COLUMBUS (WCMH) – President Barack Obama joined Ohio Democrats Thursday night at the party’s state dinner, where he stumped for Hillary Clinton and Ted Strickland.
The visit came just a few hours after new poll numbers from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal show Clinton and Donald Trump are virtually tied in Ohio, and that Ted Strickland is lagging well behind his opponent, Rob Portman.
Many of the speakers at the dinner, including Obama, focused on a common goal of defeating Trump in the general election.
Obama had strong words for Republicans who supported Trump, saying that they didn’t get credit for withdrawing their support at the last minute, following Trump’s lewd comments about women.
“You can’t wait until that finally happens and then say, ‘Oh, that’s too much, that’s enough,’ and think that somehow you are showing any kind of leadership and deserve to be elected to the United States Senate,” Obama said. “You don’t get points for that.”
Asked about the new poll numbers, Senator Sherrod Brown said he didn’t put stock in the polls and said he believes Hillary Clinton will win Ohio.
“She has answers to our problems of lost manufacturing jobs to our answers to the corruption and what’s happening with charter schools in the state,” Brown said.
Brown called Trump the “least qualified candidate” to be President in his lifetime.
“It’s just despicable,” Brown said. “He doesn’t have the character to be President of the United States.”
While the poll numbers also show Ted Strickland well behind Rob Portman, Strickland remains optimistic and said Portman has spent millions in negative attack ads.
“I’m not predicting that I’m going to win, but I’m not predicting that I’m going to lose either,” Strickland said. “The votes have not yet been cast or counted.”
Obama told the crowd at the Convention Center that he knows the Democratic Party has blind spots and flaws. He said he still thinks its fundamental belief is important to the country.
“At its core, the Democratic Party believes that everybody counts,” Obama said.
Obama left Columbus to head to Cleveland on Thursday. He will campaign Friday morning in Cleveland for Clinton.