Ohio Republican Congressman Jim Renacci says his U.S. Senate race against Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown is about two people from different backgrounds.
The battle has been nasty at times, and Renacci is far behind Brown in the polls and in fundraising. But Renacci is still working to convince voters to consider his campaign. Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow reports.
Republican U.S. Senate nominee Jim Renacci is canvassing the state, fighting for every vote in the final days before the election.
The Congressman from Wadsworth is taking advantage of every opportunity he can, like attending a rally in Mansfield featuring Vice President Mike Pence.
A big part of Renacci’s platform is aligning himself with President Donald Trump, Pence, and the administration.
Renacci: “Everything the president’s done in the last two years is working for this country.”
That includes the major tax reform packages. Democrats criticized those measures as big breaks for large companies but Republicans touted them as having widespread benefits.
Renacci: “Helping small business owners, it’s affecting almost 80% of Americans. As I travel the state of Ohio they say thank you for more money in their paycheck thank you for business opportunities to expand business so in the end this is what’s helping grow the economy. This is why we have a 4.3% growth rate.”
Renacci adds that this is especially helping the middle class and wages.
Renacci: “The tax cut and jobs bill is working. You’re starting to see employment up, you’re starting to see wages up, you’re starting to see job growth up. Those are things you’re gonna need to continue. The more the jobs there are, the more the competition there is, the more opportunity there is for wages to grow because people will have to compete for those jobs.”
As far as some the bigger challenges Renacci believes faces the U.S. Senate, he plans on tackling Social Security and pension issues. He sees it as a demographic problem.
Renacci: “We have a lot more people retiring today than ever before and because of that we have to make sure that we’re looking at the ways that we can make sure that those pensions are not only available for those near retirement or close to retirement but also making sure that we have pension plans and social security for those that are also coming down in future generations.”
Polls have consistently said the most important issue to Ohio voters this election is health care. For the U.S. Senate that can boil down to where Congress goes with the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Renacci says he ran for Congress in 2010 because of his opposition to government overregulation. And he says as it stands right now, the health care system is broken and that premiums are too high.
Renacci: “We need to bring competition back into play. We need to eliminate a one-size-fits-all health care plan. And we need to quit scaring people like Sherrod Brown does by saying we’re gonna get rid of pre-existing conditions nobody wants to get rid of pre-existing conditions not Republicans nor Democrats. What we want to do though is have a health care system that works that includes pre-existing conditions, and caps, and including kids being on the program until age 26.”
When it comes to college affordability, Renacci wants to look at controlling student debt to make sure loans are reasonable and geared towards exactly what the student needs.
Renacci: “We should make sure that we’re looking at that college debt and just not writing open checks.”
He says the one issue where he believes voters will find the starkest of contrasts between him and his opponent, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, is immigration.
Renacci says he wants to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, strengthen the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE, and eliminate sanctuary cities.
Renacci: “And I think in the end what we need to do is change our immigration laws so people have a path, whether you’ve been born here, whether you’ve come here through illegal parents, as a DACA citizen, whatever.”
Renacci takes the traditional conservative approach opposing abortion restrictions and he’s against gun regulations. Brown and Renacci have been supporters of Trump’s trade tariffs.