President wraps up Thursday tour of Northeast Ohio

1:54 AM, Jul 6, 2012   |    comments
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PARMA, Ohio -- President Barack Obama was back in Greater Cleveland Thursday as part of his two-day bus tour visiting Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The President landed in Air Force One at 10:58 a.m. at Toledo Express Airport. The bus tour starts outside Toledo in Maumee at the Wolcott House Museum at 11:15 a.m.

Then the President traveled to Sandusky for a 3:40 p.m. ice cream social in Washington Park, at the corner of Washington and Columbus avenues, in the historic district.

His next stop was in Parma at 7:15 p.m. in James Day Park in Parma.

He will spend the night in Fairlawn before his last Ohio stop Friday morning at an elementary school in the Youngstown suburb of Poland, then continue on to Pennsylvania.

In Maumee, President Barack Obama has told an Ohio campaign crowd that he's betting they won't lose heart or interest in the November election despite political stalemates.

He says the outcome will determine the nation's economic future for the next 10 to 20 years. He also offered a stout defense of his health care law, saying: "The law I passed is here to stay."

He was drawing attention to economies in both states that have been helped by a stronger auto industry.

Obama said the experience in both states, where joblessness is below the national average, can be replicated across the country. And making sure it does, he said, is why he is running for a second term.

The President stopped for beers with former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland about 6:15 p.m.

The president drew cheers as he and Strickland entered Ziggy's, a bar and restaurant on Park Avenue in Amherst.

Obama ordered two pints of Miller Lite, one each for him and the former governor, a national co-chairman of his re-election campaign.

Obama clinked glasses with two young women before working the crowd along the bar and at pub tables. A few minutes later, he grabbed a bottle of Bud Light, perhaps not wanting to offend domestic beer tastes.

Pool reporters and photographers crowded behind the bar, prompting several drink orders from the bar patrons and more than a few longing glances at the Yuengling handle.

A couple seated at the bar said they had been sitting there a half hour earlier when Secret Service agents came in to inform them a special guest was on the way.

Obama posed for photos with families. At one table he greeted a family of four and asked the two young children if they were "working hard in school?"

At another table, Strickland, armed with a stranger's smartphone, struggled to take a family's photo with Obama.

The Lorain County watering hole has been opened since 2005 and is owned by Larry Niehart and Paul Sroka, according to a campaign official.

Obama, who was presented with a Ziggy's T-shirt, stopped there between his afternoon speech in Sandusky and his evening rally in Parma.

This is the first bus tour of his re-election bid.

All four Ohio stops will stress American workers and manufacturing jobs with comments about the auto industry's comeback, a big "plus" for the President with so many auto-related jobs in Northern Ohio's factories.

He was last in Greater Cleveland about three weeks ago at Cuyahoga Community College's main downtown campus.

Most Presidential visits to Ohio have been closely followed by Mitt Romney events, though none has yet been announced for this stop.


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