Portman talked with several Republicans who said they had been campaigning for him at the Clermont County Fair last week.
Portman said he does not like the direction the country is heading and said he has a detailed plan to create more jobs in Ohio.
"I want to be sure to turn things around before we continue down a road of job loss and putting government before the citizens," Portman said. "If you look at what's happening in Washington, everything they're doing is making it harder not easier to create jobs. Higher taxes, more regulations. Higher healthcare costs. Higher energy costs that they're imposing."
Portman said the stimulus bill passed in the early months of President Barrack Obama's Presidency hurt the country by increasing government spending and the national deficit.
"I think they've taken their eye off the ball," Portman said. "Since the stimulus package was signed into law we have lost over 130,000 jobs in Ohio and we lost jobs last month in Ohio, not a lot, but we lost jobs."
Portman said that as a Congressman and Director of the Office of Management and Budget for George W. Bush he proposed a balanced budget.
"When I was the OMB Director for about 14 months the budget deficit was cut in half to about $161 billion," Portman said. "Today is going to be about $1.5 trillion. We started to veto legislation, which frankly Bush should have done earlier, that was over the budget cap. And by vetoing that legislation, Congress stopped sending increases in spending. It was basically a freeze and that was part of the way we got the deficit down."
Portman said that national debt must also be reduced through the economic growth of the private sector.
"The second way you get it down is by encouraging pro-growth policies," Portman said. "We've got to get the economic engine moving again. We've got to get small business back engaged in job creation because that will result in a healthier economy and more revenues coming in."
Portman bought lunch for all of his supporters at the Clermont Inn before continuing on his way Tuesday afternoon.