Biden Visits Ohio to Talk Manufacturing as Romney Faces Tax Inquiries

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Vice President Joe Biden was in Ohio on Thursday to speak about a host of topics that have become part of the rallying cry for both presidential campaigns, including the resurgence of the U.S. auto industry and the outsourcing of jobs overseas. At the same time, Cinncinati.com's Politics Extra reported that Ohio House Speaker William G. Batchelder (R-Medina) joined the call for presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to release more of his tax records, a demand that President Barack Obama's reelection campaign has rekindled in the last few days.

Here's some of the key information regarding what Biden had to say, and how it relates to the race in Ohio.

* According to polling released by Rasmussen Reports on Thursday, Obama leads Romney by a slim margin of 47 percent to Romney's 45 percent.

* This is in line with the latest polls by Purple Strategies, which showed Obama with a three-point lead in Ohio as of last week.

* Two other statistics from the Purple Poll that have implications for the presidential race: A majority of Ohio voters (50 percent) have an unfavorable personal opinion of Romney, while a slight majority of voters (49 percent) have an unfavorable opinion of Obama's job performance.

* Biden spoke about manufacturing in Ohio on Thursday, and according to a report by the Toledo Blade, said Obama's support for the bailout of the auto industry accounted for much of the fact that the state's unemployment rate is down to 7.3 percent. The national average is 8.2 percent.

* Biden also brought up Romney's now-infamous op-ed in the New York Times, entitled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt," as a means to illustrate his points regarding Romney's lack of connection with people who rely on manufacturing jobs.

* Manufacturing makes up the largest sector of the state's economy, accounting for approximately 12 percent of total industry. Ohio has approximately 640,000 manufacturing jobs as of earlier this year, according to CNN Money.

* Roughly 792,000 jobs rely on the state's automotive industry as a whole, according to statistics provided by the Center for Automotive Research to the Toledo Blade.

* CNN reported that Ohio has some 15,800 workers employed by GM and Ford. Blue collar workers as a whole make up 64 percent of the state's economy.

* As part of his remarks touting the president's stance on manufacturing, Biden made a point to reiterate accusations that Romney was responsible for sending thousands of jobs overseas as head of Bain Capital. The Columbus Dispatch quoted Biden as saying that the "renaissance happening here in Ohio" is largely the result of Obama's policies.

* Meanwhile, Ohio House Speaker William G. Batchelder joined the call for Romney to release his tax records before 2010, saying that the controversy surrounding his refusal to do so has become a "distraction," and that "it's difficult" for candidates to campaign for president anymore without disclosing that information, as quoted by Politics Extra.

* Batchelder is the highest-ranking Ohio Republican to call for Romney's tax returns to be released.

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