YOUNGSTOWN - Valley Democrats, making a final push for President Barack Obama, used Election Day eve to continue to promote White House decisions that have been beneficial to the area and simultaneously, paint Republican challenger Mitt Romney as the wrong choice for America's working class.
Obama has ''stepped up to the plate'' on the dumping of steel pipe and tube, tires and steel by the Chinese and supported the auto industry with the federal rescue, a theme Democrats have consistently emphasized in battleground Ohio.
''This president has demonstrated he has been behind us time and time again,'' said Gary Steinbeck, United Steel Workers sub-district 1 director.
''He is a guy that will protect our jobs, our future and he's going to do everything he can do to make sure jobs stay here in America,'' Steinbeck said.
Also, ''you can see with your own eyes,'' the real benefits of Obama's presidency in the Mahoning Valley: the GM Complex in Lordstown, the expansion of V&M Star and the investment into the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Youngstown, said Democrat Congressman Timothy J. Ryan.
But Republican Party chairman in Mahoning County, Mark Munroe said Obama has ''proven himself to be woefully unprepared to be president,'' from ''unemployment to the downgrading of America's credit ratings, to record levels of poverty and food stamp usage.''
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Munroe also criticized Obama for his handling of the killing of a U.S. ambassador in Benghazi and the situation involving Delphi salaried employees, who ''would have gotten a better shake'' if Romney were president when GM went through bankruptcy, he said.
Monday doubled as the last opportunity for local Democrats to question Romney's and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's toughness on China, on the auto rescue and Ryan's 11th hour rally in Vienna.
Tim Ryan said Paul Ryan's visit is nothing more than an attempt to ''fool people'' into thinking he supports manufacturing and that it's ''laughable'' to think Romney and Ryan would be tougher on China than Obama.
Paul Ryan, Tim Ryan said, didn't support his legislation that had bi-partisan backing to crack down on Chinese currency manipulation.
A Romney campaign spokesman said in an email that Tim Ryan's assertions ''undercut'' his own past criticism of Obama's ''weak record'' of standing up to China.
''Governor Romney will hold China accountable for currency manipulation on the first day of his presidency, and immediately work to bolster middle class jobs and take-home pay which have languished during Barack Obama's term as president,'' Maloney said.