CLEVELAND —The race for Ohio governor received some high-profile support Thursday.
Former President Barack Obama came to Cleveland to rally for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray. And, Obama delivered a simple message Thursday headed into the fall midterm elections: Vote.
“You can’t just get anxious; you can’t just mutter to yourself while you’re watching TV; you can’t put your head in the sand; you can’t just boo; you gotta vote,” Obama told the hundreds of supporters gathered inside a gymnasium at the East Professional Center at East 79th Street and Superior Avenue.
Obama said the consequences of sitting on the sidelines during November's midterm elections "are far more dangerous" than in the past.
The former president, who called this November’s election the most important one of his lifetime, headlined a rally for Cordray, a former Ohio Attorney General, and his running mate Betty Sutton.
Obama spoke about how he appointed Cordray as the nation’s first ever consumer watchdog. The former president also took credit for jumpstarting the economy and says Richard Cordray would continue that in Ohio. President Obama says Cordray would ensure affordable quality health care for Ohioans.
Cordray says he would also focus on education and improving infrastructure, fixing the state’s roads and bridges.
“People tell us they feel left out and left behind. They don’t think their voices are heard or respected in Columbus and they say nobody is fighting on their behalf and they’re right; we’ve made progress, but we need more and we need an economy that works out not just for some of us, but for all of us,” Cordray said.
“You may just have a different point of view on policy; that’s part of our democracy and that’s ok, but what I’m saying here tonight, even if you do not agree with the Democrats’ position on these issues, even if you’re an independent, even if you’re an old-fashioned Republican, you should still cast your ballot for Richard Cordray,” Obama added.
The former president was also supporting other Democratic candidates running for statewide office.
"On November 6th, we have a chance to restore some sanity to our politics," Obama said. "We can flip the balance of power back to the American people because you are the only check on bad policy; you are the only real check on abuses of power. It's you and your vote."
Cordray pledged to the crowd that he and his party would fight for decency, tolerance, inclusion and respectfulness if elected, declaring, "Change is coming."
Republicans rejected Democrats' arguments.
"2016 is over, but President Obama continues to dismiss the millions of voters across Ohio who rejected a continuation of his policies in favor of President Trump's plan for historic tax cuts, new jobs and soaring economic growth," said Mandi Merritt, Ohio spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee. "Richard Cordray, Obama's former regulator-in-chief, would just be more of the same of the outdated Obama-era policies that hurt Ohio families."