Romney Declines to Offer Opinion on Controversial Ohio State Ballot Issues

Oct 25, 2011 8:24pm

TERRACE PARK, Ohio — At a GOP phone bank in suburban Cincinnati today, Mitt Romney said he was not there to advocate for either of the state ballot initiatives that supporters at the event were working to promote during the presidential candidate’s visit.

“I’m not speaking about the particular ballot issues, those are up to the people of Ohio, but I certainly support the effort of the governor to rein in the scale of government,” Romney said.

The statewide election next month will include two controversial ballot initiatives. Issue 2 would cut collective bargaining rights for public employees and Issue 3 would outlaw the individual mandate in health care.

And while the health care plan put into place by Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts supported an individual mandate, Romney avoided expressing an opinion on the ballot initiatives during today’s campaign stop. One supporter did, however, ask him to sign a pamphlet about Issue 2, which Romney examined before signing the document.

After the event, where Romney made brief remarks and insisted that a victory in Ohio was crucial in winning the White House, the former governor told the press that he was “not terribly familiar with the two ballot initiatives” but “certainly supportive of the Republican Party’s effort here.”

But according to Politico, Romney hasn’t always been mum about these ballot initiatives. According to the report, Romney wrote on his Facebook page in June: “I stand with John R. Kasich and Ohio’s leaders as they take on this important fight to get control of government spending. Please visit www.BetterOhio.org for more information.”

The website features information on Issue 2.

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement to ABC News that “Gov. Romney believes that the citizens of states should be able to make decisions about important matters of policy that affect their states on their own.”

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