WASHINGTON, March 24 (UPI) -- Prominent Ohio Democrats hit back Wednesday at upbeat economic predictions and a defense of free trade from Commerce Secretary Don Evans.
"Workers in Ohio do not see any cause for optimism in this economy, largely because they see a president who doesn't understand the anxiety they face," U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, told reporters.
Said Brown: "The president carries a credibility gap on Medicare, on Iraq, on the budget deficit, and on the economy. The problem is that George Bush refuses to focus on the working families struggling to make ends meet in Ohio and across America."
Brown was supported in his comments by Mayors Jack Ford of Toledo and Rhine McLin of Dayton.
Ohio, with 20 electoral votes, is traditionally Republican and went for Bush in the 2000 presidential election. But it is shaping up to be a key battleground in the 2004 race. If Bush carried every other state he won in 2000, but lost Ohio, he would lose the election.