Strickland Parrots Clinton On Republicans As “Enemies”
Ohio senate candidate Ted Strickland took a page out of Hillary Clinton’s book at an event in Cincinnati last night, calling Republican Sen. Rob Portman, who he will face in a general election if he wins the Democratic primary, his “enemy.” The Cincinnati Enquirer reported:
“I am running for this office and I am running against Rob Portman,” he said. “He is our enemy. We ought not to be fighting. I have not said a negative word about my opponent. P.G. Sittenfeld is not my enemy. Rob Portman is my enemy and the enemy of those of us who hold Democratic values.”
Apart from Clinton’s controversial comments at last week’s Democratic debate, where she listed Republicans as enemies right alongside the Iranians, Strickland may have been inspired by the time Clinton equated Republicans with “terrorist groups” at the event where she endorsed him:
Clinton and Strickland’s radical rhetoric faces criticism from Vice President Joe Biden, who pushed back against the characterization of Republicans as “enemies” for the second day in a row in a speech this morning:
Biden just now: “I don’t think my chief enemy is the Republican Party. This is a matter of making things work.” #shotsfired
— James Hohmann (@jameshohmann) October 20, 2015
Currying favor with Clinton by aping her extreme rhetoric may not bode well for Strickland if the polls are any indication – the latest Quinnipiac swing state poll had Clinton’s favorability rating underwater, with just 38 percent of Ohioans viewing her favorably, compared to 56 percent taking a negative view, and over 60 percent of Buckeye State voters saying Clinton is not honest and trustworthy.
Then again, reports from the event portrayed Strickland as barely coherent and calling Portman by the wrong name, so maybe he wasn’t completely aware of what he was saying:
At the same time, Strickland was a bit unsteady, referring to Democrats’ efforts to win control the U.S. Senate as a bid to “control the majority in the Ohio Senate,” initially referred to Portman as “Bob” and drew murmurs from the crowd when he explained that he had to leave soon so he could fly to Miami, New York, Boston and Washington for the next three days on a fundraising trip.