Monday, October 16, 2006

RNC Is NOT Surrendering Ohio

This just in:
Ken Mehlman Conference Call On Ohio Senate Race

10/16/2006

10:30 AM



Aaron McLear: Thank you Michelle, good morning everybody and thank you for coming on with such short notice. We appreciate that. We have Chairman Ken Mehlman on the line to discuss the NY Times piece that ran this morning, and with that, I’ll turn it over to Ken.



Ken Mehlman: Thanks Aaron and thanks everyone for taking time. I enjoyed visiting with a number of you last week when I was in town with Senator DeWine. We did a press conference and had a chance to meet with a lot of the county chairs and grassroots activists. What I said then, I still strongly believe which is that Mike DeWine can and will win. I believe that for a lot of different reasons. One of them is the incredible grass roots energy. In the last week, last week, in four days of last week we saw the same level of grassroots energy in terms of volunteer contacts that we saw in the final five days leading up to the 2004 election.



What I’m about to do though is something I don’t do, and that is I don’t believe in giving away your game plan before the game, but because there is a very inaccurate story in the NY Times I am going to provide some info rmation. Let me walk through some facts and then open it up to questions. I don’t intend to get more specific than on this call, again, because I don’t believe in giving away the game plan but I do believe in correcting the record.



Ohio is and remains an incredibly top priority for us. It’s one I’m very confident Mike DeWine can and will win. The evidence of our commitment is that we’re putting our money where our mouth is. We will…No state will receive more resources from the Republican National Committee than Ohio . From this point forward, we will spend millions more on turnout and millions more on message. We have a huge staff. And intend and have right now a very aggressive program.



While all of this is important, why do I think Mike DeWine wins at the end of the day? First, it’s a race that polls indicate, most recently the University of Akron poll, is an even race. He has a huge cash advantage and if you look at the issues, which is what people focus on the last three weeks of the election, leading up to any election. I don’t believe the people of Ohio are going to elect a Senator who is to the left of Dennis Kucinich, who is against the Patriot Act, who voted against $87 billion for our trips, who voted to cut intel after 9-11, who favors higher taxes and who on issue after issue after issue, is way out of the mainstream in a state that likes to elect mainstream Senators. People know senator DeWine, they like senator DeWine and they respect senator DeWine and that’s generating tremendous energy.



This is an enormously important state for a number of other reasons too. It’s enormously important because of the Blackwell campaign. It’s enormously important because of a number of a number of the congressional races which are obviously, excuse me, highly competitive.



So I wanted to correct the record, make clear that Ohio remains a top priority. And as I said, no state will receive more resources out of the RNC anywhere in the country than the state of Ohio this year. And there is millions more to spend in the coming three weeks, both on turnout and on message. Happy to answer your questions and appreciate you doing this on short notice.
The NYT is full of it...again...still...whatever....

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