WASHINGTON, D.C. — About halfway through Tuesday’s chaotic presidential debate in Cleveland, the state of Ohio was brought up for the first, and really only, time.
Moderator Chris Wallace correctly pointed out that more jobs were created in the final three years of the Obama/Biden administration than the first three years of the Trump/Pence administration.
That led President Donald Trump to go after former Vice President Joe Biden’s handling of the recovery from the Great Recession, which prompted Biden to name-check Ohio and its storied auto industry.
“I’m the guy that brought back the automobile industry,” Biden said. “I was asked to bring back Chrysler and General Motors. We brought them back right here in the state of Ohio and Michigan. (Trump) blew it. They’re gone. He blew it.”
The Lordstown General Motors plant closing up last year backed up part of Biden’s claim. But a fact check by Politico explained, “Biden fails to credit President George W. Bush’s role in helping save the auto industry.”
When Trump shot back Tuesday night, he bent the truth even further.
“Ohio had the best year it ever had last year,” Trump claimed. "Michigan had the best year they’ve ever had. Many car companies came in from Germany, from Japan, went to Michigan, went to Ohio. And they didn’t come in with you.”
A Columbus Dispatch story from March explains that 2019 was “the worst year for employment in Ohio since the Great Recession.”
And a recent Washington Post report confirmed that “there are no new (auto) plants in Ohio.”
While broad topics like COVID-19 and race relations were discussed, which have been impacting Ohioans and all Americans, the first 2020 general election debate lacked a lot of the topics that generally sway many Midwest voters, like gun control, the Great Lakes and agriculture.